Overcome Your Brain’s Initial Resistance

Among the things I did on my recent trip, I went waterfall repelling.  You are given a rope and a harness, told to lean back and just slowly let yourself down.  If you let go of that rope, or your hand slips, that could be a big problem.  This isn’t made any easier by the fact that waterfalls are very slippery and huge gushes of very cold water are constantly hitting you in the face.   We did a series of 7 straight waterfalls, all looked like the picture below except some went directly through the water instead of next to it.  

On every single one, I was afraid to lean back initially.  Even on the 7th one, my brain said to me “you don’t have to do this, maybe you should stop, why would anyone do this anyway, it’s not fun and it’s dangerous, you’re crazy for trying, just tell him you quit.”  And on every single waterfall, I leaned back anyway, got through the first few seconds of being scared, repelled down and loved it.

I’ve observed from many clients and friends (and myself) that their brain is doing the same thing to them.  Something or someone is exactly what they want, but because there’s an initial period of unknown, a period which is likely passed over quickly and easily, they avoid everything.  A potential romantic partner is right there in front of them, but they make up reasons why the person isn’t right and avoid it completely.  A different city has a better job waiting and ultimately more potential for meeting friends, but the whole process of moving is just too much.  That vacation would be one of the coolest things ever, but the flight is really long.

Try to recognize when you’re avoiding something you really want just because of this initial hurdle.  This is especially true if the hurdle doesn’t even really exist and it’s all just in your brain.  And by the way most decisions aren’t final anyway, it’s not like you’re halfway down a waterfall!  If it turns out the relationship really was wrong then it’s easy to end it.  If you really didn’t want to move after all, then you can move back.  The difference though is if you give up after actually trying, you know it’s truly not right for you instead of it just being in your head. 

Overcome your brain’s initial resistance.  It’s usually a hurdle that’s not really there, and it keeps you from finding out the truth. 

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