Who (or what) are you resisting?

It’s one of my favorite lines from Andy Puddicombe—teacher, author and TED Talker as well as co-founder and voice of the guided meditation app Headspace.

As it turns out, resistance can be the source of many frustrations, whether personal or professional. The proven workaround is openness and flexibility.

I recently took on a client that is in startup mode. This is normally a situation I would avoid, but in this case, there were many good reasons to proceed. So I did.

Our first scope of work was delivered just over a week ago and I have to admit it wasn’t the smoothest process. I had to shift gears more than a couple of times in response to the client’s changing priorities. Rather that challenge–or resist–the client’s requests (they’ve already launched two successful startups, after all) I brought my marcomm skills to the table and went to work making their sales argument as strong as possible. And it worked, thanks to quick response time, reasonable deadlines, clear communication and my growing ability to shift direction without getting rattled.

In a word, flexibility kept me in the game.

So, “who (or what) are you resisting?”

That’s the question I ask myself when something in my life seems way harder than it should be. When I answer honestly and thoughtfully, the shift in perspective can be pretty amazing. More often than not, I notice that my troubles are caused by me getting in my own way.

Now, let me say I’m about as tenacious a person as they come—so the idea of “giving up” the habit of resistance was not very appealing. But with Andy’s question in my ear every day, I realized giving up resistance isn’t actually about giving up! It means getting there a different way—being open to change, seeking creative solutions, and being flexible in how I approach day-to-day challenges.

The result? My life is far more peaceful. I am not as easily frustrated or discouraged, especially in response to things that are out of my hands. I see opportunity where I wouldn’t have otherwise looked for it. And I haven’t lost a thing, other than my illusion of control.

What about you? Who (or what) are you resisting? And can more openness and flexibility provide you an opportunity you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed?

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