Move the needle: Resistance


By CJ McClanahan

What drives you crazy?

It turns out I wince every time I hear someone make an excuse for not getting something accomplished.

The reason I find excuses so frustrating is after coaching hundreds of executives, I am 100 percent certain they are the main reason people struggle to achieve their goals.

Intellectually speaking, most of the business challenges I address are easy to fix. Sales are slow? Increase your prospecting. Employees aren’t doing their jobs? Reset expectations and hold them accountable. Customers don’t come back often enough? Ask them to return.

It’s not rocket science.

Unfortunately, most people know what to do, they just don’t enjoy the behavior required to change, and thus make an excuse to remain the same.

This message was inspired by a book I recently finished, “The War of Art,” by Steven Pressfield. He argueswithin everyone, there is a force called “resistance” determined to keep you from any meaningful achievement.  He points out this resistance “presents us with a series of plausible, rational justifications for why we shouldn’t do our work.”

I believe this resistance is real, and see it most often when someone tells me they didn’t accomplish a task because they “ran out of time.”

That’s nonsense. Time is the great equalizer. We all have 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. It’s impossible to run out of time.

When you allow yourself to use that excuse, what you’re really saying is you allowed something else to take the place of the activity you didn’t accomplish. You don’t have a time problem; you have a prioritization problem.

There’s only one way to fix this issue. Get crystal clear about what’s really important in your life, and keep in mind not everything can be important. You can’t put in the most hours at the office and spend quality time with your family. Something’s got to give.

In other words, you’re going to have to learn to say “no” and get comfortable with the consequences. I will promise you one thing for certain; clarity around your priorities will cut your stress level in half. In addition, it will bring more joy and contentment to the people and experiences really important.

As with most things in life, the solution is simple. All you need to do is execute.


“Move the needle” is a regular column by author, speaker and trainer, CJ McClanahan. 

To learn more about CJ, please visit or call 576-8492.


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