Rising above where you are in your life right now is something all of us strive for, but as anyone knows that path is not a straight or easy one.
It doesn't matter what you are trying to achieve (overcoming a bad habit, finding a better relationship, beating financial issues, becoming a better person…), there will be resistance and challenges on your path to growth…that is a GIVEN!
Even though this is commonplace, many of us still hope unrealistically that we can somehow sneak through achieving new levels in our lives without anyone noticing and without challenge.
Unfortunately, that approach leaves us unprepared when resistance does come.
As with anything, when you are surprised by something we don't always respond in the right way.
So, my question to you is…"When you are faced with resistance or setbacks in important areas of your life – what is your response?"
Have you ever even thought about it?
Here are 4 Typical Responses to dealing with resistance and setbacks in life, which category do you fall into by default?
Sulk And Withdraw
This is by far the most common. With this emotional reaction, when things don't go your way or when someone challenges you on your growth path in life you withdraw…you avoid facing the challenge and instead seek to escape by leaving (physical escape), come up with excuses or replace that disappointment with false stories of what really happened (emotional escape), bury yourself in alcohol, drugs or other destructive behavior or play the blame game taking the sting off of your own disappointment placing it on someone else.
While all of these mechanisms work in the short-term to help you handle the pain and frustration associated with resistance, they end up hurting you in the end because you not only make any progress toward your objectives, but you give up control along the way.
Deflect and Avoidance
Another common approach to dealing with resistance – especially in time – is to completely deflect your desire to grow in that area of your life justified by the fact that the short-term pain is so great it overwhelms the longer-term benefit of growth and accomplishment.
We see this all the time in people who stop trying to find the ideal partner in life (or even reject them when they do find them), avoid trying for a promotion or in starting their own business because they have convinced themselves the pain is just too great. This also happens with weight loss and health where we deflect the desire to be healthy and fit to other areas of our lives (like staying busy) simply because we have convinced ourselves that the path to getting fit is filled with too many painful setbacks.
Not quite as common, but certainly I'm sure you can relate to people you know who use the technique of blame, anger and lashing out when they are challenged themselves. Perhaps the method that overcomes short-term pain from resistance, setbacks or rejection the best is instantly turning that anguish and anger on someone else. We all know how this story turns out though…in the end this doesn't change reality and only serves to alienate us from quality people and opportunities in our lives.
Build Resolve – Double Down
An alternative to these other methods is probably the most basic in that it is tied to our primal survival instinct as humans – and that is to fight back and try harder.
I've had this instinct for as long as I can remember and over time, have come to nurture and even grow this tendency in dealing with setbacks and challenges in my life. So to, have I noticed top achievers depend on this method to blast through inevitable challenges in their lives.
What happens here is that you look at resistance or challenges as inevitable on your climb to becoming a better, happier and more productive human being…with this knowledge in mind you resolve to tackle resistance head-on ( at least from an emotional point of view). While you may retreat, re-think your approach and take stock, emotionally you use the sting of resistance to fuel a new fire of resolve making you even stronger and more certain than ever that you will prevail.
It is this response that you want to strive for – especially in those areas of your life that matter the most.
Seek to learn and adjust when experiencing resistance, but emotionally use these points in your life to re-charge and double-down on your ambition and resolve to continue forward.
I'm curious, which category do you fall into historically?
Remember, just because you have traditionally dealt with resistance or challenge one way doesn't mean you HAVE to be victim to that response your entire life…but also know that without realization and active work to change, you will continue to default to that which you have in the past.
Most of all, if the default response you have to challenges is not serving you in your life, then it IS time to change. That power and ability is within you…start today by acknowledging what your natural tendency is now so you can bring about change in your life tomorrow.