Seth Godin in Seattle: Fighting the Resistance

June 30, 2011

Last Friday, Peter, Alyssa, and I had the opportunity to see Seth Godin here in Seattle at the ACT Theater. We also attended with five of our thinkspace members, Mirko Freguia, Andrew Spottswood, Javier Palamo, Ali Spain, and Matt Heinz.

Seth Godin is the famous author of Linchpin, Permission Marketing, Tribes, Poke in the Box, Purple Cow, and more. I consider Godin to be a total thought leader in the realm of self-motivation and innovation.
During the talk I wrote down pages of notes, insights, and quotes from Godin. One thing that stood out to me the most was,
“When you feel the resistance, do the exact opposite of what it wants you to do. Listen to that voice. When you hear that voice you know you’re on to something.”
Godin talks about the resistance in a few of his books and in his blog posts quite frequently.  The resistance is what Godin refers to as, “The lizard brain, your prehistoric brain stem, the part of your brain that is responsible for revenge, fear, and anger. The lizard brain is eternally vigilant, trying to keep people from noticing you (which is dangerous). The lizard brain hates failure, and thus it hates creativity or the launch of anything that might make a fuss (which can lead to failure)” Source.
I experience the resistance in all realms of my life, and I experience it quite frequently (I’m pretty sure most humans do). I find it fun and liberating to fight the resistance by doing the exact opposite of what it’s telling me to. However, remembering to fight the resistance is part of the reason why the lizard brain usually wins. It’s so important to listen to that resisting voice and dig deeper into what that voice is saying. When you feel the resistance ask yourself, “What am I resisting exactly?” Is it fear of rejection? Fear of hard work? Fear of (fill in the blank)? Whatever it is, learning more about what you naturally resist is useful insight into our self-awareness. I believe that it’s impossible to change something until you become aware of it first. Kind of like, “The first step is admitting you have a problem.”


Picture of thinkspace