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Letting Go of Resistance

December 10, 2013

By Jacinta Hin

Many times throughout a period of change we’ll encounter moments when we want to give up. We stumble upon challenges we don’t want to deal with, unpleasant aspects of ourselves we don’t want to admit to, undermining habits and personality traits that we refuse to change.

The transition does not even need to be a big one. As if by default, forces within and without ourselves will every so often resist any effort towards something new.

Resistance manifests in many forms.

We stubbornly stick to a viewpoint or way of being. We resist reality and instead lose ourselves in fantasy, dreaming of a perfect relation, job or lifestyle, while staying put in an unhappy one. We reject feedback and advice, especially if unasked for. We ignore gut feelings – our intuition. We walk away from opportunities or refuse to see opportunity in a situation. We react negatively when change is forced upon or proposed to us. We refuse to let go of habits, people, feelings and opinions, and stay in bad situations, holding on to what we know, comfortable or not. People may resist our ideas, or worse, work against us.

Resistance blocks change and stops opportunities from becoming reality. It can keep us stuck and eventually prevent us from doing the work needed to achieve our goals and a fulfilling and balanced life.

Become aware of your resistance trigger points. When do you typically hold back? Do you tend to resist what other people propose or try to achieve? Is it an initial reaction or does it come from a deeper place, fear perhaps or the inability to understand what’s involved? Are you uncomfortable with change in general?

When you catch yourself resisting, take a step back. What would become possible if you did not resist? What would your life look like? Accept well-intended feedback and explore how people respond to you as a way to learn about yourself, an opportunity for growth. When tempted to skip a day in your practice, whether you’re on a weight-loss program or have made a commitment to meditate daily, imagine how you would feel if you would keep your promise.

Be mindful of responding negatively or being over-concerned when someone shares their ideas or communicates the desire for a change in their life.  If what you hear them say does not immediately feel right, hold back your judgment. Try to understand where they come from before offering your opinion. Remember that your view of what is right or wrong may not work for them.  Your reaction, well-intended as it may be, could be hurtful and discouraging, even set them back.

Whatever the reason for your resistance, look for a way out when it does not serve you or affects another person negatively.

Sometimes all it takes is a deep breath in and letting go of the feeling of resistance as you breathe out.


LABELS:   Awareness   Change   Refusal   Rejection   Resistance   Transition  
About the author: Jacinta Hin was born in the Netherlands and has been living in Tokyo, Japan, since 1989. Her professional background is in human resources, career management and coaching. She is passionate about helping people, herself included, discover new perspectives of possibility, move to embracing and working with their transitions, and designing and realizing changes aligned with who they truly are and what they truly want from their lives.
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