Last week I talked about resisting resistance in response to an interview Oprah did with author Steven Pressfield. If you missed it, you can read the post here.
This week, we’re looking more in-depth at what happens when we’re in fight mode and how to be .
I used to believe that whenever we fight against something outside of ourselves, we create conflict inside of us, too. But through my work with clients and my personal experience, I’ve realized that I had it the wrong way round.
Battling something on the outside is actually a sign that you’re battling something inside of you. When this happens, there’s often a part of you that is living in the past, fighting and defending against someone or something that’s no longer there.
That was the case with a client I saw recently. She was doing well in her business but was feeling stuck in several areas of her life. As we worked together, she noticed a knot of tension in her stomach that felt like it was blocking everything.
As we worked, she had a mental image of a part of her pushing against a door to hold it closed, fighting to protect her. Based on what had happened in the past, it was afraid of feeling pain or strong emotions. So it was keeping the door closed to protect her from that happening.
But the problem is that when you close a door, it’s closed to everything, including help and support, love and greater abundance. It’s really hard – if not impossible – to receive when you’re in battle mode. Armor is designed to be impenetrable.
And when we’re in battle mode, it isn’t in just a single area of our lives. We begin to see others – even parts of ourselves – as “the enemy”. We talk about “saboteur parts” and are on heightened alert for signs of danger.
What keeps us in fight mode is fear. Fear of what might happen. Fear of the past repeating itself. Fear of failure or being unsafe. And most of all, a fear of not being good enough.
In order to let go of those fears, you also have to let go of thoughts like:
- If I stop fighting this, it’ll take over. I’ll lose.
- If I didn’t have this to motivate me, I’d never get anything done.
- I have to protect myself.
- I have to keep running and running and running just to keep up!
Ending the fight means accepting what is. It means releasing your fears and moving forward in wholeness. It means accepting and loving yourself.
And it’s not something you just do once.
You’ll get angry or disappointed again. You’ll procrastinate. You’ll feel frustrated and overwhelmed. You’ll distract yourself with all your “bad habits”.
There will be times when you feel like battling through is your only option. That or giving up.
When that happens, try some of these tips to help you release resistance – and yourself – and get moving again.
Take a break and do something that truly nurtures you. Give it your full focus.
Get help and support. Listening to music or a talk that is uplifting can be a good place to start.
Look inside to see what your thoughts and fears are and say “okay” to them. Accept that this is how you think and feel in this moment. Smile at them if you can.
Allow yourself to expand. Breath and feel yourself opening up.
Remember to get off your BUT and say AND instead. You can read more about this here.
- I really, really don’t want to do this, AND I’m going to work on it for another 20 minutes.
- I feel overwhelmed AND I’m going to write 300 words and then take a break.
- I don’t want to write this email AND I choose to do it now, and then fix a delicious lunch.
Take one little step. Don’t try to tackle the entire project. Just take one step. And then one more.
Live in the present moment as much as possible. Giving up the fight against the past is essential for moving forward.
When my client and I worked on behalf of her the part who was holding the door closed, we cleared that part’s fears. We also brought it into the present. My client started laughing when she saw the part stand up, look around and say, “Oh! Is the war over?”
Yes, the war is over. You can relax. You know of a better way now.