Thursday, July 18, 2013

Uh oh!

Oops, i goofed. In the event that you've been paying more attention than I have to what is unfolding on this page you will realize that the first step in dealing with Resistance is not Analysis, it's Information. There is nothing to analyze until the Information is identified.

So, here's part of being me that makes it difficult to be me. While I speak with clients all the time about the idea of multi-tasking and the illusion that it's not only possible but laudatory. We talk about how most of the mistakes they are criticizing themselves about are lapses of attention and focus. So what was I doing yesterday? Only trying to do more than one thing at a time. Furthermore, there was no reason I needed to do that. Yes, i had plenty to do yesterday. And I had plenty of time to do it in. Yesterday's 24 were all the hours I needed to live my life of yesterday.

But part of the way that I go blind in the resistant part of my process is to have all kinds of distracting behavior I can lapse into without giving it any thought. Actually they are designed to make sure I don't give it any thought. If I thought about what I was doing I'd get to it. Just like I eventually do when I do my laundry. Apparently there is a part of me that doesn't like satisfaction as much as discomfort. I think I trust that state of chaos and confusion more than I trust satisfaction and comfort. We'll come back to this at a later date.

It appears that one key to getting to the Information part is discomfort. But discomfort by itself isn't enough. I need to be willing to look at the source of discomfort. I need to realize that my discomfort is all about the laundry not being and not getting done. And that's another way of saying I'm stuck. The laundry isn't getting done, and I'm not doing something else which would be equally valuable.

And even the valuable needs to be rated. Let's say I have a project to complete and I have 10 days to have it ready. And I have the laundry piling up. I don't actually want to do the laundry now (or ever) and I like the project so I may decide that now is a good time to get started on the project. 

What a perfect distraction! But if I'm thinking that I am actually hurting myself. I am taking care of something that has little or no urgency attached to it and I also have the mounting anxiety that I'll need the laundry done and all I'll have done is a part accomplishment of a project which is not important from a time standpoint. Which means there's no reward for getting started early. Unless and until I take care of the most important thing that also has some urgency attached to it, I will remain stuck.

Now the Analysis phase comes into play. Which I already wrote about. The next post is Reaction/Response.

See you soon.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Resistance: 1. Analysis

Now that we've broken through Denial only to discover that nothing has changed, except that I know I've been hoping this thing that's bothering me will go away if I ignore it. It's possible at this point to hope for the return to Denial, but it really deserves another name, because once something has a name it's hard to go back to pretending it doesn't exist.

I've come to call it Resistance. And as I said in the last post, it's another way to be stuck, because it is its own type of blindness. Now, even thought I know the thing is there a part of me is keeping me from addressing the situation. Imagine a rather mundane example of this. I go through this with laundry. I don't want to do it. I ignore it, I postpone it, I rationalize it, I put it off as though it will wash itself and put it away. I do this for as long as it takes to get me to decide to do it. And when I get around to doing it there's a process I've discovered I go through. For the sake of our discussion I call it Analysis.

First I start to let myself be aware that there is laundry to do. Then I have to come to the realization that I am the one who needs to do it. I check to see if I'm running out of clothes. Actually, clean underwear. That's the one for me that is the final issue that can push the action button and get me to do it. The problem is that I have lots of underwear and I now have so much of it that I always do the laundry before I run out of underwear.

This situation has actually been a gift because I need another tool for deciding when to do it that's new. This calls for Analysis! You'll say, "Duh!" And I'll acknowledge that as correct as your harsh judgment of me is, it isn't informative or helpful. I need to take a look at the cause of my Resistance. And although it took me a little while to say it out loud, the truth is I want someone else to do it for me. What I really want is for my Mother to do it for me. Just like she did until I went to college.

And even deeper is that I don't want my mother to do my laundry, I want to be taken care of. Someone should love me and as a result do my laundry because she loves me.

I can't tell you how many arguments I had with my ex about her wanting me to know what love looked like to her. I didn't know, because I am a lousy mind reader and she wouldn't tell me because I was supposed to know. But that's an entirely different issue. This issue is just about my parents and me, not about Analysis. But it is a clue to my Resistance.

Now that I am aware of the nature of the Resistance, I get to decide whether I want to be an adult or not. But at this point I now know the nature of the problem I am facing and I get to go to the next step.


C'mon back and see where this path goes.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Friend (?) Resistance

You might well ask yourself, since I'm not there, what is this thing with friendship? Make friends with Fear, with Resistance. You might think someone me, thinks you're socially challenged, that you can't pick your own friends.

No i know better than that. When I was a kid my father always wanted me to change friends when I got into trouble. As though I wouldn't do anything like that on my own. Probably more about him than me.

I am sure you are quite capable of making friends. I am merely introducing you to something you already know. It's not a person, but a part of you. And remember we started with feeling, then moved on to one of them: Fear. From there we ambled into Courage and Denial. We left off with needing that Courage to overcome the Fear I met after I broke down the wall of Denial that blinded me to my impediment.

We talked about needing to be friends with that Fear thing so I knew the difference between fear for my life and something much less threatening, like stopping for a red light. I need to have a relationship with my Fear that isn't reactionary, but responsive.

Okay, now we're all up to date.

So that part of you that has courageously broken through the blindness of Denial is now facing a new form of blindness: Resistance. If you're anything like me Resistance is something making you look like being blindly stubborn or frivolously unconcerned about anything. For me this is just the lack of getting to know and appreciate my Resistance. If I want to be my friend I evaluate the thing I might be resistant to and ask myself if my resistance comes from an awareness of the thing being something I don't want to do, or if it's something I don't want to look at. Because I'm afraid.   

Yes, I know we already dealt with Fear. I perhaps led you to believe it was gone, dealt with. 

No such luck. The Fear that we dealt with was necessary to get to this fear. Bu remember, Fear is now your friend. You've made a relationship with it that allows for conversation and maybe even negotiation. Which is where we are at this point, negotiation. One a person becomes aware of a Resistance point the next thing is the negotiation part. I think the negotiation can be broken down into four components: Information, Analysis, Reaction/Response, Decision.

I assert that when we have stepped through this process, a sound decision will be able to be made by you. One you can live with and both learn and prosper from, almost ending with a preposition.

Each of these deserves its own space, so we'll take up the Information piece tomorrow.

C'mon back. The fun is just beginning.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

After Denial

After Denial 

I see denial as a type of blindness, and although it's serious and could persist for the rest of my life that part is optional. There is treatment and even a cure for Denial, if I can take my denials one at a time,

Much of my life I approached problems with the attitude I was taught: Do better! Try harder! And while there may have been times in my life when I held back effort knowingly, for the most part I did the best I could at the time. I think most humans operate that way. If someone isn't telling me what to do, I go at it to succeed. If it would be possible to try harder, I would need to become aware of what it was that was causing me to hold back.

I can remember times when my parents told me to do something I didn't want to do, like was the dishes. Once I realized I had to do a good job or do it over, and that I would be at it until it was finished I figured out how to do the task and get it behind me.

So my problem is not about trying hard or doing better, it's about not doing. I don't do some of the things that are most important to my success. And I don't necessarily mean work or business success. Sometimes it's doing something I know I'd enjoy, or doing something to take care of myself or a million other things.

My friend Denial allows me to say I'm happy, I'm fine, life is good, blah, blah, blah. And I'm not really lying because something is missing. That missing thing is Awareness. And isn't awareness the magic elixir? Certainly once I'm aware of the thing I'm not doing I'll just jump in and do it. Who was it talking about "Git 'er dun" some time not too long ago?

We Americans just love to roll up our sleeves and knock that baby out in no time. And that might work if the job is cutting the grass or something like that. A task that's well defined and limited. The end point is obvious and achievable in a predictable amount of time. But some things require more of me. They want what's inside. So, when I great through my friend Denial with the gift of Awareness, then I meet my other pair of blinders, Resistance.

All the Awareness in the world is helpless against the power of Resistance. Come back tomorrow and we'll talk about making another new friend.