There is one universal force that rules every human being.
It is an invisible energy that keeps us within the safety of our comfort bubble, tidying our worldview to help us feel good about ourselves and the environment.
Even though you cannot see it, you can feel it tugging away at your spirit nearly every moment.
It influences your food choices.
It whispers answers to commonly asked questions within the mind.
For the majority, it is in the driver's seat of life.
What is this force, you ask?
“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”
If you’d like to learn more about this phenomenon, I strongly suggest that you study the work of Steven Pressfield.
As a writer and human being who desires more out of life, he continues to help me through his work.
Why Do You Spend Time, Money, & Energy Avoiding Change?
You avoid change for a few reasons:
What you know is more comfortable than the unknown.
As people, we struggle with the idea of not knowing something.
You want everything in the world to fit in a neat box with a label so that you won’t have to deal with confusion.
There’s one major problem with this mentality — it’s an unrealistic expectation.
Confusion and paradox are inherent to reality.
You cannot avoid the experience of dealing with the two, and to the degree that you try is the degree to which you create more unnecessary suffering.
Your duty is to confront the unknown. It is supposed to scare you, that is the Hero’s Journey.
You don’t feel in control when you confront the novel.
New experiences create unpredictability.
Everything you do in life revolves around the attempt to satisfy your need for predictability.
A loss of control holds hands with your unwillingness to face the unknown.
Change requires effort.
It’s no secret that you procrastinate.
Everybody does it to some degree, but the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is embracing hard work.
You would rather watch Netflix than spend time creating a business.
You prefer comfort over discomfort.
When an opportunity to change presents itself, the ego reacts with the feeling of resistance. The mind will come up with a myriad of excuses:
“This isn’t for me.”
“I cannot handle the emotional pressure of doing this.”
“I don’t need to do this because I’m in a comfortable spot.”
In this way, you are your worst enemy.
Now that you understand a few of the crucial reasons why you avoid change, there is an opportunity to change your relationship with it.
Armed with the knowledge of how the mind works, you can choose to think about change productively.
Why Change Feels The Same As Death
The experience of change and death is no different from one another.
Here’s an important concept that I want you to understand and keep in the back of mind:
Change represents a threat to the ego
When you decide to make a lifestyle change, you actively choose to kill a part of your self-image to give birth to something greater.
Kill old beliefs, habits, and thoughts that kept you “safe” within the comfort bubble.
The bubble must pop, or else no transformation takes place.
A fat man must kill his self-image to become a fit one.
A poor woman must destroy her self-image to become a rich one.
A depressed person must transform their perspective and lifestyle to become a fulfilled one.
Ego death is real, and it feels no different than the physical experience.
Think about it logically…
Why do you unconsciously choose to distract yourself through a myriad of activities?
It’s because the ego creates resistance so that you don’t have the opportunity to confront the truth.
Distraction is the greatest threat to personal development.
You can always choose to make a healthy change, but it seems like you can’t because the ego seduces you into the habit of numbing pain.
Human beings chase pleasure and avoid pain.
Unfortunately, the masses choose the path of least resistance because they think it creates an easy life when the contrary is true.
Now that you understand the underlying mechanics of the mind, ego, and resistance, here are some practical things that you can do to create a healthy relationship with change:
Embrace The Disciplined Lifestyle
Everybody and their mother in the personal development community speak about the importance of discipline.
It’s one thing to talk about it and another to live it.
Examine your routine and ask yourself the following two questions:
“What activities strengthen my self-control?”
“What activities weaken it?”
Write down the answers on a sheet of paper and choose to triple down on the activities that create more positive reinforcement.
Don’t try to change everything at once.
I’ve tried to do that countless times and have failed spectacularly.
“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”
You underestimate the power of incremental change.
Pick one thing and go to work.
Focus on Anti-Discipline
The following is a tweet quote from Alexander J.A Cortes
(Give him a follow immediately)
“Discipline — What you DO consistently
Anti-Discipline — What You consistently DO NOT DO
Anti-discipline is anti-habits. It’s negating those things that take your energy and distract
What you say NO to matters more than what you say YES to doing.”
Grab a sheet of paper and write down all of the activities that steal your time, energy, and money.
You instinctively know whether or not an activity is healthy.
Once you have the answers, keep it with you at all times as a reminder that these are non-negotiable anti-discipline habits.
You avoid them at all costs.
Take Feelings With A Grain Of Salt
Society raves about the importance of emotion.
Forget about cultural programming.
In most scenarios, the ego creates a feeling to keep you safe.
Your duty is to do the emotionally demanding work, and to do that, you must think logically and not sway in the heat of emotion.
“Fuck your feelings.”
Clarify Your Heaven & Hell
In this context…
Heaven = The best version of yourself and ideal lifestyle
Hell = The worst version of yourself and dysfunctional lifestyle
Grab a sheet of paper and write out what both of these scenarios look and feel like if you choose to confront and avoid change.
Make it crystal clear and tap into your deepest desires and insecurities.
By creating a compelling vision for your life, you have something to chase.
By creating a terrifying vision of the alternative, you have something run from with all your being.
Intrinsic motivation hits its peak when you get in touch with what you want and desperately do not want.
Throw Yourself Into The Experience Of Change
What better way to understand change than to choose it consciously?
Create a weekly challenge of experiences that force you to become comfortable with change.
Think outside the box.
Ask for 10% off your next coffee.
Travel to a new place in your city.
Eat at a different restaurant.
Pick a new habit and do it every day.
Speak to a new person daily.
There are plenty of options available; the only thing stopping you from following through is the mind.
Over time, you will become accustomed to what change feels like and have a better grip on how the ego prevents you from experiencing it.
Think about personal development from the perspective of metamorphosis.
The caterpillar doesn’t complain about its need to change into a butterfly because it's driven by an unbreakable desire to transform.
A butterfly symbolizes the result of development.
You will suffer.
You will doubt yourself often.
You will constantly hear the seductive whispers of pleasure.
But always remember…
On the other side of change is beauty.