There will always be opposition

Have you ever encountered someone who doesn’t agree with your point of view or see things the same way you do? I’m sure you’ve experienced the tension that lies when you have an idea but know someone is going to challenge you. This is what makes the world a beautiful place, but it can annoy us and stress us out. We can probably agree with this statement: there will always be someone who does not approve our work.

So, if it’s true there will always be opposition, how then might we adjust our behavior?

If it’s true there will always be at least one person who doesn’t like what we’re up to, what might we need to consider in our mindset and thinking?

If it’s true all people will not see things the same way we do, what’s next?

Adjusting our behavior

One of the ways we can deal with opposition is to adjust our behavior. As humans, we have the ability to change the narrative, change our thinking, and see the world differently. Some of this happens in our thinking patterns or in the invisible world. Some of this happens in the external or physical world. How we behave exists in both of these worlds.

Since there will always be opposition, make an agreement with yourself that you will not sulk or get discouraged when you hear someone who doesn’t like what you said. There will always be people who don’t get you, and you knew that beforehand! If you didn’t know that, it’s true, right? We can’t live every moment of our lives in terms of those who oppose us.

Since there will always be opposition, change your surroundings. Switch things up. You don’t have to have your desk in that dark corner. Your room does not have to be painted that color. Make a simple tweak to your surroundings to help you remember you have the ability to change your surroundings. Charles Duhigg illustrates this in his book Smarter Faster Better where he describes how members of the military were given the ability to rearrange the furniture in their living quarters. This gave each person a sense of autonomy and a deeper sense of control. You can do the same.

Since there will always be someone who doesn’t like your work, decide now that you won’t let that freeze you up. The last thing you should do is freeze up and stop making stuff. That’s what the opposition wants. Decide on the front end that you will create art. If there are people who don’t get it, as Seth Godin would say, it wasn’t for them.

Mindset and thinking questions... (Invisible world)

As you think about your internal dialogue or your invisible world, you can structure how you want to think about your work.

How much attention are you going to give the opposition? Decide before it destroys your day.

How much attention will you give your support team? Know who they are so you can run to them in emergencies.

What voices ultimately matter most in your life? Brené Brown suggests having a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of paper with the voices that are most encouraging in your life. It’s small on purpose. Let them know they are on your square and keep them close, especially when you feel discouraged.

What’s next? (Physical world)

If it’s true there WILL be opposition, Get to work. What are you waiting for?

Stop complaining. You knew this wouldn’t be easy.

Butt in chair. Thanks, Anne Lamott

Find out what inspires you — and come back to it when you’re discouraged. Keep a rainy day file.

Dealing with Resistance

Anytime we do important work, we WILL face Resistance

It is pretty much a guarantee. 

People won’t like what we’re doing. They may even let us know (to our face). They’ll cheapen our hard efforts and make us feel bad. And a common tendency would be to compromise — to give in and give up. Some of us may even take those comments personally.

Sometimes Resistance is loud. People will tell us they don’t like what we’re doing and ask a million questions about our motives. They may hold some kind of campaign and protest. Or they’ll suggest that what we’re doing isn’t important. 

Other times (maybe more often?), Resistance is quiet and passive. Nothing specific is said, but there’s a lack of involvement or excitement that shows us they don’t like what we’re doing. Resistance can even take place in our own mind.

SO... what do we do about it?

Before I offer a powerful tool to keep us on track, here are 4 steps for dealing with Resistance:

1. Recognize Resistance is inevitable. It will show up. It’s not going to go away. Ever. That means what we are doing is starting to work and it’s being noticed. 

2. Embrace your team and community. You have a group of people right here in this thread who wants to help you succeed. If you’re taking something personally, LET US KNOW. You are not alone! We are here for you! If you face resistance, we can be praying for you, and help you lead.

3. Greet Resistance when it shows up. The worst thing we can do is ignore the Resistance. Begin by saying “hello Resistance!” when it shows up in whatever form it takes. And in your head, just whisper to yourself “I think I’m facing Resistance right now.” This simple phrase activates the part of your brain that is more deliberate and thoughtful rather than fast and thoughtless. 

4. Stay focused on our end game. Specifically on Sunday morning’s our end game is that people would think “I’m coming back next week.” We must stay focused on this and remind ourselves and our team members that every Sunday is someone’s first Sunday and we want to eventually bring them into a growing relationship with Christ. 

A powerful tool for staying on track... 

Clarify the win. 

Another way to deal with Resistance is to clarify the win. Everyone wants to win. When we are clear on what it looks like to win, people can better evaluate what we’re doing. Most people are already evaluating what we are doing based on their own inner-defined win. Sometimes this is what there’s Resistance — what we’re doing doesn’t match THEIR win.

Your role: Restate the win frequently. It may feel like we are a broken record at times, but this just means what we are saying is starting to spread. We must remind people why we are so fanatic about making the Sunday experience “irresistible” so we can let God do the work only he can do. 

QUESTION: Have you experience Resistance in your role as a leader? 

QUESTION: Are you prepared to greet Resistance this week and next? (And the week after that?) 

QUESTION: How do you deal with Resistance when it shows up?

(Inspired by Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and Andy Stanley’s 7 Practices)

Resistance as positive evidence

When we encounter Resistance, we might get discouraged conclude that our idea or project is being rejected and a failure. We interpret Resistance as negative evidence.

But what if we counted Resistance as positive evidence?

Resistance is evidence that our idea just might stick...

Resistance is evidence that our art isn’t for everyone...

Resistance is evidence that we haven’t reached enough people yet...

Resistance is evidence that you shipped and got work out into the world...

Resistance is evidence that difficult people will always exist and show up in any area where you show up...