As human beings we are all held back by the same emotion. Some people blame it on the devil. Some people on their circumstances, geographic location or their genetics. But in reality, it is the same emotion holding us back, fear. A great book I just read is War of Art by Steven Pressfield. In Pressfield’s book he refers to our fear as resistance. Fear and resistance are one and the same. Resistance holds use back by telling our inter-voice “what if something bad is behind that door” versus “what if it is something good?”
Psychologists who have studied our brains in depth understand this resistance phenomenon. Fear is deep rooted in the “reptilian brain”. It is our basic need for survival. Even though our brains have evolved with other layers the limbic primitive brain is still activated. We feel the need to act instinctively to immediate and aggressively to protect ourselves from danger whether real or imagined. The fear of loss, be it loss of loved ones, loss of life or loss of property or money is very real in our minds.
So it is natural that something new or unknown should be feared more than be exciting. Resistance always keeps our thoughts on the negative “what if” rather than our logical brain keeping our thoughts on the positive side of “what if”. Successful people I have studied learned to squelch their inner resistance by overcoming the reptilian brain urges of fear and focus on the “what if” it is good?
Resistance in almost all cases is imagined fear, not realized fear. A great quote from William Ralph Inge is “worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due”. Most people worry themselves sick about things that never happen. If they worry long enough bad things will happen or something very similar through the Law of Attraction. By using our positive thoughts for good in our lives versus worry about bad things occurring we begin to overcome resistance.
The most powerful lesson in Pressfield’s book about resistance is resistance is its strongest just before success. The wall is the highest, the river is the widest or the mountain is the tallest just before our success. This is where most people quit, but those that press on reach their summit of success. This is the one true reason so few succeed and why success is so sweet. Don’t give in to resistance, it is just the fear talking. Keep marching forward and overcome your fear that holds you back.
“Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”—Steven Pressfield
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 1, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 29 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.