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21 Phrases People Who Resist Taking Action Use

by Vishnu

This train's on Indian time. What's your excuse mate?

Ahhh…you’re back for more, eh?

What’s happened since we last spoke about delay and resistance? Did you start that blog? Kick off that business? Fire your stockbroker? Un-friend the deadbeat “friends” on Facebook?

To those of you who simply say, “screw it, I’m just not going to do it right now no matter what my attorney or Vishnu says”, you’ve embraced resistance and procrastination in your life. The bigger problem is for everyone else who’s in denial about resistance.

The language of resistance.

Resistance is putting things off in your life which you need to be doing but are not, for some strong underlying reason. It’s why you don’t take the garbage out until 4:59 a.m. (1 minute before pick-up time), why you never go to your in-laws house for dinner and why you keep library books with you until you receive an ‘intent to sue’ letter from the library. It’s why you don’t go to the dentist, why you stopped going to church and why you’ll never go on a diet.

The problem with resisting action is that it’s easy to overlook the language we use to delay. We can be incredibly creative in putting off tasks. Language is one cue that can help show us how clever we are when resisting action.

While the examples I share below may be over the top, the 21 trigger phrases I suggest (they’re italicized and underlined) are phrases we may be using regularly to resist action.

Which of these phrases have you said to yourself lately?

1. I really should become an A-list actor and do a movie with Brad Pitt. (My friend, Amy, just wrote about why you need to stop ‘should-ing’ your life away.)

2. I need to give up my Wall Street job and save children in Sudan.

3. If I had enough time, I would start a business that would allow people to post photos of their faces online and then create a social media platform where they can connect with each other based on shared likes and interests.

4. If I was a millionaire, I’d hire Tim Brownson to move into my guest house and be my life coach and spiritual advisor.

5. If I only could wake up in the mornings meditate, I could find inner peace and reach enlightenment by the end of the year.

6. I could run a triathlon if I really wanted; I’d do 3 a year and probably set some world records.

7. I’d like to travel to France, climb the Eiffel tower, walk over to the Pierce Brosnan-looking businessman staring out into the streets of Paris and tell him that we were destined to be with each other.

8. If God had wanted it, I’d have a house golf-course side in Palm Springs too.

9. When I meet the right agent, publisher and editor, I should be able to start writing my New York Times best seller.

10. If I had gone to school for that, I would have probably dropped out of Harvard and started Microsoft in a garage.

11. Once the housing market rebounds, I’m going to save up a little bit of money to buy a couple rental properties in the Florida Keys.

12. I need to stop working until 9 p.m every night and see my 2 year-old twins a couple nights a week.

13. One day, I’m going to start eating vegetables, lose 100 pounds and audition to be the guy who replaces Jared on those Subway commercials.

14. I love the idea of going into work at the post office, telling my boss to ‘stuff it’ and start that around the world overnight delivery service I’ve always dreamed of. (Actually, I know a blogger who did just that, with some slight variations of course). Milo said goodbye to the civil service, gave them plenty of notice about his departure and now is a full-time freelance copywriter. He didn’t just love the idea but he made it happen!)

15. I must forgive my third grade teacher for beating me in class every week when I was growing up and I must stop casting spells on her via this voodoo doll I had shipped over from the Caribbean islands.

16. I’m going to stop partying every week night til 2 a.m. at the clubs, spending my hard-earned money on booze and late night Denny’s runs.

17. When the new year rolls around, I’m going to stop smoking, turn vegan, drink organic water, cut out carbs, move out of my Mom’s basement, go up and see my Mom weekly and get a job!

18. If I knew people, I’d be in the U.S. Senate too and would have been Vice President by now instead of that Joe Biden guy.

19. My dream is to quit this waitressing gig in my hometown of Otis, Kansas and perform those country western songs I sing around the campfire to a live audience. (What if your dream was to quit your job, move to Japan and become a ninja? Yeah, I know someone who did that.)

20. Once the kids are grown, I’m going to give up my career as a trucker and really get serious about raising goats and selling them.

21. I would like to travel the world and teach people languages when I retire in 20 years. (One globe-trotter who didn’t wait 20 years and is teaching languages while she travels is my friend, Maria. If you want to learn Spanish online, she’s a Skype call away.)

We can’t knock out resistance in our lives unless we learn to identify the language we use to resist. That was my stab at common resistance phrases I’m familiar with and hell, may have even used at different points in my life.

Did I miss any? What words or phrases do you use to resist taking action in your own life? Let me know in the comments below. 

By the way, do you love goats? If you do, check out what rush hour looks like on the Costa Rican farm that I’m living at, Morning Rush Hour on the Farm. Also, check out a recent guest post I did on Bjorn’s blog, Culture Mutt.

* Photo by Passetti