Resistance vs Reluctance

Whether you’re leading a client or leading yourself, it’s helpful to be able to spot the difference between resistance and reluctance when faced with inaction.

Resistance is the fear we feel when we create something new. Steven Pressfield gives us this great rule of thumb: “The more important a call of action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” We don’t act because we’re uncomfortable with the unknown and terrified of what might happen.

Reluctance is the unwillingness to do something. We don’t act because we’re simply not interested. Often, this is due to a lack of clarity or a misalignment between goals, actions, and values. Or, maybe we’ve changed our minds and want something different!

On the surface, they both look like inaction. But they’re caused by different things and thus need different treatment.

Getting clear on which you’re dealing with can help you ask better questions, provide better support, and get moving.