HJ: World renowned spiritualist and thought leader Dan Millman is quoted as saying “Our life purpose does not come easily.” What he means is that in order to reach our highest expression in this lifetime, we need to do the necessary inner work and this is always challenging to a certain degree. This does not mean that life has to be a struggle or that we should give up and never try in the first place. What it means is that we must reframe how we approach life’s challenges, also known as resistance. This inborn resistance is the manifestation of our chosen life lessons. We choose these lessons based on the skills they will teach us and the knowledge that is bestowed as we successfully work through them. In doing so, we grow and develop both immediately in this lifetime and at the soul level. This is the essence of personal growth and it is also why Millman is on the record as saying our life purpose does not come easily — because if life were without challenges, we would have no lessons to learn. We choose to incarnate for this very purpose — to learn the lessons that evolve the consciousness of our soul. So, would you not agree that it is in your best interest to learn how to overcome obstacles to your personal growth?
What is the Biggest Obstacle to Personal Growth?
By Jonathan Wells | Advanced Life Skills
What is it that stands between where you are now, and the next level of personal growth? Does it ever feel like the harder you try, the more difficult change becomes? Have you ever thought that there might be some kind of underlying invisible force designed to make your progress slow and difficult?
That’s a perfectly reasonable assumption, and here’s why.
If there were no such force, then personal growth would be easy. Obviously that’s not the case or personal development wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry. The very existence of this industry means that millions of people are finding it hard to make meaningful changes in their lives.
So, what’s the problem?
Why is personal growth so difficult? What is that invisible force that creates this giant obstacle? Simply put, that force is called resistance. It’s like a giant rubber band that tries to pull us back whenever we stray too far from where we currently are. You may not be able to see it, but you can sure feel the pull.
This is the same force that makes change difficult in any area of life where we want to improve. Why do you think it’s so hard to stick to a healthy diet or regular exercise program? Why is it so challenging to change destructive habits and behavior patterns? The list is a mile long, and the answer is always the same – RESISTANCE.
Where does this resistance come from?
That’s a great question, where does it come from? Before we answer that, let’s see where it doesn’t come from so you won’t blame yourself for it. First of all, it’s important to realize that this kind of resistance does not come from any conscious decision or thought pattern. It also doesn’t come from a lack of desire to change, or a lack of will power.
In fact, this kind or resistance is almost impervious to those things because it comes from a core level of our subconscious. That means that it is well insulated from attack by things like our will power and conscious thought. You see, there really is no reason to blame yourself for this resistance. Because…
Resistance is a core program
The easiest way to explain this “emotional resistance program” is to compare it to a close physical cousin. The body has a built-in program called homeostasis. The purpose of this program is to maintain the status quo. Here’s how it affects you in a physical way.
Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds so you start a diet and exercise program. At first your efforts are producing good results and it seems like you will meet your goal without too much difficulty. But for some reason, the closer you get to your goal, the more effort is required for you to continue losing weight. Why does the last 5 pounds require more effort than the first 15 pounds did? In a word, homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a program designed to resist change!
You have a very similar emotional program that we could call emotional homeostasis, and it has many of the same characteristics as the physical version. Whether you like your current level of personal development or not, the fact is, it is well established and likely to resist any efforts to change and grow.
What usually happens when you want to adopt a new personal growth program or set an aggressive goal for personal change? Generally, everything tends to work well during the initial stages, as long as you are totally focused. But, as soon as you shift your focus, or something goes wrong, you can easily slip into your old patterns. That invisible force is just waiting for an opportunity to pull you right back to the starting line.
Learning to let go
One of the best ways to beat this resistance is to practice letting go. When we successfully break our emotional attachments to “what is,” we allow room for growth. To do this we need to develop strategies for severing those attachments, because letting go is easier said than done. On an emotional level, there is a sense of security related to “hanging on.” Consequently, learning to let go can be challenging.
Start small and work your way up
There are limitless areas where we can practice letting go. Let’s look at a few.
1. Control. When we try to control too many things in our lives, we get all caught up in hanging on to our own agenda. This is a great area to practice letting go. Let others make decisions and see how you feel. Let others have the last word, the fast lane, or the first place in line. Practice letting go of the concepts of position and competition.
2. Do something different. Do you always drive home from work along the same route? Try a new one, even if it’s a few minutes longer. Do you always eat the same thing for breakfast? Add some variety and see what you’ve been missing. Change your hair, your clothing, your activities, or your friends and see what happens. Practice letting go of the rut.
3. Let go of wanting. Wanting is a state of neediness and lack. When you focus on lack, you just create more of the same. Focus on gratitude instead. The next time you are tempted to say: “What I really want is…” stop and think about what you are really grateful for instead. Let go of attaching you fulfillment to things or situations that you “want” to see happen in the future. Find reasons to feel happy and fulfilled right now.
Letting go is liberating
At first, you may feel like you are giving something up when you let it go. But in reality you are liberating yourself. Not only will you feel less stress from not clinging to “what is,” but you will also be weakening that invisible force called resistance.
As you embrace small changes in your life, your emotional security anchors will shift. Over time your resistance will fade and you will find comfort and security in a more fluid reality. When this happens, continued personal growth becomes your new emotional homeostasis.
Jonathan Wells is a Certified Personal and Professional Breakthrough Strategy Coach. My mission is to help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible. It doesn’t really matter whether those goals are personal or professional in nature. What really matters is that you are motivated to move forward. If you are willing to take action and are looking for someone to help you make rapid progress, I can help you. If you’ve got the will, together we can find the way.