Internal Resistance

We all feel it. We all experience it. In ourselves. In others.

Our internal resistance gets in our way.

It gets in the way of having new life experiences. It gets in the way of developing new relationships. It gets in the way of strengthening current relationships.

It also gets in the way of necessary social and structural change. 

We are creatures of habit and of what we were indoctrinated into. When that comes into question or feels threatened – we tend to react and resist.

We are currently experiencing a heightened time of expression and internal resistance. Unless resistance is being used to keep us physically and psychologically safe, I’ve found that resistance gets in the way of what we as individuals, and as groups, believe and connect to at our core.

So, in this time, and all times moving forward, I encourage you to recognize when you feel resistance to an idea, to an action, to a declaration. Name it as your “resistance.” 

Once you can name the internal resistance, take time to reflect on where that resistance is coming from. What do you feel is threatened? What is the fear? Name it. Write it down. Tell a close friend. 

Then… ask yourself… does acting in response to this resistance or fear line up with who I am, who I want to be, what I believe in?

Finally… identify what information you don’t know and make a plan to obtain that information.

I won’t beat about the bush – I believe most of our internal resistance to social and structural issues comes from fear and prejudice we maybe didn’t even realize we have. That fear and prejudice gets in the way of us behaving in line with our own morals and beliefs. It gets in the way of us contributing to the change necessary for our society to be aligned with those morals and beliefs. 

My intention in this post is to first explore your internal resistance, your fear, your prejudice with genuine curiosity. 

See what you learn. About yourself. About others. There is enormous strength in this!

By Teresa Ralicki, Ombuds,
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Ombuds Office

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