What is resistance? It is the enemy, pure and simple. I first heard this in the book ” The War of Art”by Steven Pressfield. I think about the advice in this book almost daily. Not because it illuminated a path through creative block, but rather it labeled and gave names to the monsters that you already new were blocking your path. It’s the shit you let get in the way. That is the truth of it. Resistance (I envision this little guy…..) must be the bastard nephew of procrastinating. Another shapeless greek god thats sole purpose in life seems to lead you down the wrong path. Resistance on the other had seems to be determined to redirect your energy at all cost. It’s only goal is to not let you accomplish your actual goal. Resistance doesn’t block, he redirects. Have you ever tried tackling your finances only to have a very in order garage two hours later? Or decided to buckle down and finally put a brush on canvas only to admire the alphabetized dvd library? If this sounds familiar then Resistance is not a foreign concept to you. Now a clean garage and orderly dvd rack are not without their charm, but the second you get a glance at the thing that failed to start again that wave of bewilderment and frustration isn’t far off. The good news is, it isn’t your fault. We do this, it is a thing that happens to everyone of us. The root cause is going to be somewhere between the fear of failure and self sabotage but ultimately it isn’t important. What is important is there is a simple way to beat it.
Run right up that monster’s tail. What is difficult to do is the way. The more we are avoiding something the stronger we dive into something else. Have awareness of the task that needs to be done and constantly redirect through headwinds. Respond as you would if you knew someone was trying to help you fail by pulling you away. Resistance will morph into anything to pull you away from your goal. Be aware of it and fight back. This is failure as a teacher. This is wax on wax off. This is knowing only you can accomplish your goals. Stick to them, no excuses.
*Steps down from soapbox*
Sorry, really needed to get that out in front of me. And I feel it is advice I like to revisit once in a while. Mostly because it is an effective weapon against self doubt. So the days when 4 or 5 things just crumble it won’t become easy to assume that 6th and 7th thing will as well. It helps to frame misfortune as a enemy trying to knock us off our goal . Competition bring out the best in us. Conversely on the days where everything is clicking and that momentum is growing. I like to think resistance is somewhere getting yelled at by procrastination and failure while they get discouraged watching us relentlessly blasting through their obstacles and traps.
Steven Pressfield also wrote an excellent follow up book called “Do The Work”. I recommend both.
Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936891379/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_JEj9AbBXC7XGZ
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936891026/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_DQj9Ab0JVAVJQ