how to resist success
I had just landed a quarter million dollar book deal with a major publisher, received a standing ovation at my speaking gig that weekend, and was flying home from New York with a new little Donna Karan number in my suitcase.
Life was suh-weet in most every way.
So naturally, I started obsessing about… earthquakes. Time to stock up on canned goods. Is my son’s school quake-proof? Can anything be quake proof? After I came up with a water storage plan, I started meditating on the end of the Mayan Calendar in late 2012. At least I’ll get in one bestseller before it all goes to shit.
My perfect baby was four days old when I had a nightmare that a bear was coming to munch him. I shot up and panted out, “I will kill for this kid!”
Every time I come off the high of a great speaking gig, I think “How’m I going to top that?”
I’ve had some peak experiences in yoga, and the following day I wondered if that rumbling in my tummy was too much gluten or an inoperable tumour.
CONTEXT, PEOPLE, CONTEXT: I have a deep and implicit trust in the unfolding of life. I’m the kind of person who leaves my doors unlocked (don’t all Canadians?) and asks strangers at airports to watch my bag while I run to the ladies room. I “know” that the money always comes, that I’ll rise to rock the mic, and that I’ll be okay no matter what. I’m a Truster. While I am cognizant that tragedies happen and that green algae supplements do not guarantee me a tumour-free existence, I have tremendous faith in all of it — even natural disasters (and aren’t all disasters natural?) and even, death.
I am hard wired to thrive. (We all are, you just need to plug into your own light socket.)
And yet…I resist.
I resist expansion. This is good. It’s called creative tension.
I resist love. This is good. It makes me more loving.
I resist success. This is good, very good. Because…
Resistance heightens your senses. Success throws normalcy off kilter — which gives you a primo opportunity to create a ‘new normal’ for yourself.
Discombobulation when you win is natural. There you were, trudging along, working your ass off for years et voila! Pay off. New reality. Where am I? Then a Big Sun Love sweeps you off your feet, a new world view dawns on you, a once-in-a lifetime surprise strikes, a lucky break breaks…a gift from God arrives. Well this is new. I’d dreamed of it. Sweat blood for it. Now what?
You’ll likely resist. You’ll fear losing it. You’ll numb out in disbelief. You’ll feel unworthy and you’ll delay claiming your prize.
But if you can embrace the resistance and use it to stay sharp, then you can bypass the swamp of self sabotage. Resistance = good. Self sabotage = bad, very bad. Notice how you resist, catch it, laugh at it, burn through it, transmute it into acceptance of success, intelligence, new ideas, a higher state of consciousness. Use resistance as fuel for incorporating success more fully into your being, thereby strengthening you to go get more of it.
And heads to up all ye lovers of life:
The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
– Steve Pressfield, Do The Work
Stakes are high. Rewards are mind-blowing.
If you ignore Success Resistance, you’re hooped. You will unconsciously get sucked into the morass of sabotage. You’ll pick really stupid fights with the love of your life. You’ll develop a fierce case of creativity block so that you can’t meet your deadlines. You’ll wreck your car, or lose your voice on the day of your acceptance speech. Grab hold of the vines of your resistance and pull yourself out of the bog of self-sabotage. It will seem counter intuitive, but walking towards your demons often does.
Resistance is perfectly beautiful when you see it for what it is: a magic expansion lever.
Watch closely, now.