Resistance Points the Way

What are you resisting? It could be telling you something.

We all have things that we resist doing. (Cleaning the toilet comes to mind, among other things!) While it’s natural to want to avoid doing an unpleasant task, many times resistance actually points the way to what we most want or need to do, deep down inside.

Think about something that you feel a lot of resistance toward. Is the result of what you’re resisting something you would love to do or achieve? You’ll probably be a whole lot happier if you go ahead and do it.

Resistance often masquerades as fear

For me, paying off our house was something I was resisting, and we did it. The freedom we have from that is awesome. But there was some resistance before we started taking the idea seriously. Resistance often masquerades as fear — sometimes some pretty unlikely fears. It may be doing so in your case too. Mine went like this:

What if we pay off the house and something happens that isn’t covered by insurance and we lose both our house and the money? Then we’d have nothing!

Well, it could happen. But since the only things not covered by insurance are acts of God, war declared or undeclared, and maybe nuclear accidents, if any of those things happen we’ll have a lot bigger things to worry about.

Determine the source of your resistance

So where is the resistance really coming from? Well it’s part of being human to want to stick with what you know, and most especially to want to stick with the normal way of doing things. Being different is often dangerous, either physically or socially.

I bet there are some of you (maybe even many of you) who think that paying off your house early is a bad idea.

(What about the tax advantages? What about investing the extra payment money instead? What about taking out all the equity and using that as leverage to buy rental properties? What about having a home equity line to draw on if things get really bad?)

And maybe paying off your mortgage IS a bad idea — for you. But it’s not a bad idea for us, barring complete disaster.

The point is, take a good look at whatever you feel a lot of resistance toward. (That resistance may also come in the form of procrastination.)

Listen to your resistance

And that’s what resistance gave me. It whispered, “Hello, pay attention, there’s something about that idea that bears closer examination” — underneath its screams of “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” and its whines of “Ugh that’s going to take a lot of work.”

Resistance inadvertently pointed the way to what we wanted and needed to do.

So what are you resisting? What ideas do you have that are immediately followed by a “yes, but” in your head? They’re worth doing.