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The Many Faces of Resistance



The Whole Person Blog: Week Six, Day Five, Part 1/2 - The Many Faces of Resistance

Writings inspired by Steven Pressfield: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

The War of Art and Self Sabotage here

Overcoming Resistance and Why Talent Doesn't Matter here

Lessons from the Original Spartans here

Thursday, February 6th, 2020


Once you learn something new, your worldview expands, your perceptions alter, and fresh behaviors emerge. Eleven years ago, I took a course in Chain-Reaction Biomechanics from the Gray Institute. One thing they taught us was how to differentiate between symptoms (the manifestation of a problem), compensations (an indication of a problem), and their root causes (the problem). As a personal trainer, the industry taught me to chase my client's symptoms exclusively. I was never permitted to go much beyond the superficial layers of their challenges. As a result, we were only able to discuss their symptoms and behaviors, merely acknowledging WHAT was happening, and never getting to the WHY behind it. Conversations became repetitive and monotonous, continually reminding them if they wanted to improve their symptoms, they had to change their behaviors, end of story. To this day, I still can't believe it took me ten years to connect these dots.


At the same time, it's important to acknowledge symptoms, as there are often real struggles associated with them. Pressfield describes the many faces of Resistance:

  • Procrastination

  • Meaningless sex

  • Creating trouble

  • Self-dramatization

  • Self-medication

  • Victimhood

  • Expecting your mate to fix you

  • Unhappiness

  • Fundamentalism

  • Criticism

  • Self-doubt

  • Fear

  • Isolation

  • Rationalization

  • And the list goes on


Once symptoms are acknowledged, I spend very little time talking about them because they're simply a signal of an imbalance in The Whole Person: MindBodySpirit®, and so far removed from their root cause. Yes, they are a problem, but they're not the problem--big difference. When you spend enough time working with symptoms, you begin to notice they're telling you a story, offering clues to the mystery of each Individual. If you follow the trail to its end, there you'll discover an unmet need, surrounded by tremendous emotional pain, protective behaviors, and defensiveness. That's where I do focus my energy, right at the threshold of who someone is and who they ought to be.


"The opposite of Love isn't hate; it's indifference." Steven Pressfield


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