Tension - the key to unlocking your potential
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Listen, I’m going to cut to the chase real quick before I lose your attention, because this is important and can change the trajectory of your life.
To start creating the things you want in life, you’ve gotta get used to tension.
Practicing this has single-handedly empowered me to stop procrastinating and finally start creating the things that I would love.
The following is my summary/explanation of Tension Seeks Resolution premise of Robert Fritz's The Path of Least Resistance.
WHAT IS TENSION?
As you start going for the things you want to create, for example, a business, writing a book, blogging, asking someone out for a date, giving up smoking etc. you’ll start to feel tension.
Think of it like a stretched elastic band.
On one end holding the elastic band in place is current reality, where you are today.
On the other end is your vision. This can be anything - a business, a lover, a job etc.
Since there is a discrepancy between what you want and what you think you can have or do, this discrepancy causes TENSION.
Now, tension has a tendency to want to resolve i.e. the elastic band wants to pull back.
So, usually what happens is when people start going for their vision, they will start to feel tension and then they give in to it.
I.e. they resolve the tension by letting go of their vision.
Put simply, they can’t handle the tension. Or just as fatal, they think that tension is bad and therefore do everything they can to drop that feeling (yes, all law of attraction folk, I’m talking to you).
I mean, think about it, why haven’t you started doing some of the things that you’ve wanted to?
It’s likely because the thought of doing it, or when you started to do it, you were overcome with thoughts and feelings of how and why you can’t do it, or how it should be and therefore you dropped it. The tension was too much to handle!
You say goodbye to your vision before it’s even seen the light.
What people don’t realise is that this tension is always going to come up for you and the way to overcome it is to move THROUGH your tension. Don’t try to fix it, heal it, do regression therapy, or, most commonly, resign yourself to it!
Just notice it is there and then despite it being there, you STILL do the thing that you are wanting to do.
The steps to becoming a creator are:
Step 1: Notice the tension arise as you start going for what you love
Step 2: Despite it being there, hang with it, and still do the thing you are wanting to do
HOW TENSION CHANGED MY LIFE
When I learnt this, I put it into use almost immediately.
It became almost a competition amongst me and fellow friends of this work as to who could withstand the most amount of tension (Vince, you won by heading straight to L.A. with no cash and no job lol).
Let me illustrate it for you, so you might be able to see how and when it can help you.
VISION: I wanted to live closer to the river in London, with a balcony
TENSION: My tension was that I didn’t want to tell my housemate I didn’t want to stay there anymore, worried it would upset him. Also, I felt like it was going to be too expensive to live by the river and I couldn’t afford it.
ACTION: I did it anyway
END RESULT: I lived in the most amazing apartment for the last 9 months in London by the river, slightly poorer, but with richer lifestyle
VISION: I wanted to go to Africa on a Soul Safari trip with my mentor TENSION: I was a contractor and had already been on leave multiple times. I felt guilty and bad that I would be taking another two weeks off ACTION: Even though I knew it wasn’t good etiquette, I told my employer that I quit my role to allow me to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip END RESULT: I went to Africa and had an amazing experience, and was also offered my job again afterwards
VISION: I wanted to start a business running workshops
TENSION: I didn’t think I was good enough to do it
ACTION: I did it anyway END RESULT: I’ve launched my business and have been improving all the time
VISION: Writing my book, blogging, preparing workshops, delivering the workshops, and other related visions
TENSION: Procrastination sets in big time
ACTION: Despite procrastination slowing me down and every bone and muscle in my body wanting me to give up, I refocus on my vision, and do it anyway
END RESULT: Very long arduous days, but finally doing the things I would love to
Are you getting the idea? When tension comes up, just let it be there. Hang with it, as a mentor of mine would say, and don't resolve the tension.
In other words, don't give in to tension. Don't do what tension is compelling you to do.
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR TENSION?
For each person, tension is going to be quite unique to them.
For me, as I started to create the things I wanted to. My tension (also known as resistance) showed up in the form of:
-telling myself I don’t know what I want
-telling myself I never wanted it anyway
It takes some self-observation to know what form your tension takes.
Yours might look like:
-this isn’t good enough
-this needs to be more perfect
-what will people/my partner/my family think of me
-I'm not equipped enough to do that
There’s almost an endless amount of forms it can take, but for each person, you’ll have only a few very particular patterns.
In fact, your entire way of thinking and acting is a complete pattern!
Your template of how you perceive the world is completely made up by the time you are 4 years old. This can sometimes be known as your self-limiting beliefs.
Babies have an acute sense of reading a person's reactions. For example, your mother might wince when you outshine your older sibling. You then decide to play down yourself in front of your siblings. This learned behaviour, is unconsciously taken with you into your adult life, dulling your own shine, even though your mother isn't there anymore.
This behaviour forms your identity and your view of the world as an adult.
So yes, the way you act today, is entirely the result of your infantile reactions to your environment as a baby.
How accurate, objective or mature do you think your view of the world would be then?
So, as you start creating the things you want in your life and tension starts to arise, because it will, just recognise it as your tendency or pattern, and don't give in to it.
In whichever way your tension or pattern is compelling you to act, don't do that. Instead refocus onto what you would love to create.
As you start to go for the things you would love.
Step 1: Notice the ways in which your tension comes up for you. Just notice it there, but don't resolve the tension.
Step 2: Refocus on what you would love to create.
Happy creating my friends!