This week I had a client tell me the people he used to get high with are harassing him, he’s having trouble finding work, and his relationships are falling apart. He said, “I feel like I’m doing all this for nothing.” Don’t we all feel like that sometimes? No matter what goal we are working towards – saving a relationship, finding a job, losing weight – the journey can be two steps up and one step back for so long that we lose sight not only of our progress, but our purpose.
If we are honest with ourselves, it has taken us months, or even years to dig the hole we are in. Just because today we decided to lose weight or get clean or be a better whatever, the hole will not magically fill itself in and gently ease us out. In fact, the opposite is usually true – we are going to face resistance – from other people who aren’t ready to leave their holes, from those who don’t want to see us succeed (sadly), and from our own self-sabotaging brains.
I love watching old episodes of Dragnet, and admire the way Joe Friday handles resistance from people who complain about the police – he invites them to join the force. When you make a decision to better yourself, you become the force. You become a source of light, maybe weak at first but becoming stronger with each positive step you take. Ever see a bunch of people coming out of a movie theater, shielding their eyes from the sun? When you become the light, you may unintentionally expose the darkness in other’s lives, and they may not be ready to see it. In most cases, this is where resistance comes from.
Resistance is never a reason to give up.
Stay focused on your progress and purpose. Hang motivational signs and sayings where you can be reminded why you’ve chosen your goal. It may feel as if you are only moving forward one inch at a time, but one inch at a time will still get you there. A lifestyle change begins as a series of conscious choices, but these choices eventually become habits and will come naturally. Let that one inch become two, then six, then a foot, then a yard, and so on. Don’t dwell on your setbacks. Just analyze them long enough to determine where the mistake was and how you might avoid it in the future. Count each setback as a member of the resistance, and don’t allow them to convince you your efforts have all been for nothing.
It is NEVER for nothing, because YOU are not nothing.
Try taking a tip from the Borg (Star Trek). Granted, they are an emotionless race and we are emotional beings, but they have an admirable singular-purpose mindset. When you are working toward your life goals, stay on track. If you go astray, shake the dirt off and get back on track as quickly as possible. Be Borg-like and tell yourself,
Resistance may be brutal, but it is futile, because I WILL SUCCEED.
It is futile because you have a singular-purpose mindset. Just keep going. When you feel like you don’t want to do it for you, do it for the others who want to come out of their holes but don’t know where to begin. Regardless of whether you have anybody supporting you in your own battle today, someday you may have the opportunity to join somebody else’s force and give them a hand up out of their hole.