Resistance is a wily, seventeen-headed monster, third-cousin twice-removed from the Should Monster. Resistance makes the Should Monster look like a lollipop-waving, red-headed girl with pigtails and a polka dot sundress. What makes resistance so deadly? It’s silent. You know you’re blocked, but you don’t know precisely why or how to get unblocked.

My resistance was to charging the big bucks for my work. As long as I battled at it, I kept fighting myself, banging my head against the wall of my own self-worth. Every time I would affix my signature to my consulting invoices which said “I certify this is an accurate report of the time spent,” I would wither. I felt like a fraud. It must’ve been years I spent talking to my friends, therapist, and coach, trying to climb my way out of this black pit of self-loathing.

Finally, I heard for the first time the voice of the demon which had been restraining me. It said “If you make big money, you have to deal with all of the people you disappointed. You see, I founded a company in 2014 to make women’s denim jeans with the aid of artificial intelligence to determine the size and pattern. We opened a store in downtown Portland and took a few hundred orders. When our financing fell through, we ran out of money more suddenly that we had prepared for. I had taken $80K as a personal loan, and even after that had to put the final payroll on my personal credit card. Several dozen customers didn’t get their orders they’d prepaid for. We wrote and instructed them to file a Visa chargeback to get a refund. Every few days I’d get an email saying another customer had file a claim, but not everyone got their money back. I’d been carrying the guilt and shame over not fulfilling my commitment since – that much I knew.

Only recently did I realize that I’d been carrying the money I owed to my friend as a shield against facing that disappointment. Resistance keeps us bound with the secrets we keep from ourselves. It’s the beliefs so deeply held that they don’t even get an audible voice. I didn’t know there was a belief in me that said “As long as I have this $40k of debt, surely no one can be mad at me for not giving them their $180 back.” Well, obviously, they can and probably were still mad. Resistance doesn’t have to make any logical sense and usually doesn’t.