It’s not a matter of if it will get you, but when and how often. Unlike the Headless Horseman or other ghoulish tales this time of year, opposition is not a myth. And most of us are all too familiar with its ugly face.
For some, opposition can wipe us out, even if just temporarily. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In “The Firestarter Sessions,” Danielle LaPorte suggests you should “create your support system before crisis comes.”
On a daily basis we battle internal opposition in the form of fear, guilt and lack of confidence. Previously, I wrote about three questions we can ask ourselves to curb the negative thoughts in our head.
Fear can be another phantom entirely. Fear is real and it’s mean. Often it’s completely paralyzing. We experience fear when we step outside our comfort zone. Even if the things outside our comfort zone are good or honorable, taking the action to get there is scary.
Every time we stretch the borders of our comfort zone, we are going to feel fear and anxiety and a pull-back. As we push through, this new space becomes our new comfort zone and the cycle repeats.
LaPorte suggests we deconstruct fear by asking the question — or having someone else ask you the question — “why” over and over again until we expose the root of our fear. What we see is often something we realize we indeed can manage and control and isn’t so scary after all. Faith and fear cannot co-exist.
External opposition comes in the form of life changes, money (or lack there of), and people. During a conversation with a group of women I mentor, it was decided, “the critic is always the loudest.”
In his book “The Dream Giver,” Bruce Wilkinson refers to these critics as “border bullies,” or people who try to oppose us in life, particularly at the edge of that comfort zone. Whether you call them critics, bullies or enemies, having a plan in place to deal with them is important.
The easiest way to deal with a critic is to remove yourself from the situation. This is much easier to do when our critics are strangers or people we barely know. It’s simple to just delete a nasty email or ignore Internet commenters. But when the critics are our own family or friends, we need to make sure we have access to a wider support system that we can use to help us as we maneuver around these vocal (yet loving) critics.
- The Confidant. Do you have someone who you trust, who you can tell everything to? This person could be a spouse but it could also be an old friend. Everyone needs someone they can trust.
- The Dreamer. Who do you know who shares a similar vision as you or can relate to your goals and dreams for life? This person can help uplift you during times of adversity. Keep the Dreamer close, especially on those dreary days.
- The Doer. Most importantly, do you know someone who has been where you are going? If they have paved a way before you, they probably have experienced similar trials and can help you forge ahead. The Doer gives us confidence that all things are possible.
Dorothy Height, a civil rights and women’s rights advocate, said, “greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.”
This article originally published as Nicole’s regular column on KSL.com
Stock image is from freedigitalphotos.net