Five Ways to Look Resistance in the Eye

I am sitting in resistance. I’m stewing in the hot mess of not wanting to write this week’s blog. It is even worse because this morning I made a commitment to complete one project that I did not want to do. Silly me, I decided that writing my blog was that project! I find myself getting quite a lot accomplished as I resist writing. I am annoyed with myself and overall not having a good day. I don’t want to look my resistance in the eye. I want it to go away without any effort on my part and the perfect blog to flow freely from my pen.

What does looking my resistance in the eye look like? In my world, facing resistance is meeting the challenge of getting the task at hand done and not ducking away from the discomfort. Right now I am majorly uncomfortable and this is what’s in my way: I don’t think I have anything of value to say. I think you’re going to be bored and I’m holding out for the perfect offering to give you. I want you to see me as fabulous, exciting, and stimulating, not resistant, stuck, and irritable.

It comes to mind that I am not the only one who suffers under the weight of resistance. I know from talking to many women over the years that this is a common predicament. So, where does resistance come from? I think about resistance having a very positive meaning when I think of political actions and people fighting for something that they believe in. Resistance is a powerful tool when used for the greater good. On the other hand, an act of resistance is also the power to resist, oppose, or withstand. My resistance is very powerful, in a negative way. I fight against myself, entrench myself in the stew, and refuse to make any forward movement.

Feeling stuck is very uncomfortable but apparently not uncomfortable enough for me to make a different choice. I’m sitting here not understanding why I am making this so difficult for myself, why I am choosing to believe that nothing good is going to come of my efforts. I am having what I would call a moment of low self-esteem. I’ve convinced myself that I don’t have anything worthwhile to say. I’m thinking to myself “wow, this is quite the tape I’ve got going on in my head.” I know some of you can relate to this, I know some of you have this experience and I thank you for commiserating with me.

However, I am still stuck on how to get myself to move forward. The truth is that I am sitting here writing about my resistance and in that action, I am in fact creating momentum. I am going to get my blog done and I am coming up with something of value to share with you. Sadly, my mindset has not moved forward with my effort. This lack of alignment between my thoughts and my actions is palpable and is upsetting.

Today I am feeling curious about yesterday’s dilemma. Sharing my process was the best I could do at the time and I do believe that sharing our challenges is important. But, according to the voice in my head, it is not what I “should” be doing! That inner voice is persistent and she wants me to show up as a role model, the woman who “has it all together”, the one you look up to, and the one who lights your path with her brilliance. There is a part of me that understands that when I show you my underbelly, I reveal my real value and allow you to connect with me in a more intimate and true way. My existential question is this: If I am using resistance to uncover my greater good, why do I fight so hard against myself?

How to Look Resistance in the Eye

1. Look into a mirror and ask yourself, “What gift am I giving myself when I am in resistance?”
2. Walk away, sleep on it, or take some space — things will likely look different when you return.
3. Give voice to both parts of your resistant self; the one that is uncomfortable and the one that is curious. Enter into dialogue.
4. Talk your way through the resistance with a trusted friend or colleague.
5. Contemplate what greater good you want to bring forth through your resistance.


  1. This was exactly what I needed to hear. Exactly. I’m going to tack up your five tips of looking right where I can see them. Thank you Cynthia.

    • Dear Lea,
      I thank you for sharing your feedback. It is so helpful to know my ruminations speak to you and will support you on your journey into and through resistance. I hope all is well in your world!

  2. Well that’s a blog post I can relate to!
    I am thinking about my own resistance now, and what gift it give me, it seems it is self-protective. If I don’t risk! Nothing bad will happen…staying in my comfort zone…is safer. But now I’m not so sure it’s easier.
    It takes effort to resist that which life/inner knowing tells us to do and all of the self criticism that goes along with resisting it is painful and time consuming.
    Thanks for the food for thought!

    • Good morning Sarah,
      You are most welcome, glad to hear I offered you some enticing food for thought! Sitting on the fence of resistance is a mixed bag-is the pain big enough to make me want to jump off, or, am I getting something for myself by choosing the stew? There is much more to ponder!

    • Consider using the five tips, whichever you resonate with. I think we are onto something here!

    • Elan,
      I support you to try one or more of my tips. I believe if you take a step into the resistance, you’ll come through the other side with more of what you are needing.
      Keep me posted!

  3. It is nice to know that I am not alone. I’ve been resisting promoting my jewelry business for some time, finding every excuse not to pick up the phone for a potential wholesale account, or send that email newsletter on my Mother’s day special, or even posting on my Facebook page. Your reference to a lack of self-esteem hit home for me Cynthia, and it helps to know where to focus attention. Your 5 tips are also useful. Thanks for sharing your vulnerability.

    • I can tell from the volume of responses I have received that neither of us are alone in our resistance. I appreciate your sharing, I know what you are saying will spark others and support their process as well as your own.

  4. Hello Cynthia,

    This was one post that I could really relate to! Writing, or at least getting started on a writing project, is always met with resistance. Putting the project on the back burner and coming back to it later usually works.


    • Thanks Carol,
      Good to hear from you and thank you for sharing your POV. It sounds like you know how to manage your resistance and my hat is off to you!

  5. Resistance is an issue for me also. Thank you for for sharing this information. Also for getting me to think about the positive effects of resistance. When I face my resistance I often think about the time I wasted on resistance but that same resistance has made that speech, comment, curricula development so much better and powerful.
    Thanks again.

  6. Hello Cynthia,

    I can only say Bravo for being so authentic and bold about it!!!
    It takes courage and faith to be with the resistance and sometimes I have neither.

    I admire your vulnerability and tips because they apply to our life as a whole, not just business.

    Mostly I appreciate the willingness that you have to ask the question about what part of you is difficult to see in this soup of resistance. We all have a soup pot full of ideas about ourselves that are based on outdated ingredients that may simply not be true, but do show up in our cupboards.

    Now that I have resisted starting to write the rest of my new web site, I thank you for the encouragement to face it and do it!!!

    With appreciation and love,

    • Michaela,
      I love your analogy about the contents of the soup pot, it is so true! And, I am pleased to hear my ruminations have supported you to move into your own resistance. Bravo back at you!


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