Resistance is Guaranteed
A friend emailed me as she found herself struggling to work on something that means more to her than anything in this world. I found myself unsure of how to answer. She is one of the most talented writers I know. Her purpose in this world is so clearly tied to helping the forgotten, the lost creatures held to our every whim, and all too often living lives of cruelty and neglect.
She had purchased the domain for her blog. She had given her credit card for the monthly Squarespace fees. I had read the first entry and it changed my life. I was mesmerized and within days I had become vegan again. The power of her words were tangible and real.
And yet she had been coming up with excuses to avoid meeting with me of late and had found herself unable to write the next entry.
I hope she doesn't hate me for putting this out to the world, but as I walked and contemplated her questions, I realized that this is something I struggle with each and every day. Further, it is something that everyone I am speaking with in my podcast is also struggling with.
We are all battling what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance.
How much easier is it to watch television, play video games or even read a good book than it is to sit down and do our true work? The work we are called to is anything but f'ing easy. We sit there and nothing comes out but crap. Every brush stroke, every letter typed, every print we make is anything but up to par. It is beyond infuriating.
So we walk away. We come up with innocent little excuses. "My family hasn't heard from me in days." "Who am I to do this?" "It's too hard."
Pressfield sees Resistance as a universal force that works from within us. In fact, it arises in direct response to any act that aligns with our purpose or calling. "The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it."
I urge everyone to purchase, or dig out from their bookcase, Pressfield's War of Art. It remains my most trusted advisor in this battle.
Before Pressfield, I never realized just how insidious a force Resistance can be. It's that little whisper wondering how tired you feel right now. It's the sudden thought to do a chore you've been putting off for months just as you sit down to start your work. It's the dopamine-inducing pull to veg out watching television.
We are at war and Resistance is the enemy. Let me repeat that. We are at war, people, and Resistance is the enemy!
It's time to don our flak jackets, pull down our helmets and carve out a sacrosanct hour from every day to show up and do our work, regardless of what happens or doesn't happen.
We need defeat Resistance only once to know that it can be overcome. We just have to ship our product one time. After that, it becomes easier to sit down and fight through the loss for words, the lack of talent and the insidious little desires, voices and misdirections. Those never go away, but we become better at brushing them aside and working through them.
I'm unsure what advice to offer my friend except to say that she is not alone. We are all right there with her. We may not walk the exact same path, but we all fight the same forces. Am I right? Please comment and tell her your story.