What Are You Fighting Against?

The psychologist Carl Jung famously gave us the idea that “what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”.

I have found this to be true so many times, both with myself, and my coaching clients that it is a principle I wholeheartedly follow.

Therefore, when times get tough, if I find myself anxious, scared, overwhelmed, procrastinating etc, I will turn to to this question “What am I fighting against?”

And from there I usually find the route to a solution.

Some examples…

  • Constant procrastination: This is a sure sign you are resisting something and that thing you are resisting is not going away any time soon. Perhaps it is fear of failure, perhaps it is simply that the task is difficult and you are going to have to do a lot of work, or perhaps you have done it before and it didn’t work so you’re resisting the feeling of disappointment. Get curious about it. Ask yourself: “What am I fighting against?”. Acknowledge it. Get it out in the open. And then make a renewed choice to get on with the task in hand anyway.
  • Starting a new job: The uncertainty, not being fully in control, not knowing the ropes, or your colleagues or the clients etc. This can create anxiety and fear and overwhelm. If you battle against this fear and see it as ‘wrong’ and evidence that you’re not good at what you do, that you’re in the wrong job etc then you will feel even more fear, anxiety and overwhelm. It will keep GROWING. But if you lean into this fear, accept it as being part of the normal process of starting a new job, know that it doesn’t mean anything negative about you, that it is simply normal fear, then it will no longer keep growing, it will just sit there in the background until you forget about it.
  • Making a mistake: We’ve all done it, we’ve all made a mistake and then let it take over our lives as we ruminate on it. You know what I’m talking about. Well, that’s probably shame you’re resisting there. Maybe you stay up all night rehashing what you should have done, how you could have handled it better. Maybe you try some ‘positive’ speak, telling yourself you shouldn’t worry about it, that it doesn’t matter and you’ll get over it. Or you get defensive and start blaming others to exonerate yourself. All the time you are resisting the feeling of shame and letting it loom further over you, interrupting your sleep. If you can accept the shame, stop resisting it and acknowledge it, then your route to feeling better will be much quicker and smoother. Shame is a tough feeling, but if you can embrace it, own up to it and look it in the eye, it will no longer have the same power over you.

But sometimes it doesn’t need to go all that deep…

  • Not going to the gym: Again, we’ve all done this – we’ve all avoided doing the thing we know is good for us! We skip a day, then another day, so much so that skipping the gym has become your habit and actually going seems like the biggest, hardest, scariest thing in the whole world. I promise you it isn’t. Acknowledge that the gym has created some big scary feelings, and then go anyway. Just go. You’ll thank me for it.

So what’s coming up in your life that you’re finding difficult right now? Ask yourself what it is you are resisting…acknowledge it and look it in the eye…it will start to feel much less scary, I promise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: