Today I am writing about one of my favorite topics- resistance. Any of you out there that are struggling with fear or doubt, run don’t walk and buy this book- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Here is a quote from that text to start us off- “Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
The type of fear that Pressfield is describing here he names “resistance”. Resistance is a deep unwillingness or avoidance of doing, being, creating our true calling. It is an active force that opposes us becoming who we are born to be. We may be perfectly successful but also unsatisfied, with a nagging feeling that this can’t be all there is. To paraphrase what Pressfield says in his book- are you a painter who doesn’t paint? A writer who doesn’t write? Then you know what resistance is. I don’t think resistance is just for creative folk- we all experience it any time we don’t listen to that still small voice. What are our lives asking of us, and will we listen? If we don’t, the fear, restlessness, and anxiety will grow.
Here’s how to get started overcoming resistance:
Consider what scares you the most, where you feel the most resistance. Thinking of it may cause you to cringe, to feel sad or avoidant, perhaps wistful or longing. Identify to yourself where the most resistance is coming from in you.
Show up. One day at a time, engage that part of you that is wanting to be expressed. Whether or not what you say, do or create is perfect, it is a win if you show up.
Get help. Resistance is a big hurdle to overcome, and none of us do it alone. In the early years of owning my business, I would not have conquered it without the support of a few key people, all of whom reminded me that I either do this work or die. Not literally of course, but my dreams, the core of who I am, and my contribution to the world. Own up to your fear of being who you truly are, and get support.
Pressfield encourages us to conquer resistance one day at a time. Start with today.