We all have things we want to do, create, or be. Regardless of what our desires are, making them a reality requires that we overcome fear and resistance, a process which isn’t easy.
The struggle with new endeavors often derives from fear. Fear of failure. Fear of criticism or ridicule. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the uncomfortable cognitive dissonance created by admitting that our current state, path, or actions don’t align with our aspirations. That shit’s terrifying. Fear can prevent us from identifying our true desires and the actionable steps needed to get there. Fear can be potent enough that we avoid change altogether by justifying our current behaviors, modifying our beliefs, or trivializing our desired outcomes. Fear is an inevitable part of life and especially of growth. If we want to improve and evolve, recognizing, naming, and even embracing our fears can reduce the likelihood they’ll hijack our behavior and derail our efforts.
Once we manage our fears, we must acknowledge that progress is also impossible without resistance. Resistance is the individual and cumulative total of all the challenges we need to overcome in order to make progress. Depending on the new endeavor, we might have to unlearn old habits or develop new ones, solve new problems, produce work that’s not entirely on-point, learn new programs or skills, or build physical or mental strength and endurance. We will stutter, stumble, swerve, and fall. But, mastering our fears and moving through the different points of resistance toward our outcome cultivates both strength and resilience. And strength and resilience enable growth. The process can be exhausting, but it can also shift to become exhilarating.
Have you ever noticed some people seem to be able to manage change and learn new things with unflinching ease? This is in part because they engage fear and welcome resistance as signs of progress. It doesn’t mean these individuals don’t experience fear or resistance, and that change isn’t still laden with challenge, but they have developed their ability to handle and adapt to the situations that arise along their path. Growth strengthens the very traits that empower further development. The more we push ourselves, the broader our comfort zone and capabilities become — what once seemed impossible becomes routine.
The first steps on any journey are often the most difficult, but they’re also the most important.