Front-Running Resistance

No matter how long I’ve been doing a healthy habit, there’s invariably some initial resistance at the outset the next time I set out do it.

Like working out, or writing (this piece itself!), or sitting down to meditate.

It happens virtually every time: between the moment the idea occurs to me that I should start doing the thing, to starting it, to finally getting into the unstoppable flow of the activity - there’s a resistance.

A small voice that says: "eh... maybe don't do it this time."

Every. Time.

While for any given activity, the voice gets quieter over time (as a kid, you probably resisted brushing your teeth...), there’s a trick about dealing with resistance that you can practice every time it emerges, that empowers you across every aspect of your life.

I call it “front-running resistance”.

Front-running resistance for me boils down to acknowledging that that pesky voice saying “it’d be easier not to do the thing” is coming at the very outset of a given thing.

It’s a simple trick, but I’ll admit - it’s easier said than done.

The nefarious/tricky thing about resistance is that it’s so natural and so subtle... we tend not to recognize it as a voice. As something separate that can be identified, labeled, and dismissed.

Like when there’s a bad smell emanating from a room... it’s not always immediately obvious that there’s a single source, or what that source is.

But if you pay attention, if you look for it, you can find it and dispose of it.

It’s really an exercise in mindfulness at it’s core - tuning in to the subtleties or our mind, thoughts, and emotions (resistance, in this case) to identify them, label them, and detach from the ones that don’t serve us.

And once we recognize that this resistance occurs across almost any area in our lives in which we seek to grow - the muscle that we build in identifying, labeling, and dismissing that resistance grows stronger.

The practice of implementing just a single healthy habit for the first time - maybe it’s cutting out sugar and simple carbs, or starting a workout routine, or committing to 5 sales calls a day - whatever the activity is, we’re building and strengthening a transferable skill that can pay dividends across all of our lives, for our whole lives.

So - next time it occurs to you to do the thing, try and remember that the voice telling you not to do the thing is coming.

It’s name is resistance, and it’s dismissed.

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