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Discussion Forum > Resistance: Is it always possible to wait for resistance to disappear?

Dear Mark (and others)

I did not want to to interrupt your discussion in previous (Random RAF) post, so I post my question here, however it is connected with this discussion.

I have noticed that recently you (Mark) favoured long-lists with standing-out principle. This standing out you define as lack of resistance ("wanting") and readiness - choosing tasks more intuitively, based on feeling of readiness (as pull process).

However especially in working lives, for which many people incl. me try to use your methods, there are many tasks which we resist just for the fact that they ARE boring, difficult and they stay so. I can imagine (and correct me if I am wrong) that your life is now more free, given your lifestyle/retirement etc - that you choose much more of what you want to do than what you *have to* (decided by others, bosses etc) do in your tasklist.

I think that people with more resistant/difficult/not-so-wanting-to-do tasks from everyday workload need some methods *to decide* more rationally (not only base their decisions on feeling of resistance ) - on the contrary they/we need to deal with that resistance (not just to wait for the moment it disappears) because they cannot afford to wait too long - and with some tasks - resistance will never vanish. Given such environments, they cannot work only in similar intuitive manner, or - maybe - they need to balance such intuitive approach with more push one.

For example - when I need to push myself more, I define standing-out NOT as "wanting/lack of resistance" but also as "necessary to do" (combination of both factors) which sometimes *might* mean resistance/discomfort.

Thank you all (and Mark) for your thoughts, comments.
October 22, 2017 at 8:21 | Unregistered CommenterDaneb

Thanks for this. It's an excellent question.

You are right in so far as I am nowadays my own master and can decide what I want to do without reference to anyone else except my family. Also my recent illness made me give up most of the commitments which a retired person takes on - and which are often every bit as demanding as paid employment. In my case they were fundraising for the local church, and acting as publicity officer for the local branch of a national association.

But "standing out" didn't come out of nowhere. As I said in my recent article at I first started using "standing out" with simple scanning in 1997 - twenty years ago.

What was my situation twenty years ago?

(to be continued)
October 22, 2017 at 13:03 | Unregistered CommenterMark Forster

To continue my previous reply:

In 1997 I was working in full-time employment in a job which entailed very long hours visiting clients for charity fundraising. I had also just started training to become a life-coach, a new phenomenon in the United Kingdom in those days, and was starting to take on non-paying clients as a trainee. My intention was to transition into full-time self employment.

The one thing I was quite sure of was that my time management would need to be sharpened up so that I could deal with the huge amount of work that came out of having a full-time job plus a part-time job plus training. It didn't seem to me that most time management advice on offer at the time helped much, so I started to develop my own techniques. My starting place was simple scanning with "standing out".

It took me three years before I became a full-time coach, but by then I'd had a book published, was running seminars, had finished my training and was earning twice as much from my part-time work as I was from my full-time employment. And my speciality was time management.

Now unfortunately as I said in the above article, I didn't really appreciate Simple Scanning fully at the time. In spite of the hugely successful results from it I was more concerned with what I hadn't done than with what I had done. It's only recently that I've fully appreciated that that's completely the wrong way round.

On the plus side, my instincts continued to work in a "simple scanning" way even when I was developing other systems.

So there you are. If you think this is not applicable to your situation, so be it. I've no idea what would have happened if I'd stuck to Simple Scanning back then. I intend to find out where it will take me now.
October 22, 2017 at 20:32 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thank you Daneb for writing this, which was exactly what I was thinking reading Mark's reply to the Random AF thread, and thank you Mark for responding.

Your answer is compelling Mark, and though like Daneb I have a lot of assigned work that I am good at procrastinating, I will try "simple scanning" this week and will report back.
October 22, 2017 at 21:36 | Unregistered Commentervegheadjones
thanks a lot for your detailed reply. I also looked at your article

I will try to experiment with standing-out with more emphasis on instruction to subconscious mind, as you mentioned there. I have not done it so far much. Thus, maybe, I tended to change easy for standing-out. I missed that article before.
October 24, 2017 at 19:58 | Unregistered CommenterDaneb
I have a notion that In standing-out systems, resistance should not factor in at all. If you have a task that you don't want (feeling) to do, but it is important to be done, you will notice that task as you scan by it. In other words, it STOOD OUT. Ignore any question of resistance and obey the rule. Do that thing, even if just a little. ( and if you can't actually progress the task now, at least you can spend a bit of time figuring how or when, and that will move you forward to make it happen in the near future. Do, defer, delete, define, delegate.)

To answer the title question, somethings you never stop resisting. E.g. If your task is to "cut off your nose to spite your face" you may ever always resist that. No waiting or thinking or anything will eliminate your resistance. But if the task is necessary, do it anyway. And if it's both onerous and optional, drop it.
October 25, 2017 at 19:19 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan Baljeu:

<< I have a notion that In standing-out systems, resistance should not factor in at all. >>

I agree with that but not for the reasons you give.

"Standing out" is not in response to the question "What am I not resisting now?"

It's in response to the question "What do I want to do now?" There's no need to factor in resistance to answer that question.
October 25, 2017 at 20:42 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Alan, thanks a lot. That is exactly, how I understood standing-out before. However, from Mark's note about >>"Standing out" is much more like the third exercise with the pencil in the article I linked to in my comment above. <<

it seems to me that his notion is not the same. It is much more intuitive process, real wanting. When I know that something is necessary now (it stands out for me) but I do not *want* to start to do it (resistance) is it standing-out as described here?

As I understood from these articles, standing-out is more readiness+importance+appropriateness. I do not see here much room for resistance (we defined readiness as absence of resistance, didn't we - when we discussed it and Mark wrote blogs about readiness several years ago)?

I am just thinking aloud. I welcome your opinions.
October 25, 2017 at 20:53 | Unregistered CommenterDaneb

It's also important, as I say in the Standing Out article, not to try to define what you mean by "want".
October 25, 2017 at 20:56 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Mark, thanks. And can I ask you - do you sometimes feel resistance (aversion, reluctance) with tasks which clearly stand out for you? That would clarify it for me.
October 25, 2017 at 21:00 | Unregistered CommenterDaneb

No, my subconscious doesn't seem to be including those things in its definition of "want".
October 25, 2017 at 21:47 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
> "Standing out" is not in response to the question "What am I not resisting now?"

> It's in response to the question "What do I want to do now?"

Hm, I think I had been practicing more the "want to do now" way of looking at things as you say.

But my suggestion was not to answer "what am I not resisting now?" but more of not even having a question. Just scan through the list of "what's to do" and anything that jumps off the page is to do regardless of want or resistance. This approach may or may not be effective.
October 25, 2017 at 22:23 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu