The Benefits of Removing Resistance To Life Experiences

Resistance to learning is a major barrier to life success

When you think of resistance what comes to mind? Your resistance? Others?

Let’s investigate this topic for a bit today.

I love the process of coming up with writing ideas…

This morning I was standing in the shower wondering what to share today.

First, I simply opened up to the idea that I wanted to write something and then waited for what comes to mind.

Then I had the thought, “You don’t know what you don’t know…”

Okay so… What do I want to say about that…:)

Filtering Meaning

Our brains have a way of normalizing ideas and concepts. This can work in our favor and sometimes against us. In this case, I think when we hear a quote like “You don’t know what you don’t know…” and don’t reflect on it, we’ve lost a great opportunity to possibly change the trajectory of our life.

When I think about this quote what comes to mind is “How do I not let this “fact” undermine me?”

I think you’d agree with the simple truth that we can’t “know” everything.

Yet, how do we know when what we “should” know – is poking at us – trying to get our attention?

That is our investigation today.

Resistance Stops Learning

I have a rule of thumb that helps me to clearly indicate when I may want to pay attention to something…

Whenever I feel resistance.

What I’ve discovered is the ego hates being “wrong”. I experience that as resistance.

What does resistance look like? Judgment, complaining, criticism, a frown, bodily sensations related to anger & fear, trying to be right, defending, arguing, etc

Our resistance will be proportional to how secure or insecure we are. Insecurity comes from beliefs related to fearful moments we experienced when we were younger and that never got fully integrated or resolved. The cash value of being open and flexible in life is you get to challenge any “meaning” you may have assigned to something when you were little that needs to be questioned.

As a side note…That is one of the most powerful reasons to go to therapy or get a coach that understands how the brain works. The goal in any professional relationship like this is to change beliefs systems, transcend trauma, and build life skills. Someone who can help you to identify limiting beliefs, incomplete emotions that unconsciously motivate you, increase self-awareness, or help you build new skills that move you towards a fulfilling life.

Back to resistance…

Think of it this way. Whenever we are resisting what someone is saying, something we are reading, or something that is happening to us we are butting up against our current mental model or belief system. These belief systems got formed early in life and adjust as we mature. How quickly we adjust depends on how open we are to learning. The brain is constantly adjusting based on new information. (hint: taking in new information is how we overcome any previous trauma or change a belief)

When You Are Provoked Move Into Curiosity

We can use any moment in time to update our brain-body knowledge bank. The primary reason to do this is: When we are little we don’t have very good critical thinking skills. Most of the time the conclusions we decided on are sorely lacking the full story. We need a way to overcome this conundrum.

Anytime we feel provoked, this is the moment to move into curiosity and wonder. It’s the fastest way I know to update your memory system that is responsible for your reactions to life.

Having this new perspective, if you want to call it that, allows you to drop any preconceived meaning on anything and be open to whatever else is possible.

Taking this perspective immediately puts you in a place of personal power.

The expression, “The person with the most flexibility wins” describes what we are talking about here.

How Feeling Secure or Insecure Motives Actions

If you clamp down and try to be right or start an argument, then chances are there is something else going on that is motivating your actions. When you feel secure in yourself, you rarely have to defend anything. Defending is motivated by fear and insecurity.

There is a difference between stating your thoughts from a place of personal power versus defending out of fear. Fear will always have a quality of “I’m right, you’re wrong.” When you come from a place of “knowing” you can have a conversation and present ideas and thoughts without trying to convince the other person. Curiosity is the backdrop of the conversation, not fear. You are not attached to your opinion one way or another.

When we try and convince the other person we most often get resistance. When I’m not attached to my “beliefs” I am more influential. I express them as fact yet I still remain open to what else is possible. This is a place of power.

In my How To Stop Arguing And Fighting program I teach a step-by-step process for couples to unravel this complex phenomenon to end arguments. When you get resistance out of the way what you are left with is deciding to agree or not. Most of the time we can still get along and not agree. Over time, in a couple’s relationship, you eventually figure out if you have enough similar values and attraction to stay in the relationship. Removing resistance from the equation is the fastest way to get to this understanding of each other. To remove resistance, move into curiosity and ask questions rather than to get upset and defend.

Reflect On What Learning Means To You

Hopefully, you can see that clinging to “I’m right, you’re wrong” stops learning from happening. It interrupts the process of growing and maturing as an adult. It’s the number one friction between couples. Move into a place of curiosity and watch what happens. If you are more fixated on “being right” then consider reaching out to get help. I happen to know a coach who loves supporting you on these issues…:)

Your homework today, if you choose to accept, is to pay attention to your body signals when you feel resistance comes up. Maybe you have a technology problem with your smartphone or someone cuts you off in traffic or you realize you are short of cash to pay bills this month. Pay attention to what happens in your body and breathe into it rather than distract yourself or remain defensive. Then move into a place of curiosity and watch what happens. Ask yourself the question “What do I want to do next now that I’m aware of my reaction?” Then do it.

Many blessings today.

Ed Ferrigan

Please share?

Relationship expert, Ed Ferrigan, M.A., CPCC, has been helping singles, couples, managers, and teams break through limiting beliefs and communicate more effectively for over 25 years. Ed is author of the book 100+ Ways To Get Back On The Horse, facilitates workshops on communication skills and provides relationship coaching all over the world using web technology. Ed is a local resident of Boise, ID is an avid dancer, and enjoys fly-fishing.

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