3 Ways to Overcome Resistance

We need to embrace resistance, be aware of its existence, and understand our success depends on defeating our self-imposed roadblocks.

Each morning we rise, we have one major opponent to fight:


Resistance from within prevents us from being the best version of ourselves. Everyone battles it — and there are many examples of it being a major roadblock in our attempts at being the best.

• Resistance to a healthy diet. • Resistance toward education of any kind.• Resistance to being creative.• Resistance to breaking a bad habit or changing our routine.• Resistance to taking a stand in the face of adversity.

When coaching the Los Angeles Lakers, Pat Riley called the concept “Peripheral Opponents.”

Riley wanted his players to understand that resistance can come from outside forces such as the media, our friends and even family. We blame them for allowing resistance to win the day, when in reality, our real resistance lies within.

Our internal voice easily becomes the sole transporter of it, making a thousand excuses for why we cannot improve or tackle a new challenge.

Steven Pressfield, the author of the War of Art, says, “Resistance is the equal-and-opposite reaction of nature to the new thing that you and I are called to bring forth out of nothing. There would be no resistance without the dream.”

Pressfield actually wants us to embrace it, be aware of its existence, and understand that our success depends on defeating our self-imposed roadblocks. How do we do this?

  1. Being aware. Once we understand who the real opponent is, then defeating it becomes slightly easier.

  2. Change how to talk to yourself. Don’t become a negative voice. Stop saying “I can’t focus,” “I procrastinate,” “I’m easily distracted,” “I never follow through” or “I don’t have clarity.” The more negative fuel we supply to resistance, the stronger it becomes.

  3. Challenge the why. "Why am I avoiding the work?" "Why did I eat a cookie?" "Why am I not willing to change?" Knowing why resistance creeps into our life will help us remove its impact.

So, from this day forward, let's be ready to face resistance. Accept it, name it, ask why it continues to be part of our life. Then, let's work each day to remove the internal opponent.

Once we do, our life will become fuller and less stressful — and our talents will shine brighter.