Years ago when I was fairly new in business, I had a client who one might describe as difficult. She was somewhat abrupt and quite unnecessarily bossy. I quickly figured she was accustomed to getting her way with vendors and probably everyone else. She seemed quite happy about it too. Calling the shots was apparently a large part of her identity.
Enter Seraphine who was only looking to make a sale — well, several sales and was keen to make a great impression and establish a good working relationship. During one of our initial interactions, I remember making a suggestion I thought was fantastic about the direction she should take on the marketing materials for her brand for a big upcoming launch. The exact words she used to respond escape me but they were to the effect that I’d suggested a stupid idea.
My considered reaction to her at that time was to try harder to please and impress her. I analysed everything I did for her projects almost to paralysis from then on. It was total misery. You know those consuming worries that we develop about everything our clients, bosses, colleagues say, do not say, do or do not do? "She didn’t call me back after my last two attempts to reach her on phone”. “She doesn’t normally do that, I wonder if I annoyed her”. “He didn't respond to that email I sent, did I say something wrong?"
We all have these thoughts and they only get a lot deeper, darker and drawn-out the longer we entertain and allow them to wreak havoc in our interactions. These thoughts are all about resistance; us resisting the rejection of your ideas, and the other party resisting a different way of doing things and the pair of us subconsciously resisting a little unintended bruising of your egos by each other!
Let us give up all the stories about the actions or inactions of others and what they may or may not mean about us. These are not our stories. There's a ninety-nine percent chance that the stories are only figments of our imagination.
Let us understand that your clients, vendors, colleagues and partners think of us is none of our business. Helping them reach their goals and objectives is. Listening to these stories that we tell ourselves about what others think of us brings out our "small selves”. That is not who we want to present.
We want to develop a healthy dissatisfaction with this situation and develop a deep understanding about yourself and others. My suggestion that my client do things a little differently did not augur well with her.
It was only resistance and we are all bound to face resistance from time to time. In fact, the more we reach for greater achievements, the greater resistance we face. Resistance is part of the achievement path we must walk to reach unprecedented heights of success.
William Pen Patrick said; “No person, ideal or institution becomes great until great resistance has been encountered. Greatness cannot be achieved until this concept is understood”.
Quite unfortunately, the ordinary person is totally unaware of this. Mr and Ms Ordinary in their ignorance are wary, fearful and extremely reluctant to encounter resistance even in the slightest form.
They would rather not ruffle any feathers or be criticised, thinking rather inaccurately that resistance will hold them back. Truth be told, the polar opposite of this thinking is the case. To achieve greatness, it is worthwhile to prevail upon those close to us for help.
Not necessarily for understanding but to help hold us accountable for the bigger and more we desire to do, have and become.
If this proves uncomfortable, it is often because none of us have any desire to cause hurt or discomfort to those we work, live and socialise with. The deeper truth is that we do in fact cause harm to them if we fail to be ourselves and consequently never become our best.
Let resistance be your fuel not your obstacle. Understand and be appreciative that your ideas have proven worthy of resistance.
Great forces rise to resist your growth because they fear you for what you represent because you are powerful beyond measure. Your understanding of this phenomenon, your strength of character and commitment to your greatness will deliver a wildly successful you.