As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we are often more responsible for impeding our own success than we might think. I’ve been reading a lot about resistance – resisting change, resisting the unknown, resisting doing something difficult or something that we don’t ‘like’.
Ultimately, these all point to the resistance of one particular thing that could happen: failure. Doing something new or difficult means you may not accomplish what you want right away, or it may take a long time to see results.
But doing something new or difficult also often means learning and moving toward a particular goal. And, if you’re an entrepreneur, this is a major part of the job description, so you should get used to it.
I’ve also heard an entrepreneur described as someone who ‘leaps off a cliff and builds a parachute on the way down’, which is an apt description in a lot of ways. This also means that to take that leap, you have to make a move – you have to fight resistance in order to do something.
This isn’t easy to do. Your mind automatically comes up with excuses. You can find many different ways to distract yourself or claim you don’t have time. You can point out to yourself that others have the talent you don’t or you can pretend that time management and productivity are the problem and read a bunch of articles about that instead of doing something.
Ultimately, though, you have to either make the leap or stagnate. One of the ways to make this more successful if you know there is resistance is to make it a habit so that there is less in your way and it becomes a part of your day. (Here’s a great example.)
You can try setting a goal of a certain amount of time per week or a certain number of words, but set some parameters and start doing. As soon as possible. Jeff Bullas mentions some other methods to create a habit in this article.
“We cannot control the level of talent we’ve been given. We have no control over the nature of our gift. What we can control is our self-motivation, our self-discipline, our self-validation, and our self-reinforcement. What we can control is how hard and how smart we work.”
— Steven Pressfield discussing resistance on an excellent episode of Marie Forleo
This is important to remember too – it takes motivation and discipline to start, but it also takes validation and reinforcement. You are doing it, you are making progress, every time you fight the resistance and keep working toward your goal.
It can be difficult to decide that something is a priority over another thing and override that resistance to make excuses. You may feel you’re letting people down or ignoring your responsibilities or missing out. You may have thought over and over again about a goal you feel is just out of your reach. You may feel you are constantly waiting for something in order to start. But it is entirely possible you are simply resisting.