3 Steps to Identifying Rational vs Irrational Resistance

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3 Steps to Identifying Irrational vs. Rational ResistanceSo far, we’ve discussed two types of resistance.

The first was physical, in which we experience things such as sleepiness, anxiety, hunger, etc. We can also experience spiritual resistance, which attacks our mental well being and psyche.

Today, I’d like to talk about an external form of resistance that I’ll call rational resistance. I would classify physical and spiritual resistance as irrational, because they are based on emotions. Rational resistance, however, is based upon facts and circumstances.

Apply this process to your current situation and decide which elements of your resistance are irrational and rational. This is very important because how we deal with that resistance is dependent upon its type.

Note: We’re just identifying rational resistance today. If you’d like to skip ahead to the part where we deal with how to overcome it, click here to subscribe and keep your eyes peeled next week.

Analyze Your Resistance

Tony says:

“I love the idea of cutting hair and spending time with people. I really want to open a barbershop but I don’t have the necessary certification. It’s a silly idea anyway. I doubt I have the capacity to learn a new trade.”

There are various elements of resistance in that statement. It’s important to pull apart and look at everything that’s standing between you and your goal. For Tony, he’s got a big element of irrational resistance that is holding him back in the form of self doubt.

For our discussion today, we’re looking at the element of rational resistance in Tony’s situation. In this case, he lacks the professional certification required to open a barbershop. It’s great to key in on this because now we can take a closer look at what’s going on with that.

Break It Down

Here’s the big question I would ask Tony regarding his predicament, “Why don’t you have your certification?” You would get an explanation containing variations of the following:

Irrational Answers:

  • I don’t test well.
  • I’m too old for school.
  • I’m too nervous to sign up.

Rational Answers:

  • The next class doesn’t start until June.
  • I don’t have the money for classes.
  • My schedule conflicts with class schedules.

You might ask what classifies an answer as irrational or rational. Keep reading…

Is it Empirically True?

Tony says he can’t get his certificate because he doesn’t have money for his classes. In that case, his problem is empirically observable. Look at his bank statement and see that he doesn’t have any discretionary funds. This is a rational problem that will have to be dealt with in a rational way.

Now what if he said he’s too old for school? Unless the school has some sort of illegal age limit, this is would a empirically false statement. That would fall into the irrational category. He still has a problem, but it has to be dealt with in a completely different way.

An Open Loop?

This is the point where you race for the comment section to tell me that “not having enough money” may very well be a matter of choice as opposed to a real, rational obstacle. I would tell you that you’re right. Tony may have just rationalized the irrational.

What rational resistance is getting in your way today?

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