Susan Dunlop

What am I resisting?

“What am I resisting?” journaling exercise all because I watched Ricky Gervais on Sunday night! What do you resist?

We watched Ricky’s newest Netflix show on Sunday night. I love a great laugh!

Even comedian, Ricky Gervais, admits to being awake with worries at night. Worries first exhaust him, then there are his anxious efforts to ensure he has a plan a, b and c lined up to manage all the risks that may arise in solving all the problems he can think up. Issues that haven’t happened, but what if they do? Must have a plan or three! Can you relate to that? Trying to be in control can really get in the way of a good time, can’t it!

Not just an absolute crack-up to listen to, Ricky is also incredibly wealthy and makes sure he raises that fun fact at least a handful of times, with a laugh, in his stand-up performances. However, Ricky is no less at risk of getting caught in the cycle of problems, worry and drama, experiencing uncomfortable emotions, reacting and putting out ‘spot fires’ than the rest of humanity.

Two FISBEs to share with you briefly: One is the problem FISBE and the other the empowering Outcome FISBE.
The Problem FISBE and the Outcome FISBE are the works and property of David Emerald, The Center for The Empowerment Dynamic (C) 2021.
Ricky’s worry cycle or FISBE is the human default way of operating. It’s common to find ourselves in the Problem Mindset (left FISBE) vs practising the Outcome Focused orientation (right FISBE)
This morning I thought about how Ricky mentioned worrying, and I realised I’d been back in a worry cycle or problem FISBE too recently.
In my set-up for the week, I wrote at the top of my journal this morning a question that popped into my mind as I woke up.

“What am I resisting?”

I know I’m a high-level ideator, so I have become more conscious of breaking things down so I don’t get overwhelmed with too many wonderful ideas and projects and actions to take. This simple question made me pause.

  • What am I resisting?
  • What outcome am I sabotaging?
  • What dreams am I denying myself?

All three would have worked.

Yes, I get to have myself as a coach first thing on a Monday morning! At least my coach was kind enough to make me a perfect coffee before I started!

Awareness and honesty to me are the starting point of change.

I’ve found time and again that it takes filling a page to get to the actual message we need to receive or are willing to spill out as ink onto paper in moments of being completely honest with ourselves.

I decided to write, in a stream of consciousness, all things that sprang to mind that I might be resisting until my pen ran out of room on the page.

The list cut across personal and business aspects of my life. I found that I knew I am resisting networking, staying on top of having funds moved across bank accounts to pay bills daily, the kitchen ‘deep’ spring clean, making time away together or time in nature important, and asking others to read my manuscript, to mention just a few!

Your resistance may be against small, medium or large outcomes, projects or tasks.

I didn’t get caught up in that; I just let it pour out because getting it onto paper meant I could breathe out and look at that inventory and see it as it is.

I could also see in the list how I was operating at present – like Ricky, I’d dropped into a cycle of that first problem-focused FISBE, and the comfort of it, as strange as that might seem, muddling around in the default roles of the dreaded drama triangle (victim, rescuer and persecutor) for a while.

Dreaded Drama Triangle
I put the exercise away, shook it off, and came back to it a few hours later with three more questions:
  1. What items that I am resisting go together? Are chunks of one bigger picture or project or desired outcome?
  2. What one item of all of those I wrote supports one or a few of the other items to get back on track?
  3. What one item am I inspired by right now to list out a few baby steps I could choose from today that will make a difference and are not just about the distraction of being busy?

This pondering let me shift gears back to where I’ve been practising the second kind of FISBE, something I coach and run training in! The second FISBE is the outcomes/vision-focused kind and accesses my empowering TED* (The Empowerment Dynamic) triangle roles (creator, coach and challenger). This FISBE takes practice and it takes something as simple as this exercise to bring to our attention that it is available, we just sometimes forget to be in that mindset.

The Empowerment Dynamic

It took me all up, I’d say 20 minutes of my time, with that one good coffee and an action planning process I know but sometimes forget even for myself to make use of.

I could see the forest for the trees again. Importantly, I was also OK with being honest that something had been keeping me stuck in uncomfortable emotions, drama and worry, and that was alright and very human of me! The past six weeks had been rough: beginning with loss of my beloved little furry friend, then wildly painful menopausal symptoms. The need to clean the house of mould after all the rain we’ve had. Also the loss of income for one of our businesses because it was rained off for a month. I sometimes forget to grant myself grace to see such things for what they were.

It’s Ok to be kind to ourselves, no matter how important, wealthy, worried, or unique each of us is.

We all resist something. We all have a dream we say we desire that we get in the way of being fulfilled. If this happens to you too, I recommend you take the time to pause, do some reflective journaling, and the colour of your day will brighten with possibility.

I shared that I did this exercise with my husband, Tom. It has led to a deeper conversation about opportunities we are pursuing that we both agree are essential as a couple and helped us shift our thinking and dreaming towards shaking things up a little.

It's the feeling that you desire
We both know that it’s the feeling that is important to focus on. That’s what we truly desire most.

Towards our united plan, we are going camping next weekend for a start (baby step no. 1) and going ahead with his planned week of downing tools to celebrate his 60th birthday quietly, away from home, with family in coming weeks.

You might think ‘so what?’ Sounds like a ‘no brainer’, easy to make happen?

Skipping away for breaks was something we used to take for granted when we owned a large company. I’d take all of January off, and every school holiday away with the family, and we’d sneak away together to Bali for a week at a few days’ notice.

Nowadays, the worries that niggle at us the most are financial, because both our incomes are now reliant on ourselves solely and personally being present to deliver the outcomes with our respective clients, for which we invoice them. When we’re away, we aren’t serving and we aren’t invoicing. That’s taken a really big, concentrated shift of mindset and verbal internal and external language for us both.

It’s Ok, we know we get stuck in the worry mud sometimes, but today we unstuck ourselves together again. It’s a nice small celebration to even see we can do that faster now than we did, a year ago.

It’s a beautiful feeling to choose not to deny ourselves time away in nature and magic time with our girls and each other. Plus, there’s the rest of my list of resistance I can now slowly shift myself to work through because what I was resisting was all about me getting in my own way of a life I dream of.

Let's Make Shifts Happen

If I can support you in understanding what I shared above, that may be something you’re experiencing right now, or if you’d like to understand the dreaded drama triangle roles you’re playing out too and how to make shifts happen to engage more often in the empowering roles, please reach out for a free intro call to discuss my coaching packages and training options.

Trust that you are blessed, even when you forget that you’re blessed and take care of yourself.

Thank you,


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