Have you ever tried to resist something? Consider a time when you were struggling over whether or not to eat another piece of chocolate cake, or another glass of your favourite drink. If you remember, chances are, it was hard work. Perhaps you gave in to your will and lost? Moreover, in such instances, the phrase resistance is futile, holds true. Importantly, there is a major problem with resisting things. I will seek to the reasons for this here. However, like anything in life, there is a flip side and you can use this concept of resistance to your advantage. However, not many people do.
The famous words by Carl Jung, ‘What you resist persists,’ sums it up well. What he means here, is the more you resist something the more you bring it towards you. While he was talking initially about our shadow selves, it is now widely believed that when we resist aspects of the world around us, we are in fact causing these things to manifest in our lives.
Everything is energy and what you focus on you draw towards you
Furthermore, if you are a Star Trek fan you may recall the famous words from the Borg?
‘We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to serve us. Resistance is futile.’
The last three words are important as resistance plays out in every area of our lives. Furthermore, it shapes and creates our results. When we feel pain, emotional or otherwise we want to resist it. However, the very act of resisting it causes it to persist. The resistance we create within ourselves, between our conflicting thoughts of what we crave and what we know is good for us, can create havoc to our goals. Moreover, learning how to take charge of our minds and program them for success is key. When you do, you can use this to your benefit. Consider what you can create when you doggedly focus on what you want? When you imagine yourself achieving your goals and keep focusing on your vision? Using the Borg’s phrase,“resistance is futile,” can become your greatest asset.
Why resistance is futile
Let’s now unpack the word “persist.” Persist means “to continue something in spite of opposition.” We require a degree of persistence in our lives to achieve the success we desire. However, persisting with resisting what is going on in our mind, our thoughts, can be catastrophic to our results. Consider for a moment your life and habits. How often do you berate yourself or argue with yourself when you make a mistake or fail at something? What about when you slept in instead of going to the gym? It’s these constant persisting thoughts that are the problem.
I personally had to learn this lesson, resistance is futile, the hard way. I didn’t really understand it until I experienced the consequences. The more I resisted and battled my problem, overthinking it, feeling the turmoil, the more I was locking in these negative feelings. I was giving them more power. The ‘Borg’ was winning so to speak.
One day, as a result of an overland of toxic and unhelpful thinking, ruminating over a situation I was in, my body literally broke down. Moreover, it was only at a crisis point I had to stop to seek alternative solutions. During my research and through seeking help, I understood the power of energy and how my negative thinking was trapping energy in my body, which manifested in health problems. Living through this also helped me uncover some solutions to that age old question, ‘why don’t we do the things we know we should?‘ The benefit of this experience was that it was the trigger for an amazing journey that led me to do what I do today!
Resistance is futile when it comes to what you are focusing on
A further way to explain this phrase ‘what we resist persists’, is when it comes to starting a new habit, such as a healthy eating or exercise regime. While we often start out with motivation and excitement, after a week or so, our enthusiasm wanes. Suddenly, we hear that persistence voice that tells us maybe we could have the day off. Or, perhaps we will go to the gym later, or do the report later as we don’t feel like doing it now. I am sure you are familiar with this? As you focus on the very thing you don’t want, the inner battle begins. Before you know it, you are at war with yourself, having your own Star Trek internal battle. We persist the thing we know we shouldn’t have but secretly want.
“You can’t think about what you don’t want to think about without thinking about it.”
I will say that one again. ‘You can’t think about what you don’t want without thinking about it.’ Think about that one for a minute. Remember, everything in life is made of energy, and one of the principles in Huna philosophy says, ‘Energy flows where attention goes.’ What you think about grows and becomes impossible to conquer. And as we know now, resistance is futile, comes into play.
How to beat the ‘Borg’ and let go of the power of the phrase resistance is futile
When you become aware of what you are resisting, observing your inner voices and feelings, simply stop for a moment. Take a moment to reflect on what you are resisting and be aware you have the power to change your focus. If you battle and fight, as in Star Trek, too much resistance is futile.
Next, simply acknowledge your thoughts, laugh at it, and gently take your focus off this issue. This step of acknowledging it and shifting your focus, or swishing the old thought away is key. You are no longer giving it fuel. Moreover, ask yourself what is the opposite of this or what do you want instead? Switch your focus. If you are angry about something, simply ask yourself how you would prefer to feel. Replacing the old persistent thought with a new one then becomes easier. Moreover, when you practice this consistently, you continue to release the energy of the persistent thought or thing you crave, and you create important habits for your future success.
Acknowledge the thing you are resisting, let it go and focus on what you want
- In summary, first, acknowledge the thing you are resisting. Awareness is critical.
- Shift your focus and ask yourself what you want instead of the thing you are resisting?
- State in clear words exactly what you want and keep focusing on the thing you want.
- This helps you reprogram your subconscious mind with clear instructions, and you are using resistance in a positive way. To build focus and commitment to what you want.
- Ultimately, you will feel lighter as you stop losing energy fighting the thing you don’t want or secretly crave. Hopefully this helps you truly understand why resistance is futile?
Rumi sums this up well:-
‘The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given, The door will open.’
Finally, whether you prefer the Borg analogy or the wise words of Rumi, they both hold true. Remember, everything in life is energy and you can never destroy it. You can only transfer or transform it. Stop fighting the immense force of the unseen. Release its power over you and shift your focus gently towards what you want. Furthermore, this is your antidote for creating a mindset for success and the key to using the phrase, resistance is futile for your greatest good.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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