I throw a punch at my opponent; suddenly I am on the ground, immediately I spiral up to my feet to go for it again. After 27 years of Aikido practice it still sometimes surprises me how a group of people, many over 40, can pummel each other, do literal rolls in the air, hit the ground over and over again to come out without a scratch.

The few times in my practice I have been injured, each injury was a direct result of too much resistance on my part.
Please enjoy some actual aikido in the clip below! Thanks to Joe Lavelle, Shawn Knoop, and Don Tarr at Indy Aikikai.

Aikido mimics life.

Two things happen when you resist too much:

  1. It makes your opponent resist more – he fights back harder
  2. Your tension makes you more vulnerable to ‘breaking”

There are many ways people resist in everyday life, resulting in unwanted outcomes.  Arguing is an obvious form of resistance but there are other subtle ways we unwittingly create resistance.

Here are five that come to my mind:

  1. Assuming someone else’s motivation or intent

It is almost funny, if it weren’t so sad, how often people assume devious intent as a first response. What about defaulting to  “I trust he had my best interest in mind,” rather than “He is working against me.”  Choose to be in a learning mode assuming positive intent to diminish resistance.  If you discover otherwise, deal with it then.

  1.  Rushing

When you push yourself or others to make something happen faster than natural – it always creates resistance.  What does your body feel like when rushed?  Usually your center is high, breath held; this is an easy way to create more problems and make mistakes.

  1.  Discounting change at the beginning

Ahh…change.  Most change will happen whether you want it to or not. From experiencing change, I know there is always something beneficial. Change wakes people up.  Since you can’t get out of it, you may as well get into it!  If things aren’t changing you are probably stagnating.

  1.  Doubting yourself or fear

The ultimate resistance is standing still out of doubt or fear.  Take small steps to gain confidence, ask questions to shed light on the unknown, and get centered with yourself!

  1.  Making statements contrary to what you really want

Words and the thoughts behind them are powerfully creative.  Stating, “This is awful” causes your mind to assemble evidence of that truth and expand that feeling. Become curious and a problem solver by changing the statement to “What can I do to make this better?” or “I wonder how it was decided to do this in this way?”

What can you add to this list?  Remember when you apply Spiral Impact principles to your everyday life, resistance dissipates!