So we’ve gone over lots of ways to feel more joyful. We love them, are excited by them, tried them out and know they work! So why do we not keep doing them? They’re not difficult. That’s not the reason. They don’t require something we don’t already have. That’s not why. They don’t cost a thing. That’s not it.
Whether the thing we are not doing is as big as not following our heart’s desires, or simply not praying, meditating, doing exercises to increase our self-worth, eating well, physically exercising, etc., it all falls under the category of fighting against that which is beneficial for us. (Steven Pressfield calls this Resistance, with a capital R and has an entire book about it, The War of Art. Be sure to check out his life-changing ideas.) Note, we are not talking about things we “have to” do but aren’t, such as a work project, filling out our taxes, or studying for a required class, etc. These are things others are telling us to do but we are not interested in. We’re talking about things we know will help us, things we know are good for us, things we know we will enjoy once we get started. Why on Earth would we fight against doing them! And, more importantly, how can we ‘just do it’? (thanks, Nike)
Put simply, we fight against them because that’s human nature. It’s part of the process of being human. As said, Steven Pressfield’s book elaborates wonderfully on ‘the why’ of this. So no need to get into all that here. I’d rather focus here on ‘the how’ of overcoming it.
First, we must recognize that it is merely part of the human experience; everybody struggles to do what they know will be good for themselves. We all struggle with self-doubt and fear of change. This struggle is ego in action.
Then, focus more on what it is we are resisting rather than the resistance itself. Don’t give too much meaning to the challenging thoughts. Don’t analyze fears and opposition. Once we get involved in weighing our fears, they will most surely win. Ego will always make us believe the fears and excuses are justified. If ego asks ‘what ifs’ about it going wrong, answer ego with ‘what ifs’ about it going right. And be specific.
Ask for help and support from family or close friends. Sometimes we need an objective boost. Be sure to ask ones you know are on that wavelength. Don’t ask a skeptic or Negative Nelly!
If you don’t have anyone like that in your life (and even if you do), turn to God/The Universe/Creator/Source (let’s not waste time and energy by getting caught up in the name). I used to think it was a weakness to ask for help, be it other people or even God. I realized that is ego once again resisting doing what is good for me. A succinct request, such as, ‘God, show me and help me to do the next step of divine work/highest good/best for me and all concerned’ will do.
After we ask for divine help, then wait for answers and inspiration in hopeful, fun, light, anticipation. Rather than milling around in despair. Solutions, motivation and courage won’t come or be clear when we are feeling down and out. Do something fun or light-hearted and forget about whatever has got us hung up while happily holding in the back of our minds the eager anticipation of the solution or progress.
What are you resisting that you know would be good for you? How would you feel if you did it? How would you change for the better? Focus on these answers rather than beating yourself up for not doing it.