Following the Path of Least Resistance

March 9, 2021

Sometimes, in following the path of least resistance we have to follow the path we are most personally resistant to”

I’ve recently been experiencing a lot of resistance in some areas of my life, and I finally realized that what I have been resisting the most is the one thing I really need to be digging into.  On today’s episode we’re going to talk all about; 

  • Some of the real reasons we resist the things we do in our lives
  • How that resistance can show up as actual physical pain in our lives
  • Some deeper questions to ask yourself when you really start to hit a resistance wall
  • And much more!

Are you ready to dive in? Let’s go! Tap the podcast player above to start listening now or keep scrolling for the full transcription,

Hey, Hey, welcome back to the Room to Grow Podcast, Emily here and today we’re gonna be talking about following the path of least resistance. I think that this is something that all of us come up against at one point or another. It can be really difficult and it’s so funny when we’re in it, right? because we can feel the resistance coming up. We will often try to justify it and we’ll go ‘Okay, well, it’s because of this’, or ‘this is going on, and this is happening’. It’s so much easier to see it when you can have a little bit of objectivity, and you’re just outside of it. People close to us can maybe see what the problem is, but we’re just sitting in it, instead of outside of it going ‘wow, this really fucking sucks because I don’t know, my way out’. A lot of times, it means when we’re running into this much resistance, we can also just sort of get stuck there and we can start to really internalize it as well and and make it about us, about who we are as humans, it can just be a complete spiral. 

I was having some resistance around some things lately and something that really came up for me was this whole idea that sometimes in following the path of least resistance, we have to follow the path we are most personally resistant to. That feels like a bit of a paradox, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more true in my life. I can’t remember if that’s like a quote that somebody else said, please let me know. I’m pretty sure I paraphrase from something that I read somewhere, but I have been reading so much lately, I have no idea where. So if I am accidentally misattributing that to myself, please let me know. Anyway, I’m going to say that again, sometimes in following the path of least resistance, we have to follow the path we are most personally resistant to. 

A lot of times a lot of us will have, not everyone, but sometimes we will have this sort of deep inner knowing that we are here to do something and sometimes that can be the thing we are most resistant to doing. One of the ways that this has presented for me is with Relationship Coaching. I’ve talked about this a little bit in previous episodes, and in the last like 10 or 15 episodes, but this was something that I have really shied away from for a long time and it was one of these things that everyone around me was going, ‘why why aren’t you doing this?’ because it’s what so many people come to me for in my personal life. It’s one of the things I love talking about the most, you know, because personal growth and all these things are so closely intertwined with relationships and the more you level up in relationships, the more you have to level up in personal growth and you know, vice versa, like it’s a double edged sword there. I was really resistant to it for a long time for a wide variety of reasons and I went into a couple of them in previous episodes, but I just felt imposter syndrome. I felt like who would want to listen to me, there have been so many things that have come up around this. And this is just one of the areas that I have experienced resistance to lately, but this is sort of the biggest, and yet I am working with relationship coaching clients, and there is nothing I love more in the entire world. But I’ve still somehow been a little bit quiet about it more publicly and then I’ll tell people, I’ve even told some friends that I’m doing Relationship Coaching and they’re like ‘ Wait, what? you are? How did I miss that memo?’ They’re like, ‘of course, you are, that makes perfect sense. You light up every time you talk about relationships, and you’re great at giving advice and coaching around that. But why haven’t we heard of this before?’ And it’s because I’ve just sort of been flying under the radar around this. One of the reasons why this came up was I was having a conversation with a really, really incredible friend and someone I look up to a huge amount. Shout out to my amazing friend, Lisa Carpenter. She’s actually been on the podcast as well, Episode 84, way back when, all about breaking negative thought patterns and everything. And I just have to say, I really have to underscore how incredible Lisa is. Lisa is one of these people who seems to pop up in my life, you know, she and I catch up, a mutual friend introduced us years ago on Instagram. And so we’ve always kept in touch in the DMS. But she seems to pop up in a more significant way in my life, at the most pivotal moments of my entire life. This has happened three, either three or four times now. She was the one who gave me the final push, I needed to quit my corporate job, literally. And it’s so funny, I have to tell this story. So I was working at my corporate job, this is back at the very beginning of 2018. I was working my corporate job, I was seriously considering quitting it to go full time with my business. But I was so nervous. I was so scared even though I had the support of my partner at the time, I was so nervous. And this mutual friend of ours, had introduced me to Lisa and said, I think you two would get along really well. You should chat. So we set up a call. The day of the call came and I’d had a long day at work. I was exhausted. And I actually said to my partner at the time ‘I’d love to talk to this woman but I’m so exhausted right now. I’m so tired. I don’t want to get in this call but you know, it’s fine. It’s already scheduled. Whatever, I’ll just do it.’ So poor Lisa, I’m probably coming on to the call with that shitty energy. But we had the best conversation ever, the best conversation ever. She completely lit me up. We talked about just incredible things. And by the end of the call, I was like, Okay, I need to quit my job. I need to quit my job. And obviously, yes, there were other factors and considerations that were happening and had been happening up until that point, but she gave me kind of that final push. Then after I ended the relationship I was in at the time, for more on the nine year affair and all of the infidelity and all the things, you can check out Episode 117, I had booked this podcast interview with her a couple months after I had ended things with him. And so she didn’t know, I was telling hardly anyone there were very few people, I can count on two hands, the number of people who knew that I had even broken up with him much less the details of it. So we get on the phone for the podcast interview. And I asked her how she’s doing and she said, `How are you?’ And I kind of hesitated and she could sense there was more and so she dug as Lisa is very good at doing. And I gave her the two sentence explanation and burst into tears. And then I’m thinking to myself, Oh my god, this is so unprofessional. Like, I’ve never had that kind of reaction before, I guess because I was supposed to be interviewing her for the podcast. It’s like totally unfair to her, like not fair at all. So I started kind of like trying to dry my tears and get past it. She’s like, ‘no, Emily, this is trauma. We don’t skip over trauma.’ And then I was having a really rough time, a month or so ago, a month and a half ago, something like that. And we were again, chatting in the DMS and we’re asking how each other is and I kind of sidestepped her question and she could sense it because she seems to know this about me. And she’s like, ‘Hey, you know, how are you?’ I’m like, you didn’t know I did whatever. Like how are you? She’s like Emily, how are you? Like, I’m not great. So she’s like, Okay, I have time tomorrow, like this woman is an angel. She’s an angel seriously. So we got on the phone, we had a chat and she in our phone call. She somehow turned my mindset completely on its head completely around and I left feeling as though she had lifted about 500 pounds off my shoulders. Just in the way she was able to phrase things in the exact way I needed to hear them in the exact moment that I needed to hear them. And I always tell Lisa, like every time her name comes up in conversation with anyone, it turns into a Lisa Fan Fan Club meeting. Because she’s just incredible. So if you are looking for a transformational coach, Lisa is awesome. Her podcast is incredible. I cannot recommend her enough. So please go check her out. She’s just the most beautiful human inside and out. She’s amazing. So now that we’re past that part of the story, I haven’t even gotten into the meat of the book yet. But I had to tell the story about Lisa. Okay, so Lisa is amazing. And when we were chatting, most recently, she painted a metaphor for me that really, really spoke to me. And I am certain that she stated this much more eloquently than I will but just bear with me for a moment. So when you find yourself in a situation or with a set of circumstances that you weren’t necessarily thrilled about or you want to change, think about being in the middle of a river. And you have two choices here, you can either float and allow the river to carry you downstream as part of your journey, or you can stand in the middle of the river, trying to fight and claw your way upstream to no avail and wondering why it’s not working and why everything feels so fucking hard. And often, I’ve found myself taking the second option, and I have to tell you, it fucking sucks. It’s unpleasant, it is disempowering, and is just plain unproductive. And accepting the journey and trusting where it’s taking you, that doesn’t mean that you throw in the towel, or that you give up or or you stop working towards what you want in life, it means that you accept the journey to get there might look a little different than what you’d planned. But if you allow it, you’ll likely end up finding just beautiful, incredible new opportunities along the way. And sometimes we have to stop fighting for our excuses. We have to release the idea or the story that we repeated in our heads about how something would go or what life is supposed to look like. And when we are able to do that an entirely different world can open up. And that often means taking the path of least resistance that’s being paved for us, even if we’re personally resistant to it. Because we’re still attached to the stories that we’ve created. This can be applied in so many different areas. This can be applied to relationships and if it seems like it’s too hard, right? So ask yourself, what stories have you attached to in your head? Like, there’s so many things that, I’ll end up doing a whole episode on this, but there are so many things that come up, because so many of us will struggle with should we end a relationship or not? And there’s a lot of questions that come up with that there’s a lot of attachment, there’s a lot of fear, right? There’s so many things that we can think about, and how does one define if it’s even too hard, right? What does that definition look like? Relationships are like puzzle pieces trying to fit together. Especially in the very beginning. Because I saw this, I think it was a comedian named Daniel sluss I believe, I’ll reference it in the show notes. He did this whole bit on, to be clear, it was very cynical and I am not cynical about relationships, a lot of people would think that I would be with my past history, but I’m actually not at all I love love. I am a romantic, I am a very pro relationship with lots of healthy boundaries and everything that goes with that. But he was describing how when two people come together, you know, each individual has spent all of this time and effort in their entire lives essentially creating this puzzle, their life is a puzzle, and they’ve had to work so hard to make every puzzle piece fit together. You know, when you’ve got different sections of the puzzle where it’s like work and family and friends and personal growth and you know, all hobbies, like all of these different things. And so they come into the relationship with a fully formed puzzle, or they should be right like none of these two halves of a whole bullshit each human is a whole human, a whole individual. And a healthy relationship is two whole humans coming together to form something even more beautiful. And the way he was describing it was that these two humans are coming into a relationship with their fully formed puzzles. And then they’re wondering why there’s no room left in the puzzle for the other one. And then resentment can build because it’s like, well, my puzzle is done. I’ve had to work so hard to complete this puzzle. And the other person is saying the same thing. He describes it so much better. But again, I’m just using this as an example, because I think it’s really interesting. But he is far more cynical. And I don’t necessarily recommend becoming cynical like he kind of seems to be. But it does present some really interesting questions. Because it’s like, Okay, if you’re really resistant to the relationship working, or you may be not necessarily asking yourself, how can you grow from this relationship? How can you learn from this? And that might mean growing and learning from the ending of that relationship, or that can mean growing and learning within it with someone else, and learning compromise, and coming at things with compassion and curiosity and looking to understand someone on a deeper, more intimate level. And this is tough, especially in the very beginning of a relationship too. But, you know, not walking away too soon. This is where there’s so many questions that come up when it comes to something like a relationship. And this is just one example of where we can be going down a path of personal resistance. It’s a delicate balance and there’s no right or wrong answer here. Only you will know, only you will know. But sometimes, I looked this up from Britannica, and it’s called Occam’s razor. I think I’m saying that right, Occam’s razor and it’s the principle that of two explanations that account for all of the facts, the simpler one is more likely to be correct. And that, to me really applies in a big way to this whole idea of following the path of least resistance sometimes means following the path we are most personally resistant to. Because sometimes we can, you know, be fighting tooth and nail against something that could actually really benefit us in a really beautiful, significant way. And we can be making things so much harder than it needs to be. And that was what came to mind to me was this, this Occam’s Razor. Sometimes there can be a variety of explanations, there could be dueling truths, potentially, that account for all of the facts when you put everything under the microscope. But the simpler one might be more likely to be correct for you. And, in my case, in the example I gave at the very beginning, it was this whole idea of finally delving more into Relationship Coaching. Because you know, there’s all these incredible things that I’ve learned and I love learning, I’m constantly learning more about relationships in a variety of ways. And through different mediums and all of this, I love it so much. And then to be so resistant to it just didn’t even make sense at a certain point. And it’s kind of been threaded through everything that I’ve done up until this point, like the entire idea of human connection has always been at the forefront of everything I do related to business to podcasting, all of that. But sometimes we can also end up attached to our own suffering. And that’s what I mean about sort of attaching to our own stories and attaching to our own pain, like when we’re in pain, sometimes for so long, it can actually become more comfortable. And that sounds weird. But sometimes when you’ve been in pain for so long, you don’t know what it feels like anymore to not be in pain. So the idea of moving away from your pain actually feels really uncomfortable. Because you’ve gotten used to it so that has become your comfort zone. And then we can get really attached to that. And months ago, I posed a question to a friend about if life would ever get any easier, actually two different friends. And one friend in particular, he reminded me that the only constant in life is change. And how we feel about change will determine our suffering. Because if we just always see change as painful, if we are so resistant to change, like there’s resistance coming up again, right? If we are so resistant to change, then anytime anything changes, which is an inevitable part of life, we’re going to suffer, we’re going to be in pain, we’re going to be resistant to making the change to accepting the change. And that’s an issue. Because then you’ll get really used to being in pain all the time, because you’re just gonna be suffering all the time, because that will be the story that you’ve created in your head. So I want to ask you something, I want to pose this question to you and I talk to clients about this sometimes. How is it serving you? If you are in a state of pain and suffering and resistance? How is it serving you to remain in a state of suffering? And that sounds like a weird question because we would think like, Well, I’m not choosing to suffer, like, then we can start listing out all of the circumstances and all of these things. And yeah, there can be some really fucking shitty circumstances, I am not denying that at all. Like, there’s so much compassion in this because especially right now there’s, there’s so many people who have just had a lot thrown at them that is not something I would wish on anybody. But we still are able to choose how we feel about it to a degree and and how we choose to respond to it, maybe that’s a better way of putting it, how we choose to respond to it. And there can be times where we sort of enter this state of again, we may have just sort of been in a state of suffering for so long that we just choose to stay there. And it feels easier to stay there at a certain point and at that point, that suffering is serving you in some way. Because it’s keeping you comfortable. And now there can be a variety of different reasons that can be given here. But you know, without giving a specific example, this is something that we can start to choose. And that starts to serve us. Because we prefer, we’re human, we prefer comfort. So if we allow ourselves to get used to being in a state of suffering, or you know, we want people to feel sorry for us,  the ego can come into play here, all of these things can start to come up. And then when we step outside of that, or somebody points out to us that that’s what we’re doing. It’s like, Whoa, like, first, you can almost have this reaction, like, Fuck you. You don’t know what I’m going through, right? We can all have those moments, of course. But we have to be really honest with ourselves. And ask yourself this, what if things were allowed to be easy? I’ve had multiple coaches teach me that to the point where it’s it’s ingrained in me now, where sometimes when I’m struggling with a problem, if I’m really resistant to something, if you know, if I’m if there’s a lot of change coming up, and I don’t want it I’m like, No, take it back. I don’t want this change. This is not this is not my jam. I have to ask myself, okay. Deep breath, what if it was allowed to be easy? What would that look like? What would that feel like? How would I be behaving? If it was allowed to be easy? If I allowed this to feel easy? What would that look like? What can I imagine that to be? Ask yourself that? It’s a really important question, because we can get so stuck in these states. And that is, is where I was when Lisa and I got on the phone. I was in this, this state that I had been in for a couple months of just feeling stuck, like no forward movement just stuck in my own suffering. And like I said, like she just phrased things for me in a way that I was ready to receive it. Fortunately, because not everybody always is right. And people had said, you know, similar things to me, prior to that, that just had never quite hit for me because I don’t think I was ready to receive it. But she caught me at the right time, and said the right things. And I was like Yeah, I can see out of this now. Because certain, you know, things are allowed to be easy, you are allowed to make things feel easier for yourself, it doesn’t mean life is easy, I will never try to shove that load of garbage down your throat because that’s just not true. But sometimes we make things a lot harder than they need to be. Especially when we are stuck in resistance. Resistance doesn’t feel good, resistance can actually feel physically painful. If it goes on for long enough. It’s like I just like I have to make this change, because I physically cannot tolerate remaining the same at this point. That’s where you hear that phrase. And I’ve used that phrase before where the pain of remaining the same becomes worse than the pain of just making the change. So I’m going to go back to what I said at the very beginning. Sometimes, in following the path of least resistance we have to follow the path we are most personally resistant to I want to leave it at that because I want you to let that sink in and hopefully resonate with you and ask yourself What are you most personally resistant to right now? That could actually be your path forward. Where the universe is practically you know, beating you over the head going like this is where I want you to go, this is what feels good to you. You know that it actually feels good to you, even though you’re having so much resistance, come up right now that you’re fighting it. And ask yourself if you can notice any of those things you’re gonna do. And if you can’t ask the people closest to you, because this is where I’ve had some major revelations more than once over the last few years, where I have been so resistant to something. And someone close to me points out a blind spot. That is so obvious to everyone around me, except for me. I’m like, Oh, yeah, that. I see you. I see you hiding over there. Except it wasn’t hiding. It was in plain sight. For me. I was just resisting it, because I didn’t want to see it. So think about this. And I hope that that metaphor about the river helped you as much as it helped me. It was just such a beautiful way of putting it so simple and so eloquent. And I was like, Yes. Like, I can use that metaphor for so many things now, because it just makes perfect sense to me. So I hope that this is hitting you at a moment when you need to hear it. Because I’ve just been so fortunate lately, I’ve just had so many incredible humans. I have so many incredible humans, and I’ve had others come into my life, especially recently, who have just helped to really yeah, like, highlight some blind spots and push me in the direction I need to go. And I hope that I am able to do that for somebody else as well. So if this helps even one person to move forward on a path that you’ve maybe been resisting, that’s the whole reason for this podcast. So I would love it if you could share this episode with somebody who needs to hear it, share it with somebody who maybe you think is facing some resistance right now. And you never know either. I might add. If you share this episode, there could be somebody who sees it who’s like, Oh my god, that was exactly what I needed to hear today. And you would never have even known it. So it means so much to me. If you can screenshot this, share it over on Instagram, tag me over @emilygoughcoach because I would love to thank you for listening and get to know you a little bit and we will be back soon.

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. It means the absolute world to me and I’m so grateful for any references in the episode and all show notes. Be sure to jump over to room to grow podcast calm, and if this episode touched your heart, it would mean so much if you would take a quick second to hit subscribe, write a review and share on social media over someone who really needs to hear today’s message. It makes such a difference to keep this podcast going so I can continue to bring you amazing content and absolutely incredible guests. Be sure to tag me over on Instagram at Emily golf coach that I can thank you in real time for listening and connecting with you. We’re back every Tuesday and Thursday with new episodes and I’m looking forward to growing with you


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