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How to Get Yourself to Do the Things You Don't Want to Do

By Arel

· Utility Belt,Self-Improvement,Psychology,Productivity

Ever feel that moment where you know you need to get something done, but you feel a great deal of resistance to it?

It almost doesn't make logical sense! Get this thing done and you move one step closer to success! But you simply...don'!

What can we do about it? In this episode of the Art of Likability, I discuss my process for overcoming resistance in order to get done the things I need to get done!


There's this nice little theme in Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art which is the idea of resistance.

As artists, creators, motivators, there's a certain amount of gravity or unwillingness sucking us away from our craft. Steven calls this resistance. When does it appear?

For me, it came up when I was setting up a new splash event for speakers. Many of you know that I'm a speaker. Another big thing I do is that I work with speakers to help shape and craft their message.

For many people interested in becoming a speaker, I've watched them run into resistance as well. One day, it's their website which they feel isn't up to snuff, and the next day, it's their video branding. So many things getting at you from different directions, and it's all foreign and new, it's no wonder resistance manages to stop people in their tracks.

Somehow, I had a hard time getting the event sales page done. That's when I ran into resistance just the same. But I pushed through it and created my event page just as I wanted it:

And finally, finally: we're all set to host the True Speaking Success Startup on June 24th and June 25th at the Hilton Garden Inn at Tampa, Florida!

If you're looking to become a speaker and bypass all the initial logistic hassles (videos, website, testimonials, branding, etc...) with professional grade material and branding...go ahead and check this out! If not, here's the work with which I experienced a ton of resistance! Check it out.

Let's Talk About Beating Resistance.

Start Small and with What You Know

Rome wasn't built in a day, they say. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. And houses are constructed brick by brick by brick....These are great sayings, but don't quite hit the nail on the head on how to beat resistance.

Trying to tackle a problem all at once can seem daunting and breed resistance, so it's important to break it down into small problems to take on. Running a mile is much less intimidating than running a marathon, for instance.

Solve each of these one at a time, and before you know it...

You enter a problem-solving zone. And this is what the brick-laying and Rome metaphor don't quite elucidate.

You start solving small problems and yes, you make progress towards your ultimate goal. But your mind is feeding off these small successes and starts to recognize that it's pretty good at this thing. Confusion turns into capability, and you might even discover/learn a new skill in solving overall big picture problem!

Still facing resistance? Okay, now we'll go into some tips of my own of how I can push through resistance:

Three Layers of Accountability

In my experience, accountability has played a big role in getting things done. I've found that it helps to have multiple failsafes in setting up accountability for myself, and so I've set up three layers of accountability for myself:

1. Automatic

I set up a daily alarm on my phone to remind me everyday at the same time to get X done.

It's annoying, but now it's ever-present in my mind. How can I make the excuse of "forgetting it" now?

2. Peer Pressure

No fancy tricks. Just tell someone that you're going to get X done, and have them text or bug you about getting it done!

Now this person's expectations of you also hinges on your getting X done! Raises the stakes, adds a little bit of stress. Sometimes this is just what you need to push past resistance. But in case that fails.

3. Power Hour

Nope, I am NOT talking about college power hours!

This is another variation of peer pressure, except that it is immediate. It's kind of "break glass in case of emergency" effective, and this is the process:

Arrange an hour block to set up a phone call with a friend. Call. Tell her that you will get X done.

Then get to work while on the call!

You'll be doing this correctly if you don't even say another word on the phone! Because you're there to do work, and your friend can help to keep you accountable in live time. If you feel resistance pulling you in, you can talk to your friend and get live coaching to get you focused and back on track!

One thing I like about this last technique is that it can help your friend too; if she needs to get work done, she can/should join in on the power hour!

And finally, if you ever get the urge to check Instagram, Facebook, or the news, it's not as easy. Why? Your phone is already being used for the call.

What do you think about this method? How have you been able to push through resistance? Let me know!