How to Overcome Internal Resistance

By now you’ve probably heard my fairytale story of getting to the position of Editor of Early to Rise. Boy meets website, boy dreams of having website, boy gets website. But the boy in question, me, just about threw away the opportunity because of internal excuses.

It’s the same story over and over everyday around the world for so many people who are on the verge of achieving their dreams, but ultimately do not succeed, and have only their internal resistance to blame. Today’s lesson is about identifying and overcoming the internal resistance that may be holding you back from the business, family, and life of your dreams.

The story starts over a decade ago when I first stumbled across an issue of Immediately, like you I’m sure, I was fascinated by the lessons taught by our mentor, Michael Masterson. His wisdom, experience, and teaching made the path to success seem so clear. I knew then that one day I wanted to transform my fitness business into something like Early to Rise.

Years passed and my business grew. Eventually, after a few stubborn years of trying to succeed on my own, I finally hired a business coach. His first question to me on our first call was, “What do you want your business to become?”

My answer, “I want to have something like”. That was the first time I had shared it with the universe, the first instance in where I got other people and forces working with me towards my goal.

But the real story started almost four years ago when ETR Publisher Matt Smith and I met in Yanik Silver’s Mastermind group. We got along well from day one, and spent the next two years trying to figure out how to do business with one another. In 2009 I joined the Atlas 400, a private networking group because Matt was a part of it. That gave us more time to hang out in unique locations, like the Superbowl (the legendary Colts-Saints battle), in New York City at the annual Atlas meeting, and even in Lithuania at his annual Young Entrepreneurs camp (which we plan on doing again in July of this year).

But we still couldn’t figure out a solution to doing business together.

Back in October of 2010, Matt and I attended one of Yanik’s wild Maverick Business Adventure trips in Tucson, Arizona. Along with New York Times bestselling author, Tim Ferriss, and over a dozen other interesting entrepreneurs, we learned how to do stunt driving and evasive driving as well as practicing many unique self-defense techniques. At the end of the trip, Matt and I found ourselves in the Tucson airport where we discussed the goals for my business. I reiterated to Matt what I said to my first business coach back in 2006, saying, “I want to have a business like Early to Rise.”

Two months later, Matt and I finally found a way to do business together, agreeing to partner on a daily email newsletter and blog that I started at We planned to deliver amazing free content for six months in order to generate goodwill with readers before we ever considered selling anything. And that’s exactly how things progressed, until one day…

…June 7th, 2011 to be exact, I received this odd email from Matt that said, “If u could own and run ETR. Would you?” (Technically it was a text message sent to my email, so please excuse his grammar.)

Through his extensive network, Matt had stumbled across the opportunity of my dreams. In conversation with Michael Masterson, Matt learned of his desire to leave the business and pass it on to someone else. Matt suggested that he and I acquire the business and continue to grow the ETR legacy.

To this day, the story seems hard to believe, even to me. Thanks to Matt, not only was I getting a chance to run a business “like” the one I always admired, but I was given the chance to have the exact business.

And yet, here’s where I almost decided to throw away my dream.

Matt and I knew that we had to take fast action. This opportunity might disappear as quickly as it appeared. Matt knew that our best course of action was to fly down to Florida immediately to meet with Michael Masterson and to seal the deal.

But I waivered. My mind was full of excuses. Believe it or not, I almost said no to the opportunity because I didn’t want to burden my mother with taking care of my dog for another five days while I continued an already extended work trip. But that’s how your internal resistance works. It allows the flimsiest of excuses to hold you back from achieving your dreams.

That’s the power of the irrational inner voices that team up to become your formidable internal resistance. Those voices, those excuses, have been stopping you from taking action on your dreams since you were a teenager and those voices stopped you from asking someone to prom, or simply raising your hand in math class when you had a question but were too scared to ask.

For some reason, our internal resistance was easily conquered as a child, but as we matured and became self-conscious with age, our internal resistance grew stronger, not unlike the Dark Side of the Force in young Anakin Skywalker.

But it’s time for all of that to change. Your internal resistance has been kicking your butt for too long.

The fact is that most of our internal resistance and excuses are bunk. We believe these excuses are there to protect us, but they are not. For whatever reason our mind generates this resistance, the end result is a suppression of our true growth and development.

Fortunately, in my situation, I had external support in the face of Matt Smith. His dismay in my hesitation was enough to make me realize that every excuse I could offer was worthless.

“Really?” is Matt’s most powerful word of reason when combined with his exasperated look on his face. I’ve probably heard it over a dozen times after giving him flimsy excuse after excuse in various circumstances. It immediately makes me realize that my internal resistance is trying to hold me back, again.

Now I realize you can’t have Matt there helping you through every tough decision in your life. But here’s what you can do.

Take action this week on a big task that is standing in your way. Knock it out of the park and get on with your growth, because at the end of the day, here’s the politically incorrect truth: The ONLY thing holding you back is you. If you are procrastinating, now is it the time to overcome the internal resistance that is holding you back.

As Dan Kennedy once said the following words at a seminar that have stuck with me for years, “The failure to act is much more often the product of inner, emotional resistance than external resistance. To move forward you must give up your story, whether it is excuses about your childhood, lack of education, your “bad luck”, your unsupportive family, your low metabolism, where you live, etc.”

Tough love and harsh words. But helpful words, to those that heed them and really think about why we act the way we do when we want to achieve something.

We all can do better. Myself, Kennedy, and you. I know you can. I believe in you. So take some time, sit at the kitchen table, ask yourself this, and think about it:

“Why do you say that you want something BUT you refuse to act in congruence with achieving it?”

You must DIG in and get to the bottom of the persistent incongruence between what you say and what you do. Be willing to pay the price and end the self-sabotage today. What can you do to turn the tide towards ACTION today?

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. So don’t dwell on past mistakes because that will get you nowhere. Instead, focus on what you can and WILL do today, tomorrow, and the rest of your life, and all of the great things that will happen because of your actions.

Don’t wait for the ‘time to be right’ (i.e. until it’s too late) to take action on your goals. If there’s something you really want to do, then find a way to do it now. Time is running out. Overcome your internal resistance today.

[Ed. Note. Craig Ballantyne is the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a program that shows you how to achieve your financial independence in the new economy. He’s also shared the 10 books that have had the greatest impact on his business and philosophies in this list here.]