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Harnessing Energy of Resistance: Catalyzing Forward Motion Towards Common Goals

Harnessing Energy of Resistance: Catalyzing Forward Motion Towards Common Goals

You may have noticed that resistance and push back are normal to most people.

- Your employees say they understand why the change is necessary and then do everything possible to slow it down.

- Your spouse agrees with you on the budget and then spends $600 at Target.

- Your neighbor seems amiable about sharing the cost of a new fence between your properties and then refuses to pay.


Resistance to change is a common human response, often fueled by feelings of threat, failure, or the fear of being left behind. When individuals perceive a potential loss or disruption to their comfort zones, they tend to resist other people's solutions and ideas.


Why you do it.


1. Fear of the Unknown:

One of the primary drivers of resistance to change is the fear of the unknown. When faced with new ideas or solutions, you may feel uncertain about the outcomes and how they will personally be affected.


2. Fearing Loss:

Resistance often arises from the perception that change will strip you of your sense of control or autonomy.  The ego is fine-tuned with an agenda of keeping you protected from anything that threatens who you believe you are – which includes identity-defining jobs, possessions and relationships.


3. Lack of Trust:

Resistance can also stem from a lack of trust in the intentions or competence of those driving the change.


4. Lack of Emotional Support and Empathy:

Resistance can be born from concerns about personal well-being and fear that no one else “gets” you or what you are going through.  This is especially common in work situations where employees feel powerless to make decisions made by leaders or in homes where the children have a hard time being heard and accepted.

 

What you resist will persist.


The answer to resistance isn’t reciprocal resistance.  Everyone knows this, and yet it is normal for most people to push against opposing forces.  You want to argue, debate, and sometimes retreat. This invites more resentment, conflict, and relationship damage.


There is another way that seemingly dissolves the tension between the two opposing viewpoints.  Adopting the principles of Aikido, a Japanese martial art, can provide valuable insights into how to accept and move opposing energy instead of resisting it.


Here are some key principles of this philosophy:


1. Harmony and Blending:

A fundamental principle of Aikido is to blend with your opponent's energy rather than opposing it directly. Similarly, in navigating resistance to change or new ideas, seek to understand the concerns and perspectives of others. Find common ground and areas of agreement and build upon them to create a shared understanding and common goals.


2. Redirecting Energy:

Aikido emphasizes redirecting an opponent's energy to neutralize their attack. Similarly, in the context of resistance to change, rather than confronting opposition head-on, find ways to redirect the energy towards a more constructive outcome. Use active listening and empathy to understand the underlying concerns and address them in a manner that aligns with the desired change.

 

3. Non-Resistance and Adaptability:

Aikido teaches practitioners to avoid meeting force with force and instead to flow and adapt to the situation. Similarly, when faced with resistance, it is essential to remain open and flexible. Instead of forcing your ideas or solutions onto others, be willing to adapt and find common ground. By demonstrating openness and flexibility, you create an environment that encourages collaboration and reduces resistance.

 

4. Timing and Opportunity:

Aikido emphasizes the importance of timing and seizing opportunities to redirect an opponent's energy effectively. Similarly, when introducing change or new ideas, choose the right moment and approach. Consider the readiness of individuals involved and the broader context. By carefully timing your communication and actions, you increase the likelihood of a more receptive response.

 

5. Mutual Benefit and Respect:

Aikido emphasizes the principle of mutual benefit, where both parties can find value and growth. Similarly, in addressing resistance, strive for win-win solutions that acknowledge and honor the concerns of all parties involved. Foster an environment of respect, where differing opinions are valued and collaborative problem-solving is encouraged.

 

By adopting these principles, you can navigate resistance to change in new, highly effective ways instead of getting stuck. Remember, the goal is not to overpower or defeat the opposition but to find common ground, build understanding, and create an environment that invites everyone to move forward.


Don’t miss Deep Work Fast on LinkedIn and Facebook each week where, we’ll explore this concept and tools you can bring into your work and home immediately to create the life you want.

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