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Resistance is Data


In my daily planning guide Where the !@#% did my day go? I discuss task resistance, a root cause of procrastination and something most of us face one time or another. From the Think, Try, Learn perspective, resistance is data, with its attendant opportunity to improve. Start with some questions.

  • Why are you resisting the task?

  • What is it specifically that is repelling you?

  • How long has this been the case?

Then ask yourself how important it is to address this. The good news is that you know about it (the Awareness "A" of the three A's), the seed of taking action.

This applies personally too. Do you have a difficult conversation you're avoiding? A medical problem? Information that the economic impact on your work/company can't be ignored? Or maybe it's simply an unpleasant thought. For me, shifting from reacting to the thing (or trying to avoid it) to thinking about it with a healthy sense of detachment is a relief. And here, the detachment comes from treating your feelings as information to process, not as something intrinsic to you or the problem/situation/challenge.

I'm curious: Have you adopted this approach? How has it changed your perceptions? What data do you having entering your life these days?

Reader Comments (2)

Hi Matt,

Interestingly enough, I have applied this approach a few times — both in my personal and professional lives.

I agree, it does help to be aware of why we are resisting to something, someone or a situation. Assessing the cause in a detached, objective manner often helps put things in perspective and lets one arrive at a clear answer. (Of course, the heart-over-mind individuals might disagree. :-p)

Being a generally cautious person, I find myself resisting a lot, which often leads to missed opportunities. When I break the resistance down to the HOWs, WHYs and WHATs though, I am able to move forward and take action. The ability to grab at certain opportunities has definitely helped me make more. :-D


December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa

"heart-over-mind individuals might disagree" - I agree that the analytical approach doesn't come naturally to everyone. That's OK, of course. "[resistance] leads to missed opportunities" - Great quote! You're full of them, Teresa.

December 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

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