Using Resistance to My Advantage

“For ever action, there is an equal and opposite reaction…”

Sir Isaac Newton

My love for science has been questioned, chewed up, and spit out more times than I can count recently. As I was pondering about science in general, I was recently reminded of good ole Newton’s 3rd law. As quoted above, this seems like a phrase that is common sense when it comes to the objects you may encounter on a daily basis. If you throw a bouncy ball down it will come up, if you jump off that middle school canoe, if will be pushed the other way. Easy right? ..But of course this is not always the case.

There are constantly other forces acting on objects that prevent that spring-back motion we think about like in the bouncy ball example. And we also know some objects have an easier time springing back or forwards, sideways, whatever, than others. Then my mind turned to resistance. I was thinking about how resistance plays a role in the energy around us and why do some things have so much more damn resistance than others. So what do all these questions and thoughts have to do with anything? Well maybe nothing… but as I stretched my mind past the sound of my old physics teacher saying these things to me, I was able to relate this to my brain.

I am starting to accept that my brain is this flawed organ that is just here keep my whole body functioning. It is selfish and it tricks my thoughts or what I believe is my soul, into doing what it wants. But your brain does not always know what is best for you… It is going off of society’s standards, cultural standards, and its own selfish needs mostly. It also LOVES negative thinking and can be too eager or too apprehensive. It can hold you back from living your life if you let it. However, I want to figure out how to not always listen to those negative thoughts and decide on my own what I want… and make my brain follow through with it.

To get any change in my thought patterns or actions, I realized I am going to encounter resistance. Now, this was the first thing that always left me disheartened. It led me to the “Why can’t it be easy, it looks easy for that person” type of thinking. And I “believed” I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do. Or in a different scenario let’s say I want to do something that I’ve never seen be done before so I “believed” I couldn’t do it. Well the thing is, I probably can do more things I set my mind on but what has been holding me back is that I was listening to my brain. My brain who was calculating risk based off of my past instead of actually coming up with solutions to get where I want to be. I would let my brain win every time and trust its selfish nature, and eventually give up. I want to re-train myself to suppress those negative thoughts as they do not benefit me. From an evolutionary standpoint they are necessary as they helped us survive all this time as human beings. But right now all of those negative emotions do is hold me back and cause me anxiety. For me, it is best to check them more often than not.

But here is another thing about resistance, it is tricky. It can deceive us into thinking if we just push harder and push through we will make it. Like if I wanted to push an imaginary box across an imaginary floor for the first time in my life. The box could be filled with anything, flowers, medicine balls, you name it. I don’t know what that box can be filled with but I want to get to the other side. Now the floor will also exert its resistance on the box, which depends on what type of floor it is,something I can see, giving me a false illusion mostly on how much resistance I may encounter. Again, I can make a guess about how hard I need to push but I don’t know for sure. Now let’s say I have one try per day to try and push this box at a constant and fixed speed without stopping or knocking the box over to get to the other side of the room (I am making this more complicated but hang in there). The best way to approach this would be to start small. Feel it out. It is better to start small instead of over exerting yourself, potentially crushing the box, or hurting yourself, than to take it slow. You start small, and you make adjustments to get to that sweet spot right over the threshold where you are pushing that box at a steady pace. You can’t possible know what is inside that box, but you can learn enough to get where you gotta be.

Overall this whole scenario in my head gave me hope. I was thinking about resistance as something that can be overcome with persistence instead of something I should avoid. As someone who suffers from GAD, I can tell you if you try to avoid anything in life your brain is going to bite you in your ass. If you let the crap from the past dictate what you can and can not do, your brain will go into survival mode 24/7 and tell you all the ways you should inhibit your life to protect itself from these newfound “dangers.” I don’t know about you but I’ve come to the conclusion that my brain is an unreliable you-know-what sometimes.

I know I can’t achieve my goals overnight, and I also know that is okay. I am beginning to learn how to push myself in a healthy way, and that it is normal to continuously adjust to the ever changing resistance we feel in this world… that is how we get stuff done. These rules set in mother nature are fair and they can be utilized to my advantage. And though I have been questioning my love for science and branching out, I also realized that it still has my back and I will hold all of its lesson close to my heart.

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