Why the path to success feels a bit like failure.

In cased you missed the memo, I'm all about the body love

As I've been learning, researching and gathering body love stories over the past few months, I've been consciously committing acts of body love -- reworking my thoughts, mindfully shifting negative shame spirals and putting my body love actionables into motion. But, just as I've opened myself up to some serious body lovin', it's almost like I've opened up a can of (seriously yucky feeling) worms. All of a sudden, I'm experiencing a rush of negative self-talk and those ugly, all-to-familiar judgments. 

It's not just me. Whether it's a new diet or fitness routine, working to improve communication with your partner, or dealing with anxiety through a mindfulness practice, well, it's bound to feel like a physical and emotional detox. Issues, emotions and obstacles pop up, just as you open yourself up to the process. When you commit to positive change, it feels a heck of a lot like unpacking and experiencing all of the old crap... all over again. 


But it won't always be this way. When we open ourselves up to new opportunity, to truly transformative change, we are inevitably forced to work through the collision of the old and the new. You start a daily workout routine and come down with the flu three days in. You begin the process of achieving financial stability and your car is stolen. With change comes resistance.

Just like a dietary detox, where the body experiences physical cleansing, discomfort and sometimes pain as it processes the junk, you can't do transformation - the kind that leaves you feeling energized and renewed - half-way. Working through the process, dealing with the build-up behind negative patterns and thoughts, and meeting obstacles head-on and with renewed openness might feel a bit like failure, might pound a bit like an emotional hangover, but leads to depth and change and new ways of being. 

The degree of resistance you have around anything is proportionate to the amount of power on the other side.
— Barbara Stanney/Kate Northrup


To continue the commitment in the face of the obstacles and create change despite the vulnerable exposure to old habits -- that's where the really, really good stuff happens. For me, knowing that with change comes resistance, that rush of old language and negative self-talk gives me hands-on experience in practicing my commitment, in working through the obstacles, and in entering the new way of being cleansed and renewed.

What new ways of being are you exploring? What old patterns/obstacles/resistance do you witness flaring up? There is an incredibly wise saying: What you resist, persists. Working through the old patterns, obstacles and resistance makes room for all of that seriously phenomenal stuff.

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Kate McCarthyComment