6 Steps to get out of resignation!

Recently I saw a short speech of Matt Damon, the famous US actor. In his speech he analogously said „The government thinks that civil disobedience is the problem. But this is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the number of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government…” Wise words, because this world could in fact be a different one if more people were more “civil disobedient”. This means nothing else than lowering your own numbness bar, feeling the pain about certain conditions and taking action instead of resigning.

Resignation seems to be a topic affecting many people to a smaller or bigger extent. It can be the resignation about the current circumstances on Earth, ranging from wars, climate change, flows of refugees to destruction of nature and suppression, or it can be about the resignation in your own life, e. g. a boring, stressful job, an unfulfilling relationship or annoying neighbors.

It is helpful at this point to clarify what resignation actually means. Wikipedia defines resignation as follows: “(…) since the middle of the 19th century resignation describes the human attitude resp. mood of complying in an inevitable situation, e. g. in (felt) hopelessness.”

When you resign, you give up. You give up the hope for change and think that you can’t change things anyway. Consequently you become a victim of circumstances. When you resign with regard to a specific topic then you have stopped believing in your own power and instead give your authority to other people or the situation itself and rest on the sentence “Nothing will ever change” or “Who am I to change this?”. Being a victim of circumstances and complying with these certainly holds a special benefit. When you resign and thus step into the victim role, you get attention, you don’t have to make decisions, you don’t have to take responsibility and can instead keep on whining and complaining. However, the only thing happening in that case is that you get older while the overall situation won’t change. When you resign, you try to somehow survive in a swamp of emotions.

Many people are not aware of the fact that resignation is a mixture of feelings, which – supposed they are separated from each other and clearly felt and expressed – include valuable energy and information so that you can follow a new direction. Yet we haven’t learned anything about this distinction with regard to feelings, neither in the kindergarten, nor in school, at university or in the job. The opposite is the case. There are numerous people, such as irresponsible media bosses, politicians, religious leaders (sometimes even people in your direct, personal surroundings) who have a strong interest in us staying numb and not becoming aware of our actual feelings about the conditions in our life or on Earth. Why? Well, so that we keep on resigning and thus stay controllable and manipulable.

The majority of people has learned to stick to predetermined, social norms and rules, to not stand out and thus be “civil obedient”. Specific social rules are certainly useful. However, the civil obedience has reached a level that makes people sick and destroys the Earth. Resignation, depression, burnout, all these are phenomena that have increased considerably during the last years.

Civil disobedience – as Matt Damon puts it – does however not mean that you now start breaking all rules and begin to fight the current system or your direct circumstances and become a rebel. It is not about that. It is rather about finding your way back to your own authority and power and to responsibly use the energy and information locked in resignation or depression as fuel for new actions.

Here are 6 steps to get out of resignation and the connected survival mode and get into a new mode of creating and living.

  1. Admit that you have resigned
  2. Learn to be centered
  3. Consciously take possession of your feelings
  4. Take radical responsibility
  5. Use the power of choosing to go a new way
  6. Use your feelings consciously to take action

1. Admit that you have resigned
To get out of resignation it is first of all necessary to admit that you actually HAVE resigned with regard to a specific situation. You have resigned when you know sentences in your life such as:

  • Yes the situation is not ideal, but I can’t change it.
  • I don’t think I can do much on my own.
  • He/she will not change anyway.
  • It’s better to do this job / be in this relationship…, than having none at all.
  • I would really like to change something, but don’t know how. So I rather leave everything as it is.
  • I am powerless against him/her/them. I can’t do anything at all.

If you know sentences like these then you have resigned and are victim of the circumstances.

2. Learn to be centered
When you are not centered, you are adaptive. When you are adaptive you give away your own authority and power and become a game ball. Most of us have already learned as children to give our power away, e. g. to authority figures such as parents or teachers. By doing so we were no longer dangerous for the other persons. However, to get out of resignation it is essential that you get your own authority and power back. How can you center yourself? Start by becoming aware of the fact that you have a so called energetic center that has originally the size of a grapefruit and is movable. We often put this energetic center into our head, because we tend to continuously think about all kinds of stuff. After having localized your energetic center, use your intention to consciously put it on your physical center, which lies in the middle of the body at the level of the belt buckle. This takes a certain practice, but after a short time you will already get a sense for it (You find more about centering in the book The Power of Conscious Feelings by Clinton Callahan).

3. Consciously take possession of your feelings
The third essential step is about consciously owning your feelings again. This means that you learn again to consciously feel and get familiar with the four big feelings territories (anger, joy, sadness and fear). To do this you first need to shift your perspective with regard to feelings. In our society the misconception that feelings are not okay has been drummed into us. Anger is said to be irrational, destructive, uncivilized (!), dangerous and unprofessional. Sadness is – according to the general opinion – weak, emotional, drags others down and is also unprofessional, while fear is considered to be cowardly, instable, paralyzing, incompetent and nerve-racking. Joy on the other hand is okay to a certain degree. Yet when you show too much joy you are unrealistic, childish, silly, naive and don’t take life seriously.

Resignation is oftentimes a mixture of 2 or even 3 feelings over a longer period of time. In most cases anger and sadness are mixed, sometimes also fear, which then turns into a paralyzing feelings lump in your body and makes you immovable. However, when you separate the feelings from each other you get access to the energy and information the feelings carry. In order to untangle these feelings it is first of all necessary to adopt a new attitude with regard to feelings. The new assumption, which most people haven’t learned, is: Feelings a neutral energy and information that serve you. You need for example your anger to set clear boundaries, make decisions, say yes/no, discover injustice, take action and go the next step. Sadness is a great feeling you need for sharing authentically, being vulnerable, letting go of things, developing compassion and giving space to others. Fear serves you in the way that with fear you can recognize danger, evaluate risks, be present and attentive, stay in nothingness and try new things. With joy on the other hand you can be enthusiastic, inspire others, experiment, follow you vision and go forward. 

With this new perspective on feelings you can finally untangle the mixed feelings coming up with resignation. In a safe, held space you can energetically pull apart the feelings lump of resignation, which might e. g. sit in your chest, with your fingers and then clearly express why your feel angry, sad and probably afraid. To learn to consciously feel again means to first of all learn to feel and express each of the four feelings separately up to 100% maximum. Thus you get the experience in your body that you are bigger than each of the feelings and that they consequently don’t own you anymore. So far resignation might have had a strong grip on you and probably felt overwhelming or paralyzing and helpless. As soon as you feel the feelings separately, this confusion stops and you get your power back.

4. Take radical responsibility
Another step to get out of resignation lies in taking radical responsibility. Being radically responsible means stepping out of the victim mode that goes along with resignation. As soon as you take responsibility you cannot be a victim anymore. Radical responsibility has something to do with an inner attitude. It is about confessing which kind of benefit you got from resignation and how you arranged it to get into that situation. Radical responsibility seems to be unfair, because it doesn’t allow any loopholes. Yet it is not about putting all the guilt of a situation on your shoulders, but you stop complaining about the situation. In case of resignation take radical responsibility for the fact that you have been in the victim role so far and say what your benefit was. Realize how much power the new, responsible story about the situation gives you. The moment you take radical responsibility you become the creator of your own life.

5. Use the power of choosing to go a new way
As soon as you are centered, own your feelings again and are ready to take radical responsibility you have the choice of going a new way. We are oftentimes not aware of the fact that choosing – next to asking and declaring – is one of three big powers that nobody can take away from us. It is a big power, because you can choose at any time FOR NO REASON (e. g. to go a new way) and in addition have the freedom to choose from WHAT IS NOT OFFERED. E. g. powerful BEING is something that is not really offered in modern society. You can choose it anyway. You can choose to change things in your life and on earth and create a new culture which doesn’t exist yet; a culture in which people are their own authority, are in their full power, treat each other and the Earth respectfully, etc. 

6. Use your feelings responsibly to spring into action
This step arises from the other steps, specifically from the preparation of owning your feelings again. Owning your feelings again is the first step in conscious feelings work. Step two of feelings work is now about using the anger, sadness, joy and fear consciously and responsibly. As soon as you have decided for a new way leaving the resignation behind, you can use the feelings as unerring navigation system in your life. They are brilliantly clear indicators for your next steps.

You can find a lot of evidence confirming the reason of your resignation. You just have to switch on television or open the newspaper. However, you can at the same time find as much evidence that something completely different is possible and that it is worth stepping out of resignation. Are you really willing to dissolve resignation and powerfully head for a new direction?

Best wishes,
Nicola Neumann-Mangoldt