Breaking Free from the 7 Paths of Resistance That Keep You Playing Small

Escape the paths of resistance: How you can play big, stay lean, fly … and enjoy the process.

I struggle writing this. Not because I have nothing to say. I have too much in my mind – bursting at the seams to get out of my brain onto the screen. A myriad of floating ideas, scurrying like kittens – not wanting to be herded. And then there is the fear of offending someone even though I mean no such thing.

In the last year, Bill my partner in crime in our marketing programs, and I have more than doubled our business audience which continues to grow at an envious rate.

We both know as business people and as artists, that we have to keep up the challenge and keep stretching ourselves and everyone else around us – or we would have performed a serious disservice to God in his case, and art and people in both our cases.

And yet… my past catches up with me – like plenty of other great people with great aspirations, my past dictates my future, and my future wants to give up in despair and boredom.

But you see my friends, fellow business owners, and experts – that is what it is like when you play big. The enemies of a breakthrough life rear their heads – sensing that you are about to escape their hungry clutches, they bring up their deepest and darkest forces to keep you in check and in place.

Paths of resistance: What and who are these enemies of our flow, joy, and bigness?

Let me describe the usual suspects and prescribe methods of disappearing them.

1. Resistance to Playing.

We forget to risk. We forget the willingness to imagine.

Risk and imagination were part of our play as children.

We did not care about the risk of embarrassment nor the risk of being proven wrong. We did not consider play a burden – yet we felt we had to grow up and do the right thing – the corporate job, the expert’s advice, the right neighborhood, and the right games to play as adults.

2. Resistance to Playing Big.

But then once in a while, we stepped out and swung that huge, macho bat. We hit a home run and people stared at us in wonder.

They cheered and stood on their benches. But then you looked at them and declared to yourself “Ah.. that was just good luck. Tomorrow the sh*t returns when I wake up from my dreams.”

We don’t want to risk losing the comfort of knowing who we are and what we are. The certainty of ‘Right Now’ looks much cozier than the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Breaking Through The 7 Paths Of Resistance escape the comfot zone
One of the biggest paths of resistance is the inability to break free of your comfort zone. The problem is it binds us to the past rather than helping it grow into the future.

3. Resistance to Being Bigger than Your Past, Your Parents, and Authority.

Who we are and what we are, can be dictated by our past disguised as our future. Parents and authority figures, who in their loving and protective ways, told us to cringe when we could have flown. An inherited decision to play small instead of soaring like birds.

4. The Path from Mordor – Resistance versus Choice.

The hardest thing to accept for some of us is the possibility that we may actually out-do, outrun and out-win our parents and other mentors.

That resistance is understandable – it is genetic and social conditioning that serves to keep us alive in harsh conditions.

5. Dismantling Overwhelm – The choice for Originality, Authenticity, and a Simplicity of Design.

But then we remember the experience of swinging that bat and hitting a home run. If we did not have that experience, we still in our private moments know and wish that experience could be ours.

But we also know in our hearts, that we have to pay the price of doing it on our own terms – in our style, staying true to the way we want to do it – to march to our own rhythms and beats than to march unsteadily to someone else.

When we choose to march to our own beat – we are no longer rebels – we are human beings who have reclaimed our lives and our destinies. Even if we fail.
But once that choice is made, clarity becomes the norm.

6. Embracing Work, Challenge, and Intense Struggle (vs. Long Term Suffering)

Once you choose to move forward with your choice, things get quiet. Embracing life and giving up resistance is like a space-plane climbing to a higher altitude with less air resistance – things get awfully quiet. Quiet enough to help you focus on what is really important and not the distracting noises of what others say.. and what your past screams at you like Linda Blair in the Exorcist movie.

7. The Choice for Full Self Expression or Imagined Survival Needs

This choice is in front of all of us all the time. Wisdom is when you get that you can choose either at any moment – let the decision run the course and strengthen your resolve to choose and let the choice be the rudder than the wind and waves. But the moment you choose to play big, you grow into a full adult – with the capacities to know that you can be bigger than your survival needs but still respect them.

8. Humor and Lightness

The leaders and business owners whom I love interacting with – the ones who are not only successful but in their photos, look extremely handsome with their experienced and hard-won genuine facial expressions of having gone through hard and good times – those ones have a sense of humor and irony that can only come from the experience of choosing and continuing to choose – Self Expression or Imagined Survival Needs.

What will you choose for now and the next 12 months? Ready to get started? Contact me or follow me on Linkedin.

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