…or 42 ways to avoid doing that task that takes me out of my comfort zone.
I know you’ve done it. We all do it. There’s this task we have to do – go to a networking event, write a résumé, cook an unfamiliar dish, cold call a prospect, call a stranger to ask for help – and we just. can’t. do. it. Any activity, real or imagined, is better than even approaching that task.
I’ve been trained to call this the resistance – that small huge, seductive voice inside my head that says “It’s okay, this can wait til tomorrow.”
The problem is that I translate that to mean tomorrow, or in 2 weeks, or maybe even in 2 months, or, heck, maybe 2 years. Plus, there is no limit on the things I have to do instead. Like, I almost vacuumed my bedroom instead of writing this post.
50 shades of resistance
Do any of these things ring a bell for you? Yesterday, instead of going into the office and firing off my first ads for Bootcamp (aka marketing my business), I cleaned the dirtiest bathroom in the house. Next, I shredded the pork that we cooked in the slow cooker overnight. Finally, I cleaned the whole kitchen because we all know that dirty dishes won’t wait. Mission accomplished – total avoidance of the task at hand.
And last week, on the day I had planned to write my blogpost and edit the latest podcast, I reorganized my Google Drive – because that couldn’t wait. I’ve also been known to call someone I’ve been meaning to call for months, just so I can duck doing the real work.
I know you know what I’m talking about – you’ve been promising your kid/ partner/ parent that you’ll – take them to the zoo/ help them clean out the garage/ take them to lunch – for a solid year (maybe two) and, suddenly, with this huge deadline looming in front of you, you decide you have to do those things today, right this minute, now.
Immunity to Change
Here’s the thing. The resistance is real. According to Merriam Webster Online, resistance is an opposing or retarding force. The resistance is the opposing force to growth. Unfortunately for us, growth only happens when we take a big ole noisy yoga breath and jump forward into the unknown.
We all have this immunity to change. We’re human and it’s so, so hard to change the way we think (our mindset) and operate. The status quo is comfortable – even if we don’t like it – because we’re used to it. We’re comfortable with the pain we know. We know for a fact that when we do this, that will happen. And even if we don’t like the result, the fact that it’s a known makes it preferable to change.
What’s a lowly human being to do? Bust through the resistance. Bite off one tiny piece of that intimidating, challenging, personal world changing task, chew it up, and digest the results. Look. It’s really hard. I know it.
Here’s what happened to me last week and again yesterday. So I’m at the office late one night last week and there’s this woman, Alma, at the table outside my office (my office is in a coworking space) recording a Facebook live video. She’s using this intriguing light/ phone holder combination. So, when Alma is done with her video I go out and quiz her about it (I know, hard to imagine me quizzing anyone…LOL).
Turns out she’s a digital marketing coach (the universe has a snarky sense of humor). We chat about the light, its awesomeness, her online community, and sales funnels and I go home and order the light – stay tuned for Facebook Lives produced using that light.
Fast forward to yesterday. Alma and I are both in the office. We’re talking about strategies for growing our businesses when she brings up sales funnels. Dear reader, coaches have been trying to get me to implement sales funnels for the entirety of my coaching career (for the record, that’s 4 years and counting). I have steadfastly cleaned bathrooms, organized my desk, washed clothes, re-organized shelves, and de-fragged computer drives to avoid creating those darn sales funnels. PS, I know they work – so double darn.
But this time felt different. This time, I think I’m ready (the resistance wrote the word think). Why am I ready now? It’s because I have a real live person who stood in the room with me and showed me the process. A woman who is willing to help me create something that is so out of my comfort zone that it makes me cry. For the record, I’m a great big crybaby. I cry when I’m happy, sad, excited, frustrated, ecstatic, name an occasion, I’m probably crying – except when I’m coaching – there’s no crying while coaching.
Face-to-face for the win
It boils down to this. Alma offered to help me so I don’t feel alone and intimidated. She’s coaching me through the process, in person. And I am an in person person. It’s why I coach face-to-face and offer face-to-face Career Bootcamps. Having a real live person in front of me feeds my soul.
So what happened next? Since Alma is a marketing professional, when I broke down in tears at the idea of creating a couple of ads (because I am not a marketing person at all and I’ve never played one on tv), she had a way around my creativity block. Instead of a regular ad, she suggested that I create a video ad because creating videos doesn’t scare me at all.
And, boom, there it was – a way to take a tiny first bite out of the daunting process of building a sales funnel. Alma’s smart. She knows that once I cross the hurdle of creating that video ad, I’m more likely to keep going with the whole process. She’s right.
The resistance. If we want to grow, we have to fight it.
Or, we can write a blog post about it.