Why Aren't You Getting What You Want?


You've figured out something you truly want. It took self-awareness and focus to clarify it, and you've set your intention to bring this Want to fruition. So, why is it now that every Not-That-Something is popping up to resist your Want?

Because, it's part of the story! Conflict is the engine that propels forth the Hero, and he is changed by experiencing a full spectrum of his Want, including its opposite.

I believe the same holds true for us all in our daily lives. We have our Wants, and we learn more about them and ourselves as we clear obstacles to them.

But, most of us don't expect to slam into an internal wall of Resistance.


I've been wrestling with my own resistance as I've been creating the content for my online course. My story has two combatants: the Task Master and the Lizard Brain. The Task Master (TM) is my "should monster." It's that voice in my head that constantly plans, tracks, and critiques every moment. The Lizard Brain (LB) is focused on primal survival and quelling emotional crises.

“The lizard brain is the reason you're afraid, the reason you don't do all the art you can, the reason you don't ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.” ~ Seth Godin

Since I'm creating something new, I don't have a clear path to follow. Every step forward is in faith that there's actually something solid enough to land on. When there isn't, I must step back and try another footfall elsewhere.

This creation process is triggering my "fight or flight" Lizard Brain, big time.


"Where will this step take me? Why didn't we stay in our familiar, safe cave? I'm hungry. I gotta pee. This path is hard; I hate it. Stop now."  ~ Lizard Brain

The Task Master is very impatient with all this reactive boo hoo hoo.

LB panics, "MUST SHUT DOWN. Never can think straight in the early a.m. ESCAPE stress of cloudy thoughts. CLOSE EYES."

TM retorts, “You’re gonna waste the morning again!”

“I’ll be able to think clearly once I wake back up.”

"No, no, no. You've got work to do! Get out of the house!"

"Just 20 minutes. Okay, 45 minutes," says LB.

"LOSER. Go ahead and give up. You suck." harangues the TM.

When I get back up, I do think more clearly; but, my TM is vexed with my "weakness" and how my LB sacrificed time that could've been spent doing something "productive." This recrimination colors the rest of my day, and sometimes even triggers LB again.

The question is, what is my story about this resistance? Is it that my Lizard Brain and Task Master are at war, that I am weak to give in to my Lizard Brain like I have, or something else?

Does one story shed a clearer light on where I need to grow than the others?

Our stories about resistance are like obstacle courses
Our stories about resistance are like obstacle courses

I like the definition of resistance for exercise: a form of training in which you're working against some type of force that "resists" your movement to build muscle strength, endurance, and size. Think, weights, water exercise, using those giant rubber bands and so on.

As in Resistance Training, I want to choose a story about my resistance that enables me to strengthen my resolve and stamina to bring my Want to fruition.

If I stick with the story that I am weak to give in to my Lizard Brain, then I'm choosing a story that keeps me failing myself. Instead, if I realize that my LB and TM are feeding off each other in a warring circle, I can take action on this story and mediate a truce!

The kicker is, to truly build my endurance and strength, I know I'll have to keep "lifting those weights" of my resistance periodically.

Even though I can fantasize that I've mastered my resistance with one insightful effort, and now my Want will magically be freely attainable -- that hasn't been my experience in my life so far. What I'm saying is, choose a story about YOUR resistance that enables you to take action on it, but don't think you're "doing it wrong" as you repeatedly encounter it. You're building your strength and stamina. It's all good.

Evidently, I need "resistance training" with quieting the fears in myself. Between the anxiety my Task Master brings to the table and the depressive, shut-down reactions my Lizard Brain bring, I have a balancing act to keep improving!

So, what's your story about what's pushing back at you?