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Resistance, Meet Drive: Taking Action When It’s Hard

Resistance, Meet Drive: Taking Action When It's Hard by @stronginsideout

Hey, babe!

You may or may not know that I’m doing a ton of work behind the scenes on a super secret project. Today, I decided not to keep it so secret anymore (’cause, why?).

Recently, I’ve gone through a huge awakening as far as what Strong Inside Out is here to do in this world, who we’re meant to serve and how to go about getting the message out. Because of this awakening, I’ve been using more of my real, unfiltered voice (hence the prevalence of sh*ts and f**ks), and I’ve been taking a good hard look at what I offer to you, the one I serve.

I’ve realized that some of our programs here don’t fit this new skin anymore. They’re rooted in the old Strong Inside Out that’s more metric-based, but SIO is now all about F**k Metrics. So I’m overhauling them.

I’m completely redoing our flagship course to fit like a custom glove and I’m SO psyched with how it’s coming along! I’ve written over 50 pages so far!

But listen: along this path of creating a new course that fits us as we are now, I’ve been doing massive amounts of research. I’m not used to doing research (I went to theatre school!), so it’s a bit tough for me.

Taking Action When It’s Hard

I’m coming up against a ton of resistance around doing the work because the work is hard, man! Where writing about my experience comes naturally and fluidly, researching studies and citing them within text without it all seeming too science-y does not come naturally at all.

So even though I have this firey drive to create this course and bring it into the world, I’m being met with a contradictory level of resistance. It’s effing confusing!

I’m writing this to let you know that it’s not always all openness and fluidity or all resistance. Sometimes we land in the space between where we really want to do something without the actual doing of it. It’s a confusing space and it can be easy to start looking to fix whatever’s “wrong.”

If you’re currently experiencing both drive and resistance, nothing’s wrong. You’re just encountering the normal change experience. Extreme thinkers like many of us here like to think it’s always black and white, but it hardly ever is.

Resistance makes it tough to take action, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Taking action when it’s hard can increase our mental endurance, self-efficacy and reward us with next-level goodies! But how does one take action when the mind screams, “Stop!”?

While the answer to that question is individual to everyone, I want to share my take on it today. Here’s what I’m doing to move forward within this muddled space:

I cue into my WHY

Instead of dwelling in the resistance, I remind myself over and over again WHY I’m putting in this work. I’m researching to back up what I say with science because I want this course to be substantial AF. I’m going over it time and time again to make sure I’m not leaving anything important out that would help you. There’s a reason for the struggle of it, and it’s worth it to me.

Now, if I cued into my WHY, and found that the outcome wasn’t worth the work, there are a couple ways I could proceed from there:

  • Decide to put down the work for a while, then come back to it and reassess if my WHY is one worth leaving.
  • Look at other paths to achieve my WHY. Could I hire a ghost writer or create a new kind of course that didn’t require resistance?

There’s one step that’s required if I decided that the outcome wasn’t worth the work, and that’s looking at my willingness level (without judgment). Am I just not ready for this amount of leveling-up right now? It’s ok if I’m not, but being honest here is essential to aligning your actions with the life you want to live.

Pushing through to an outcome that isn’t rooted in your deep WHY is going to bring you more pain than happiness. Whether you’re going after a goal because you’ve been told you “should,” or you’re striving to be enough through your results, goals based in lack or external pressures are volatile. They could break you apart even when you achieve them.

Get to know your WHY really well. It will serve you in the long run.

I reframe my Mental Optics

When we perceive change or work as difficult, it’s a combo of the required effort and our Mental Optics (the filter through which we perceive our world).

My Mental Optics have been skewed over the last few years because – gratefully – I’ve gotten really far with Strong Inside Out just by caring about people and sharing my story and what’s helped me. Now that I’m adding a new element that I’m not used to, it’s like learning how to walk. I’m new at it, but my recovering perfectionist mind is telling me “it shouldn’t feel this hard,” honestly because none of my work has felt this hard in a while.

That’s when I work my Mental Optics magic. I use the very same process I share with you in this post. Here’s how it all goes down…

Read The Situation

I take a step back and look at how I’m reading the situation. I’m telling myself it shouldn’t be this hard, and so I’m throwing a bit of a tantrum that it is.

When I inquire deeper, I find that the real struggle is that I don’t believe work should feel like this. The reality is, work used to feel like that for me. Back before I dived into the fitness world, I had jobs I’d dread. Jobs that made me feel like nothing and meant nothing to me.

Ever since I started working in the health space, I’ve been blessed with work that feels fluid and enjoyable, so when I feel a bit of pushback, my mind immediately tells me that this isn’t what it’s “supposed to” feel like. It’s scared that I’m reverting back to a time when I didn’t have the awareness or strength to leave a job I hated.

FREE The Situation

Freeing the situation often requires an objective reality check for me. So here goes…

“Leveling Up” (a term I’ve borrowed from my buds over at Nerd Fitness) requires a certain amount of discomfort. It’s just necessary. When we learn how to do something for the first time, usually it takes a little time to get good at it. This researching feels like trudging through mud, yes, but maybe that’s exactly what it’s meant to feel like.

I get to choose how I respond to the way I read any situation. I always have the element of choice. To help me make that choice, I look at what I want to achieve (this new program) and the work it takes to get there (trudging through mud), then I ask myself: Is the outcome worth the work?

And I decide: YES. Overwhelmingly so. This is what really matters. The path that I choose is this one, and so I must also accept the work that it takes to walk down it.

I take a deep breath, choose my response, and then take it. To help with lingering resistance, I move on to this next part…

I use my favorite new mantra

If you get our Weekly Motivational, you’ll have already heard this gem from me.

I follow an account on Instagram called Words of Women and they have an excellent blog. One of their recent posts was all about Britain’s top therapist, Marisa Peer (read it here). She talks about how we can collaborate with our minds to produce “life-changing results.”

I loved the whole post, but this quote in particular resonated on a higher level with me:

If you haven’t got what you want it’s because you use words like: this is too hard; it’s too difficult, it takes all my time.

Words you should be saying: I want to do this. I’ve chosen to do this. I’ve chosen to feel great about it.

Those three final phrases sum up every lesson I’ve learned about redirecting the mind from struggle to empowerment: choice. I’ve since adopted the mantra, “I want to do this. I’ve chosen to do this. I’ve chosen to feel great about it.” as my own when I encounter resistance because it reminds me that no one is making me take these actions. I can quit at any time.

When we remind ourselves that we are always blessed with choice (and also consequences), the charge behind the actions loses its fervor. We get to make a more grounded, detached choice instead of an emotional one.

It all comes down to this…

Sometimes our power lies in getting OUT of our heads and back into reality. And that’s the key: remembering that our mind has the power to create our reality, but without mindfulness that reality can become an effing MESS.

So resistance, I welcome you.

I accept that you are a sign that I’m taking this all to the next level. I dive right the F into you with the commitment to work WITH you, not against you. I welcome you, I welcome you, I welcome you. And I CHOOSE to take action as I can with lots of breaks and deep breaths and mini tantrums as needed.

…and you can, too. This isn’t magic I’m talking about here. It’s a realistic approach to reclaiming your headspace.

You’ve got everything it takes to rewrite your reality, my friend. What do you choose?

Love,

Amy

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2 responses to “Resistance, Meet Drive: Taking Action When It’s Hard”

  1. Kyle S. says:

    How do you find a ‘why’ if you don’t have one? I don’t have friends anymore and am invisible to my family, and frankly don’t feel anything strongly but self-hate. There is no ‘why’ for me – I just go through the motions, try to do what I’m supposed to–what normal people do–and fail.

    • Amy says:

      Kyle, I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. We all have a WHY, but sometimes it’s harder to be aware of it when we’re in pain. Our WHY’s are the little (or big) things we look forward to and hope for. Every single one of us has them. Maybe it’s an event, a goal, a person, a feeling, a dream, a breath, a book… it could be anything at all that helps you feel more like YOU.

      I used to feel like I was just going through the motions, too. But when I started going through the motions that helped me feel better – by doing little things that helped me feel good about myself – I slowly climbed up out of that hole. Start small, and have patience – you deserve kindness from yourself.

      If you feel in danger of hurting yourself or others, please immediately call 9-1-1 (or your local emergency hotline). You can always call our Suicide Prevention Lifeline here in the States (1 (800) 273-8255) as well. They saved my life once.

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