Real resistance is self-induced. If your own perceived value is diminished, you aren’t motivated enough to try to overcome the resistance.
If you are like most people, there always seems to be something that mysteriously appears between you and your dreams. Say you really want to write a book but never seem to get around to it. The reason is that whatever gets in the way-whether its cleaning your closets, checking your e-mail, or making some phone calls-as more value to you in that immediate moment than the book you want to write. Think about that for a second. Getting all those phone calls made has more immediate value to you than the value of a book that could potentially touch the lives of thousands of people. How ludicrous is that?
How many things are you allowing to get in your way, forming resistance that stops you from being who you’re supposed to be? Because essentially, at some level, what your little voice is saying is that the phone calls or the closet cleaning are more important than sitting down to write your book? more important than being who you are supposed to be.
When you really look at procrastination, the first toll that little voice takes is on your confidence. As a matter of fact, I’ve worked with thousands of people over the years in both sales and leadership, and the issue of effectiveness many times boils down to confidence.
The more times you allow that little voice to procrastinate and justify not doing something, the less confident you become in taking on the bigger tasks that you should be accomplishing.
If your confidence is low, then your resistance will be high, and you will never accomplish the things you set out to do or become who you want to be!
I’ve seen so many people fail to achieve their full potential because they were too busy sorting through piles of resistance. A woman came up to me in one of my workshops and said, I’ve had this idea about a book for a long time. I asked her why she hadn’t written it yet, and she said, Well, I’ve had a lot of great ideas, but I just never seem to get around to it.
I asked her, So whats it going to take for you to do it? Are you going to schedule some time? Develop a list of priorities?
None of that seemed to work for her, until we began to discuss the concept of self-value Resistance often comes from people undervaluing themselves. When you do that, you’re devaluing the natural gift that you have to give, the one you were put on this planet to share. And because of that, everything else becomes more important, which is why you don’t get to it. That’s why you end up frustrated.
That was when the truth hit home for her. Within four months, her book was complete.
If there is frustration about not having fulfilled your potential by now, imagine the frustration you’ll feel somewhere down the road when you’re fifty, sixty, seventy, or eighty years old, as you think to yourself, How come I didn’t do it? Why didn’t I do it? I should have done it. Its too late now and I cant do it. (By the way, its never too late.)? But, keep In mind
Repetition builds conditioning. By repeatedly putting in too many hours at the office, having too many phone calls to make, partying with your friends rather than spending that time at home or with your significant other, you’re conditioning resistance toward building a better relationship. How does that happen? The more times you repeat the scenario of hanging out with your friends and having another drink at the bar, the more value you place on that in-the-moment experience. It becomes more valuable to you at that moment than developing the loving relationship with your family that you may really want more in the long run. You are actually conditioning yourself to place greater value on those other things instead of on your own dreams.
Those things that are standing in front of you are awfully tempting, but you’ve allowed the value of that moment to override the long-term value of a future moment. Why? Because you’ve let the little voice convince you, You deserve this right now, and that will come later, and besides…you’re probably not able to pull that off anyway.
Let me put it another way. Fred, the founder of several successful weight loss companies in America, told a great story that relates to this. Early in the development of his weight loss businesses, he had a woman who was suffering from severe health problems related to her obesity. He attempted to sell her on a weight loss program that included a very simple routine of proper nutrition, exercise, and a healthier lifestyle. It was obvious even to a layman that this woman’s life would be in danger if she did not do something!
Yet, she claimed she could not afford the $450 per month for the program. She said it was too expensive. With a sigh, Fred looked at her, then looked out the window and directed the woman’s attention to a shiny, hot-looking Mercedes convertible parked right outside.
Fred asked her, Would you like to have that car? The woman smiled widely and said, Of course, but…
Fred cut her off. He went on to ask her how much she thought that car was worth. She guessed about $80-90,000. He told her that was pretty close. Then he said, If I told you that you could have that very car for $6,000, would you buy it? She laughed and said, In a heartbeat! A seriousness came over his face as he looked her square in the eye and said, You would pay $6,000 to drive off in that hot Mercedes right now, but wouldn’t pay $450 to get your life back. Is that what you are telling me?
Needless to say, the woman bought the program and got herself back in shape, and Fred has gone on to build great wealth for himself and his businesses. What Fred knew all too well was that most people assess themselves and their future as being less valuable than the things they can have in the present moment. Immediate gratification makes you feel good about yourself now.
Imagine if I put a bag with $10,000 cash in it in front of you right now and said that you could have that money right now, or Id give you $15,000 cash in six months if you work out five days a week for one hour a day and go on a reasonably healthy diet. Which would you do? That $10K is tempting, and most would go for the easy and immediate cash rather than making more money and being healthy. Why?
If your self-esteem is low, you’re going to do whatever it takes to make you feel good in the moment. That’s how blocks and resistance are created. It would be tough for me, too-I might even go for the ten grand. Why? Because it would make me feel good right now. But if I felt really good about me, Id say, No, Im going to go for the $15,000 because Id rather have ten years added my life. It takes a person with high self-esteem to do that.
That doesn’t mean that if you don’t have great self-esteem, you’re all screwed up. It just means if you can develop the ability to step outside yourself, view yourself objectively and say, Whoa! Im devaluing me! That’s whats causing the resistance! you’re starting to win the game. You’re managing the little voice creating all the resistance that stands between you, your goals and the life you dream of having.
This blog post contains excerpt from the book Little Voice Mastery.