While driving I often listed to audio books. Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art is one of my favorites. It’s a 3-hour audiobook that I’ve probably listened to at least five times now.
Every time I listen to it I hear something new.
A while back listening to this audio book in the car I heard his message of resistance and fear more loudly than I ever have before. Likely it’s because I was about to share a video I had filmed that took me about six months of working through my own resistance to be able to write my message without filtering my words and film it exactly as I had envisioned it.
And still, sharing this seven-minute video churned up familiar feelings of vulnerability and nausea. I wanted to pull the plug… so I know I was on the right track.
Have you ever quit something probably more than once, started a new routine and never followed through, made a decision to make changes to your life and then went back on your word, got an email with an opportunity and never returned it, bought an online program, signed up for a course and never even started it and obsessively think about the person you might become and how you’re going to get there…
In your fantasy world the person you want to become is so well defined and the road of how you’re going to get there is so clear.
Then you “wake up” and face resistance.
It’s very real. Resistance comes in the form of excuses… you can pick your favorite. I’ve got my own. Whatever your mind is telling you, all the reasons why you can’t… well, that’s resistance.
Pressfield writes that resistance is evil, completely toxic and is the only reason we ever experience true unhappiness. He says we need to wage war on our resistance.
He starts the book by sharing the story of his daily routine. He gets up, gets dressed, does a bunch of things and by 10:30am he sits down at his computer and writes for about four hours.
He goes on to write that it doesn’t matter to him if the pages he wrote were any good, if they made sense or whether or not he will turn them into a book. The only thing that matters is that he won out against resistance that day…
Because he put in his time and showed up, which is the only way to win the war over resistance. He says, “The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
What I heard listening to the audiobook right before I was about to share my video was that no matter what stage we are in business and in life we will always face resistance so long as we keep putting in the time, showing up and growing.
Fear is resistance.
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.
So fear is good. It’s normal; it’s important and necessary. Without it you feel indifferent. The fact that you keep pushing, keep wanting to learn and keep showing up means you are winning the war against your own resistance.
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
When you stop waking up scared to death… that’s when you know it’s time to call it quits and move on to something else that you can resist doing.
Hope you enjoyed this post! Feel free to leave comments below and let us know how resistance shows up in your daily life and how to push through.