Do you hold yourself back from your hopes and dreams? Have you ever allowed fear and doubt to prevent your dreams from becoming a reality? How often do you allow your worries to pollute your daily experience of life?

When we allow fear, worry or doubt to take the lead, it’s challenging to feel good while navigating life. When we hold ourselves back from feeling good in life, we move into a place of resistance. Our resistance often draws in more fear, worry and doubt.

If we continue focusing on what we don’t want, the momentum builds and we become more resistant. Our resistance holds us back from feeling good and enjoying the experiences we truly want in life. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s one we can break at any time.

Breaking the cycle of resistance requires that we rise to the occasion of our lives. It requires that we care more about how we feel than anything else. We must use our feelings as a guide to get on the path of least resistance.

When we are less resistant, we are more open to focus on what we do want. Directing our attention to what we do want, helps us move with our lives – instead of pushing against our lives.

When we are in resistance this all can sound like a huge leap of faith – in a way it is. The real question to ask yourself is: how do I want to feel right now?

Chances are, you don’t want to feel worse – you want to feel better. Each of us is in charge of how we choose to feel in life. If you know you want to feel good, then it’s simply a matter of practicing getting more comfortable feeling good.

Here are the practices I’m using to move out of resistance and feel good in my daily life. Give them a try and see what opens up for you.

Practice #1: Fear is a Gift

Changing the way we view fear is a gift we can give ourselves. Fear is an emotion that’s hard to hide. The more we feel it, the greater it grows. Fear is an intense feeling that evokes a physical response. The fact that we can feel fear on a physical level is the hidden blessing. The intensity of the feeling can be used as a wake-up call to tune inward, regroup and change the momentum of our thinking. Fear is our sign that we’ve separated from our inner truth and it’s time to realign.

The point isn’t to feel the fear and do it anyway. The real work is to get in tune with our own inner truth and guidance system. When we are aligned, we trust in our steps forward despite not knowing what will happen next. When we move with the ebb and flow of our life, we move out of resistance and fear.

Think of resistance as a giant rock at the head of a river. If we are scared of the current in the river, imagine that we decide to swim upstream toward the rock. When we finally reach the rock, we are exhausted and even more petrified because we pushed so hard against the force of the river. We cling to the rock because we’re afraid to do anything else. Then we witness other people having fun in the river. They are enjoying the ride as they float downstream with the current. Life is like this too. We simply need to trust in ourselves, find our point of least resistance and start there.

Added Daily Practice:

Next time you feel fear, ask yourself: what do I truly want? How do I want to feel in this situation? What is one small step I can make now that will help me align with what I truly want?

Practice #2: When in Doubt, Switch Gears

When we are overcome with doubt, it can be challenging to know what we truly want. In this scenario, we can take a break from what feels heavy and hard by switching gears. In today’s noisy world, we’ve turned distraction into a way of life. Usually distracted living doesn’t contribute to our well-being – it can lead to procrastination, feeling disconnected and being overwhelmed. But with intention, we can use distraction as a tool we actually benefit from.

Despite our best efforts to focus on what we want, sometimes we can still feel stuck and resistant. In this case, it can be beneficial to simply divert our attention elsewhere. The idea is to make our distractions healthy, not harmful. When we switch gears, we stop the momentum of resistant and doubt-filled thoughts.

Taking a break from doubt can create the opening for clarity and connection to our inner truth. It feels good to feel good – when in doubt do something that feels good.

Added Daily Practice:

Instead of lamenting over doubt, shelf your doubt and divert your attention to a healthy pastime.

Take a nap, read a book, get outside, listen to music, dance, play with your kid or pet, or do something creative. If you meet up with a friend, don’t spend the whole time venting and fixating on your doubt. Just do something that’s healthy and will help you change the overall vibe of your thinking and mindset.

Practice #3: Use Feelings to Guide Presence and Alignment

In order to live a life where we are present and aligned with our truth, we have to start waking up to how we feel. How we feel creates the tone of our life experience, not the other way around. When we make that connection, everything becomes easier to navigate. Our feelings are powerful. When we become aware of what we are feeling on a regular basis, it’s easier to course-correct and get on the path of least resistance.

When we are in alignment with our inner truth, we feel good. But what about the rest of the time? When we feel judgmental, stuck in resistance, frustrated, angry, etc. we can use these feelings as our guide too. All of our feelings become a gift when we see them as a sign that it’s time to re-align with our inner guide.

When we are in alignment, our inner wisdom will lead us toward more ease and grace. This isn’t to say we won’t continue to feel sad, mad or scared – we are human beings and so we get to experience the whole spectrum of feelings. When we are aligned and we allow presence to shine on our fears and problems, we begin seeing them in a different light. They may not go away, but their intensity fades.

We are always evolving and our experience is constantly changing. When we use our feelings as a guide, we create more self-awareness. When we care about how we feel, we start seeing that we have a say in how our experience of life will play out. With presence and alignment, it becomes easier to see that the path of least resistance is always available to us.

Added Daily Practice:

Start your morning by feeling good immediately. Bring your awareness to 3 things you are grateful for in the moment. Allow yourself to feel grateful. The more you lean in and feel gratitude, the more momentum will carry over into your day. When you feel yourself in resistance, use the above practices. Either focus on what you do want, or switch gears and do something you know will feel good. When we practice becoming aware of our feelings in our body, we strengthen our presence. When we are present and not caught up in the hard story, it’s easier to feel good.

What about you, what is your access point on the path of least resistance?


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  • Emily Madill is an author and certified professional coach, ACC with a BA in business and psychology. Emily is one of Thrive Global's Editors-at-large and a coach at BetterUp. She has published 11 titles in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. You can find her writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul:Think Positive for Kids; Thrive Global; The Huffington Post; TUT. com; Best Self Magazine; MindBodyGreen; The Muse;; TinyBuddha; Aspire Magazine and others. Emily has a private coaching practice and an online program offering courses that support others to create lasting habits around self-love, well-being and all things related to time and weekly planning. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband, two sons and their sweet rescue dog Annie. Learn more at: