Entrepreneurship is hard, and those difficulties aren’t all at the beginning. Overcoming a variety of challenges is a vital step in keeping your business healthy. Dan Mendilow and Sophie Kessner have a frank discussion about the pains that entrepreneurs will have to face more often than not. Having a business can be a downright terrifying proposition because there are so many hurdles. But part of what makes a great entrepreneur is a strength to not run at the first sign of pain and resistance. Being able to process that pain, to show resolve in the face of resistance, can, in the long run, become a gift.
Resisting Resistance To Be A Better Entrepreneur
We are excited to have you, especially if you read the last episode where we were diving deep into understanding the missing link for yourself and your business and understanding what it looks like to find where the resistance is. In this episode, we want to support you a little bit deeper inside of that process when you do face resistance or laziness or procrastination, whatever your definition is. When those moments when you know that there’s something you should be doing. You know exactly what you should be doing and exactly how to do it, it’s just you can’t seem to get yourself to do it.
It’s interesting that a lot of people will say like, “I know I should have done this piece. I know I should have written this. I know I should have done this homework. I know I should have reached out to these people, but a whole week’s gone by and I still haven’t. I still don’t know what to do.” They’ll say, “I know I had this whole day full of stuff and I woke up. I didn’t have it in me. A whole day went by and I didn’t do anything that I needed to do.” What is that? Some people will call themselves lazy. Some people will say, “I procrastinated on this thing.” Some people will straight up say like, “I can’t get myself to do this and I don’t know why.” We’re going to go through all of that for you on this episode so that if this is you, you can get yourself out of it and into action.
This is going to be an interesting one because I feel like Dan and I are going to have different perspectives to offer you when it comes to resistance. You’ll be able to get a few different spins on your emotionality, on your resistance and decide for yourself what’s resonance for you right now and from there, make the decision of what you got to do.
When we first started this show, when we first started working together, many of our viewers were exactly the same. The more we grow ourselves, and I do love that we’re still talking about the same things, our perspectives have changed a lot. That’s great for you as you read this because if you’re new, you’ll see. If not, Sophie has gone into much more of this strategic thing, which is not me. For me, I’m much more into brain structure, into the mindset and into truly optimizing literally the way you think, the way you process information so that you can get the most out of that. You’re going to get a lot out of this episode.
[bctt tweet=”When you create good conditions for yourself in your daily life, then you prepare yourself to leap into action.” username=”iamsophiekessner”]
For me, when I hear of resistance, the first thing that I think of is feeling emotionally stuck. You’re either feeling some way and you can’t get out of that or when you do, you go into another challenging emotion. You might like to move out of depression into anxiety or out of anxiety and into apathy. You can move from one to another. You’re staying stuck but moving from one thing to another. Let’s talk quickly about how your brain uses negative emotions and why that can get you stuck and what to do about that. Your brain stores records of every single thing that have hurt you or made you feel uncomfortable because your brain’s number one priority is to keep you alive and part of that is to keep you out of danger.
Your brain doesn’t know the difference between something that makes you feel uncomfortable and something that is dangerous for you. It thinks it’s the same thing. It thinks it’s all danger. If you can imagine, each one of these emotional records of pain, and it is an emotional record because that’s what our emotions are, they’re responses to life. Your brain keeps these emotional records. Each one of them is like a mind. The more of these you have, the more your world feels to your brain like you’re maneuvering through a minefield. The more of these you have, the narrower your paths are or the fewer paths you can take. If you think about it, a person with a lot of emotional baggage, if you’ve ever met someone like that or if you are someone like that, there are a ton of triggers.
I’ve dated women with tons of emotional triggers. You can’t call them certain things. You can’t look at them a certain way. They can’t go to certain places. They can’t eat certain foods. They can’t hear certain songs. Their brains won’t let them go places because there’s danger there. That sounds a lot like resistance. When you get stuck in resistance, it’s like you’re walking into a minefield and finding yourself where everywhere you turn, you’re going to blow up. You got to find a way to keep your brain calm and get back into safety. There are all sorts of processes like hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming, CVT and brain rewiring that will help you clear out these emotional records.
What you can do is as you feel yourself going there or if you mess up and you find yourself there already, use techniques that help your brain chill out, getting out of survival and more into performance. Things like gratitude practices or appreciation practices, not just asking yourself what you’re grateful for but training yourself to be more grateful. Training yourself to appreciate more, meditation, spending time in nature, taking nice big long breaks where you don’t do anything, taking a long bath can help you. Making sure your diet’s on point, having a great conversation with a friend, anything that pushes your brain out of the fight, flight or freeze and more into chill, calm, relaxation and into performance will help you get out of being emotionally stuck.
Here’s a different perspective in all of this. I love that you get the actual neuroscience behind what’s happening in the brain. I love to dive into understanding the brain and the body as two different elements, two different places of wisdom inside of yourself. The brain has an incredible capacity to do so much for us while also the body is its own emotional center. A lot of the times what ends up happening, what I’ve experienced and what I’ll see with a lot of clients is we try to understand our emotional body with our cognitive mind. That’s oftentimes where the confusion and the resistance come in because your emotionality is something that the body is experiencing. It’s not for the mind to understand. When the mind doesn’t understand something, that’s where the panic or the resistance or the anxiety or whatever less desirable emotions that you associate with discomfort come up.
My approach to emotionality and resistance is a little bit different in the sense that I encourage my clients to lean into their resistance. The phrase I use is to sit in your shit, literally to bathe in your emotional shit and experience it and to feel what is wanting to process without attaching story or meaning. The reason why I have leaned into this philosophy over the years is because what happens often is we create a story to the emotions we’re experiencing when the body just wants to release. It doesn’t even necessarily need to understand it. You have to give your body a lot of credit in the sense that the body processes emotions so much faster than the mind can even comprehend. By the time you’re feeling it, expressing and emoting, you’re already healing and processing something that’s being moved through your system.
The minute that you’re trying to understand the emotionality, you are creating stories and narratives, locking that emotion back into your system until you have to heal whatever that wound is. One of the tools that I love using for resistance, fear, anxiety or any of the less desirable emotions is using breath. There’s a powerful practice inside of breathwork where you literally have to breathe. Through the practice of breath, it’s able to allow the emotion to come up, to process, to release without the need to analyze, understand and go through childhood experiences. It allows the body to do the work and be the healer.
You have two things which is great. I love to have a host of solutions and different things and different strokes for different people. I love breathwork. It’s something that I’m going to give myself more time to learn and to do. It’s super interesting, especially for a guy who is used to cognitively understanding literally everything in his life. Laying down on the ground and breathing into a state of almost hallucination and open weeping like a child. I haven’t cried like that since I was a baby. I didn’t cry like that even when I got hurt as a kid. The release is incredible. You can do one, both or whatever. The point is to do something to get yourself out of that emotional stuckness so that you can move through.
[bctt tweet=”There is no lazy gene. There is no biological cause of laziness. It’s resistance coming from an emotional response.” username=”iamsophiekessner”]
There are all sorts of other practices as well. It’s not just breathwork or working on calming down your brain. There are energy healing modalities. This also goes into the diet, lifestyle choices and how much toxic stuff is in the products that you use. I have a friend of mine who deals with a lot of these emotional issues by cleaning out people’s stuff. I had no idea there was so much toxic stuff in soap, shampoo and the stuff we use to clean our clothes. That can also store up as negative emotions or resistance inside the body and mind. There are all sorts of things. The idea here is to try them. Find out what your favorite thing is, the thing that works best for you, love the shit out of it, dig in and have your own strategies for what you can use or whenever you feel that emotional stuck. I do think that it is important that whatever you do, you de-stress that to eliminate the stories.
Clear that out because they’re not as important. Knowing also that the story you create is going to be created by the emotional state that you’re in at the time. If you’re feeling fear, the story you’re going to make is going to be a scary story. It’s not going to help. If you’re going to create a story, if you’re going to try to understand why you were feeling that emotion, do it after you’ve cleared the emotion itself. Make sure that you’re doing it in a way that is structured. You can very easily by asking yourself the wrong questions, run yourself off the rails and back into another negative emotion. There it’s clear. Make sure that if you’re going to investigate it, be totally clear. Come from a powerful and calm place. Relax and know that anytime you step into a story that is going to be blaming or making you the victim or making you powerless or in some way chipping away at yourself, you’re going down the 100% wrong road. That’s pretty much never going to be the actual reason that you felt those things.
To come back to this topic of when you’re experiencing resistance, when you’re experiencing the definition of laziness or procrastination or not wanting to do the thing, my belief, and Dan I’d love to hear yours as well, is to lean into not so much why but what the resistance is and where it is inside of you. Oftentimes, we’re quick to avoid or deflect what we’re feeling and push through it and do the thing anyway, when oftentimes there is much wisdom in our resistance. This is a piece that I love to share with my clients, with friends and with anyone that I work with. The sense that it’s like, “Is this fear or is this wisdom?” That’s the question that I love to ask when resistance is present.
Your body is letting you know that there is something here that’s not quite right. You’ll be able to discern that for yourself. Understanding there’s a part of me that’s afraid of what’s going to happen on the other end of this or there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel congruent with this. It’s getting comfortable and familiar with your emotions and experiencing your emotions. As you get more familiar with them, it’s being able to sit with them and experience them. From there, being able to have the discernment to make those decisions.
That is super-duper important. We’re also going to differ a little bit, which is awesome. Neither one of us is going to say that our way is the way. Our way is a way. It’s great, try them. For me, I like to get to that wisdom that you’re talking about after the emotion runs its course. When I was talking about calming your brain down, that isn’t to reject or resist the emotion. It is allowing it to process in a way that naturally guides your brain to chill out. If I’m feeling a buildup of some negative thing and I don’t even know what it is, I just feel like, “I don’t feel good.” A lot of times what I’ll do is I go walk around my neighborhood, which is full of plants. It’s super green. It’s weird for LA. I love it, a lot of flowers and everything.
I’ll walk around and be around nature. It calms me down like a pill. It’s like a natural antidepressant and it kicks in almost immediately for me. I can be there and allow the emotion without pushing it out, without doing anything. Letting it go and allowing my brain to calm and gently guide it so that I can eliminate the physiological response that distracts me. When I want to find the truth and these emotions, what I like to do is listen to my intuition. That is usually a softer voice, a quieter voice. It’s harder to listen to.
It’s hard for me sometimes, especially when I’m feeling fear to tell the difference between that fear and intuition if they’re coming up at the same time. The thing is that fear is always going to come with a physiological response. Intuition will not. If you listen to that voice and it comes with a physiological response, it is not intuition. What I like to do is allow that emotion to process. Sometimes it is sitting in your shit. Sometimes for me, that means I’m going to stop everything. I’m going to close my eyes. I’m going to feel into where do I feel this emotion? Where else do I feel it? Is it hot, cold? Is it pressure, lightness? Get into details. Is it moving? Sometimes it’s just asking for more and let it fully process. If I’m going to feel this thing, let me feel it all. Let me process it and sit in it and let it wash over me and then it’ll go away.
Once it’s on its way out, once it’s gone completely, then I can review it. I can think about that when it’s a much clearer and calm place. For me, if I’m going to listen to that message, I want that message to come from a place of clarity, not a place of emotional reaction. When your brain is in survival mode, it’s going to produce survival thoughts. If you’re in fear, it’s going to produce thoughts that are in alignment with fear or it’s going to be a response to your fear. If I’m trying to get the wisdom out of it, I like to be totally quiet and Sophie is absolutely right. There could be many important apps and maybe even critical messages for you there once you can get through your body freaking out.
[bctt tweet=”We’re so quick to avoid what we’re feeling when oftentimes, there is so much wisdom at our assistance.” username=”iamsophiekessner”]
To give you a little bit more depth into the characters that I love to bring to life when it comes to emotionality, there are different voices that you’ll hear and there is always presence and similar to what Dan is speaking into. There’s the ego, your shadow, your intuition and our higher self and your inner child. The other one is going to be your inner critic. It’s recognizing that all of these voices are always present. It’s being able to discern, “This is my ego talking.” This is my inner critic talking like, “You did such a terrible job. You should have done so much better.” This is my inner child right now that’s needing to be held and feeling fear. My heart, my wisdom, my intuition or my higher self, however you want to define that, is what is guiding me to do is this.
You’ll very quickly be able to spend the time hearing these different pieces you and recognizing like, “That’s what that piece is.” Deciding for yourself, which piece do I want to let drive past in essence? Which piece do I want to take advice from hearing all of these parts out? Oftentimes what you’ll find, especially in these moments of resistance, is it’s your inner child needing some attention in some way. Their hand is pulling the trigger to try to get you to pay attention. A lot of resistance is what that is. It’s your body saying, “You’re in charge. Check engine light. We’re resisting this. We’re not wanting to go there.” It’s leaning in and saying, “Where’s the resistance?”
That response is what’s going on when you procrastinate. A lot of people will say, “I’m lazy. I’ve been lazy my whole life. I’ve come from a family of lazy people. I’m lazy.” There is no lazy gene. There is no biological cause of laziness per se. It’s resistance coming from one of those voices that Sophie mentioned or coming from an emotional response or coming from the lack of inspiration. Inspiration to me is the same thing as love. If you’re waiting to be motivated, I openly shit on motivation. To me, it’s like coffee. Coffee is great, but if you’re waiting to feel awake or if you’re waiting to have your cup of coffee to feel awake, you’re sitting in that procrastination. It’s like waiting to be creative. You might wait forever.
The inspiration, that love for yourself or what you’re doing or where you’re going, that’s like getting a good night’s sleep. You need to set up the conditions for yourself to feel these things. Set up the conditions so that your inner child is happy, so that your inner critic leaves you alone, so that your ego is in check, so that you feel emotionally balanced and prepared for what you want to do or what you need to do. Instead of waiting to feel motivated, you create the conditions so that you are. Better yet you inspire yourself. Think of inspiration as like mega motivation. When you can create these conditions for yourself in your daily life, you will prepare yourself to feel ready, to leap into action, to eliminate resistance ahead of time.
For example, there are a lot of things that your inner child needs and wants. Your inner child wants you to play, have fun, be excited. Your inner child wants you to love yourself, honor yourself, take care of yourself and to give your needs attention. That’s one of the things that I have run into a lot in my life, especially if I’m interested in what I’m working on or if I have a goal, I can very easily get absorbed in my work and get very serious. My inner child will throw tantrums. I’m not playing enough. I’m not having enough fun. I’m not enjoying. I’m not excited enough. I’ll find myself in resistance where I won’t know why at the time I’ll wake up like, “I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to work. I want to be outside. I want to go DJ. I want to color. I want to see my friends. I want to go wherever. I want to party. I want to go to the festival.”
The last thing I want to do is work because my inner child is stomping on the floors and saying, “Pay attention to me.” When I put that in my day, I often walk around my neighborhood for breaks. I broke up my coloring books and my colored pencils. I play games, play music, dance around my apartment like an idiot. These things are now parts of my workday because they eliminate resistance ahead of time by satisfying one of those voices. You can do that with all the others as well. As long as you set up your day ahead of time thinking intentionally with, “How do I want to feel? How do I want to be? What does my ego want, my inner child wants, my critic wants? What does my shadow call for?” We’ve done episodes on each one of these different voices. Dig through and you’ll get a good education on what these things are and what they need from you, so that you can set up your day for them.
On that note, the biggest piece is in all of this is when you have that awareness and that’s what all of this is coming down to. It’s the awareness of where the resistance lies and being able to reframe your resistance and seeing it more so as a compass for yourself of where you get to live more congruently or more in alignment or create more excitement for yourself, your life, your routine and your business. From there, take action from that place where you do feel 100% congruent and in alignment, even if you’re still there. Resistance and alignment don’t necessarily mean that fear disappears. It means that you moved from a place of feeling incongruent or out of alignment into a place of feeling aligned and feeling excited. Now it’s a matter of, “How do I create for myself the way to do this, even if it’s scary.”
If you want more on alignment, check out the episode where we talk a lot about that, a lot about vision and a lot about getting clarity and figuring all this stuff out. It’s super-duper important. As a task for this episode, the next time you feel stuck or you feel like you’re in resistance, what I’d like you to do is pick one of the many possible techniques that we gave you in this episode and try it out. If it doesn’t work, try another one. If you like it, delve more into it. As you keep testing, you’ll figure out what works best for you. You’ll come up with your own strategies to keep yourself always in action or knowing what to do when you feel that resistance.
We will see you in the next episode.
Remember if you dug this episode, if you’ve got a lot out of the show, head over to iTunes, give us those stars. Send us your reviews, what you think of this show and how it’s helped you. It does mean a ton to us. Thanks in advance for that.
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