Push Through or Go with the Flow?
Push Through? Or go with the flow? Our days are often filled with moments where we are repeatedly faced with the choice: Do we forward our agenda or go where the universe is leading us?
We all deal with this in small ways everyday. Going with the flow can look like letting that car go in front of us, deferring to where our partner wants to go to dinner, allowing our friend who needs to talk monopolize the conversation. No big deal, right?
What happens when it is a big deal? What happens when you are pushing through on a deadline? What happens when you have a target you are working toward and a seeming obstacle pops up to block you from your objective? What do you do then?
Deciding to push thru is called for sometimes, for sure. But how do you know when not to push through it and when to go with the flow?
When faced with this choice, the first thing you need to know is which of the three types of resistance it is you are facing:
- a minor nuisance that is simply occurring around you
- the natural resistance present whenever you are moving into a new space, or
- a literal course correction telling you “don’t go that way.”
The trouble is there’s no way to tell the difference between the three types of resistance based solely on circumstances. As with all things in life, there is often more going on than what you see on the surface.
Learning to discern between different types of resistance to going with the flow takes mastery. Here are examples of each of the types of resistance from my own life and the tools and techniques I used to move through them.
1. “It’s around me but not about me” situations.
I was scheduled on a flight back to Denver from San Diego and the airline had a major mechanical malfunction resulting in the airplane cabin being filled with jet fuel. I was returning to Colorado for a one day commitment after attending an event there in San Diego before heading to an appearance in Las Vegas midweek the following week.
Now, I have never been able to buy into the whole law-of-attraction “you create everything” conversation. Our lives bump up against the lives of others constantly. You are the creator of your experience but not necessarily every detail of your reality. Creating your experience is about being able to command your experience regardless of the circumstances. See the difference?
So, my flight was ultimately canceled and there were literally no seats left available that day. Connecting through another airport didn’t work because it wasn’t going to get me into Denver that night. My choices were to wait until the next day (the day I needed to be in Denver in the first place) but with limited availability, layovers and general travel time buffers, it was looking at burning a good additional twelve hours traveling.
The first available direct flight was Monday (it was a Saturday when this happened) on which I already had a full client load scheduled. Choosing this option would create the trickle down effect that would impact many more people than just myself.
On top of which, since I would be turning around and leaving for Vegas just two days later all that activity would still result in little more than busyness. I would only have one day at home in Colorado before having to turn around and leave again. Nope, being on the road is not all that glamorous after all people!
So, what’s a girl to do?
Take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
My choices were to keep my eye on only the next objective of getting back to Colorado and push through to reach the goal “no matter what” or I shift my vision. What is the ultimate objective? What am I really going for here?
Find the path of least resistance.
At that point my priorities became maintaining my own inner peace, showing up to serve my clients and arriving at the event in Vegas at my best. The path of least resistance was to fly directly to Vegas a few days later instead of wasting two entire days traveling. Activity is not productivity after all!
2. The natural resistance present when you are going to a new place.
My team and I were under a deadline preparing to debut our powerful assessment, the Divine Profits Quiz. Wouldn’t you know it, the technology fought back. (If I never hear the words “we’ve never seen this before” again in my life it will be too soon!) For two days, we couldn’t get logged in to the platform and were getting extremely nervous about making our deadline. What were we going to do?
Keep your eyes on the prize.
There was a lot that had gone into this project – time, energy, and money. Meeting this deadline was not optional! It can be so easy to get waylaid and discouraged unless you are being driven by something that is deeper and more meaningful than surface motivations.
What does it mean to push through
When I am working with clients, facilitating groups or creating content, I am truly in my zone of genius. I can work for hours on end and not feel drained. Being on the computer and dealing with technology is the entirely opposite experience for me and a price I am willing to pay in the short term for the bigger vision.
Keeping your eye on the prize is not the same as pushing through. Determination and dedication have a different felt sense. One that is driven by deep meaning and purpose. There’s no pushing or striving; rather there’s a calm knowing that you must not be deterred. You are up to something important!
3. “Don’t go that way” signs.
Most “don’t go that way” examples are quite complex. On top of which they tend to compound until we get the message. In this examples, it took me awhile to get the message…
A dear friend, Jennifer, was hosting her first three day event that I was excited about attending. Another one of our friends, Michelle, was speaking on the final day. I had promised to be there to support her as well.
During that time, I was in the midst of enrollment for our Divine Coordinates® Activation Program. For all intents and purposes we were also down one team member due to a family emergency. There was a lot of slack to pick up while our newest team member was getting up to speed and I was definitely torn between conflicting priorities.
That final morning, I checked in with my intuition and got that I should arrive at noon, giving me time to take care of some things that only I could handle at that point. Due to my commitment to Michelle, rather than just listening to my intuition, I messaged another friend helping with the event and asked what time Michelle was going on. She responded back that Michelle was going on at 10:20am.
That clearly did not match the message I got from my intuition about arriving at noon. I felt I had to keep my word and get there earlier. So, I was pushing through to get as much accomplished as possible and headed that way but I had to get gas and I needed a latte.
As soon as I got on the road it literally felt like roadblock after roadblock was popping up. Something was wrong with the gas pump and it took fifteen minutes to fill. I would be a few minutes late but I would still see most of her talk.
Next, I headed for my latte. For some reason, I didn’t take my first sip for several blocks. Heartbreak. They had made me the wrong coffee. As I mentioned, I needed that latte…. so I turned around to go back to get it fixed. Now I was going to be lucky if I got there for any of Michelle’s talk!
Drop the agendas and expectations.
Push through it?
Why was I not finding any flow? Why was I meeting only resistance? I was pushing through instead of listening to my intuition and following the energy; going with the flow. I had conflicting priorities. Instead of staying connected to what was happening for me, I was making up a story about being a “good friend” and being there to support both Jennifer and Michelle.
Running agendas and trying to fulfill on expectations (internal or external) are sure ways to get pulled off your path. If you are going to live a life that is truly yours, it is imperative that you stay aware of when external expectations are pulling you out of alignment from your purest priorities. And, when not to push through it.
Stay connected to your purest priorities.
Minor or major roadblocks – unless they are of the first variety of resistance – are a sure sign that you may not be following your own personal path. Will there always be smooth sailing when you are on path? No. Please refer to the second type of “up-level” resistance 😉
However, when you are in alignment and on path there will be more ease than effort, more flow than force and more power in your presence. Resistance is inevitable; sanity is a choice!
Pushing through is a standard of being for most everyone. While we are encouraged to push through nearly every intense event we face, there might just be another way that would benefit us more. Will you push through? Or go with the flow?