Why You Should Embrace Discomfort and Opposition

I heard a talk recently about something all of us face, but none of us want to.

A man spoke at an event about being people who believe there is more to life than they’re currently experiencing. He said that sometimes we get comfortable in our places of security and the plans we make, and that’s when God often shakes things up.

Most of us have a desire to accomplish something with our lives; what matters is if we’re actually taking action on it.

When we’ve built up motivation and feel inspired to take steps toward something, it might go well for a while. But usually, it’s difficult. We hit road blocks or face rejection. We experience resistance, discomfort, obstacles, opposition, adversity.

Why Embrace Resistance?

Those are not normally things we seek intentionally. However, resistance should’t to be avoided; it should be pursued.

Why?

Resistance leads to greater growth.

Human nature begs us to stay comfortable, cozy, to maintain and coast. Find what’s easiest and stay in that rut.

But if we’re going to go further than we’ve been, we’ve got to chase resistance and embrace it.

  • We’ve got to quit an easy, part-time job that has nothing to do with our passions or strengths and keep applying for the jobs that we feel we’re meant to do but think are out of our reach.
  • We’ve got to sell a car and change our routines to be part of a neighborhood we’re passionate about seeing revived.
  • We’ve got to move across the country, away from family and friends and everyone we’ve ever known, so that we can do things that would not be possible in our old location.
  • We’ve got to say “no” to some people who call themselves friends but drain us of emotional energy and drag us down rather than build us up—even though finding new friends is always harder and a longer process.

Are we willing to give up our presuppositions about how easy our lives are supposed to be? Are we able to accept the new challenges that come from new stages in life, knowing full well that we could return to our former ways in a heartbeat and it would be much more pleasant in the meantime?

Fear Is Your Friend

In his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield puts it this way:

Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.

Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.

What fears are you facing? It’s probably connected to the world you have to contribute to the world, the things you don’t want to do but you must do.

The Opportunity of Risk

Facing resistance is never easy or fun at first, but if you adopt a posture of risk, resistance becomes an opportunity for greater things.

As you take risks about things that mean a lot to you, you’ll put more effort and heart into it. You’ll walk into uncertain territory, but you won’t go there without a purpose for why you’re there.

You’re the wanderer who’s passed the edges of the map, but you keep going because you sense the gravity of something better past the boundaries your life has operated within.

Yes, we all face resistance. But we can choose to embrace the resistance because of what it does for us.

You don’t need to run from resistance; you can embrace it.

Resistance makes us stronger. It grows our faith. It helps us risk for what’s important.

Go ahead; make your move.

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What resistance are you facing today? Answer in the comments below.

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