“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.
Remember our 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.
Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
I’ve been reading a lot about Resistance lately, particularly books by Steven Pressfield. He writes mostly screenplays and fiction, for instance The Legend of Bagger Vance, but he has also written several books on Resistance and how it is the enemy to doing our important work in life.
I for one have personally let Resistance get in my way in every aspect of my life and in every form of resistance that is possible. I am an expert at letting Resistance stop me from doing my work, from doing what is most important.
Let me give you my most recent example. Mercury is in retrograde right now and if you know what that means you know that Mercury Retrograde slows things down and stalls aspects of life from moving forward in a timely fashion. It can wreak havoc on anything related to communication, transportation, and technology. During the three week period four times a year that Mercury Retrograde occurs you will notice more people complaining about slow computers, computers crashing, lost documents, traffic jams, missed flights, long waits in line, being late for a meeting, etc.
If you are not familiar with this phenomenon I encourage you to Google it and learn more.
But getting back to me. The other day my computer would not start and of course I immediately attributed it to Mercury Retrograde. If you’ve been following this blog you know I post every Thursday. So when my computer wouldn’t start that meant it was going to delay me writing my post for this week or at least that’s what I told myself.
Because the truth is I was resisting having to write a post in the first place which I pretty much do every week but now I had a real and legitimate excuse for not doing it. Again that’s at least what I told myself. Because in reality I could still sit down and write a post even if it was on paper and then borrow a computer to get it posted if it came to that.
Plus it was a good chance I would get my computer back from the repair shop in time to use my own computer. I just needed to sit down and work on the post in the meantime.
But of course I was resisting doing my work so I let my computer being down be my excuse for waiting until 9:30 this morning to start working on it. I didn’t even know what I would be writing about until a half hour before that.
Resistance. Resistance. Resistance.
I mean really, I could have at least figured out my topic before now. But no, I let Resistance overwhelm me and keep me from doing my work.
I say all of this to say, BEWARE. Resistance comes in many forms and it will do everything in its power to keep you from doing the things that matter most.
Resistance comes in the form of fear, self-doubt, playing small, perfectionism, procrastination, self-sabotage, distraction, ego-tripping and crazy-ass self-talk telling you all kinds of things in terms of what you can’t do, shouldn’t do, aren’t good enough to do, don’t have the resources or connections to do.
I could go on all day about what our inner gremlins have to say in an effort to convince us of our inability to realize our dreams and vision for a bigger and brighter life. They are treacherous and they must not be allowed to sabotage you and keep you stuck in a mediocre life. You deserve better.
Resistance is the enemy. Treat it as such.
Resistance is also hard to detect. But trust me, its there lurking, waiting to strike when you least expect it.
It shows up in countless scenarios.
If you’ve watching TV, surfing the internet or playing Words with Friends when you should be writing or studying or doing some other important work towards the betterment of your life then that is Resistance rearing its ugly head in the form of procrastination and distraction.
If you just picked a fight with your husband over something silly and unimportant when you should be discussing your finances then that is Resistance in the form of fear and self-sabotage.
If you are creating a website that you keep delaying the launch on because it isn’t quite right yet and still needs some tweaks that is Resistance in the form of perfectionism.
In Pressfield’s book, Do the Work, he tells us that we can use Resistance to show us what calling, purpose or action we most need to follow. Because as a “Rule of Thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
I certainly wish I had read his book years ago. It would have kept me more focus on getting my work done and less distracted with meaningless bullshit that has sabotaged most of my intended good deeds since I can remember.
But now I am aware of the enemy. It has a name – Resistance. And I am armed with the power of ASSISTANCE – that which supports us in realizing our greatest good. And you are too!
Know and trust that you have everything you need within to overcome Resistance and do your work. You just have to stay alert to the tactics of Resistance, commit to do your work and tap into the power of universal Assistance, which is exactly what I did this week and why I was able to get this post written today and not tomorrow or next week or never.
I am committed to doing my work and decided to kick Resistance’s ass. Unfortunately we’ll be right back at it next week but at least this week’s deed is done.
My hope is that you have the same resolve to do your work too. We need you to show up and offer your goods. Don’t let Resistance stop you from delivering on what you came here to do.
1. Read any of Steven Pressfield’s books on Resistance – Do the Work, The War of Art, or Turning Pro are all excellent in teaching us the importance of doing our work in the world and how to overcome Resistance to doing it.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice overcoming your own Resistance grelims and so you can be about the business of doing your work NOW.
3. Leave a comment below sharing what you are resisting in your own life or how you have overcome resistance in the past.
Extra credit: Pass this post on. Tweet it. Google + it. Facebook it. Pinterest it. They’ll love you for it!
Take care of you,