Resistance Is Calling: It’s Crunch Time! Let The Fight Begin!
It was all going well; you were motivated, then ‘Bang!’, you hit the wall of resistance. You can’t find it in you to do the work today, or maybe it’s been a few days. Here is what you can do.
1. THERE IS AN ENEMY
The playing field that you, the aspiring artist, stand upon is not level. It is stacked against you.
2. YOU ARE THE ENEMY
Resistance (self-sabotage, procrastination, fear, arrogance, self-doubt) is inside you. No one inflicts it on you from outside. You bring it with you from birth.
— Steven Pressfield
Pressfield‘s advice to counter the enemy — which happens to be the title of his new book —“Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Is”. In other words, you must show up every day to do the work you love. Pressfield, being a novelist, characterized Resistance as a mythical concept that illustrates the universal force that acts against human creativity. He first described it in his non-fiction book The War of Art in 2002, then in Do The Work and Turning Pro — all have now become bibles for the creatives.
What resistance feels like
When we hit the wall of resistance, this is what goes through our mind:
- I don’t feel like doing the work
- Why bother?
- It’s not good
- I’m not good at this
- It’s too hard to do it every day
- I’m bored with this now
- I’ve never had discipline anyway
- I can’t see the impact of my work yet
- It’s more fun to carry on watching that series on Netflix, play that game, etc
- I’m stuck; I don’t know what to do next
- I can’t bear to produce disappointing work
- No one cares anyway
- I’ll do better work when I finally have a study or studio.
Beneath it all, we feel that resistance is an expression of our flawed character. It’s our fault. We just don’t have what it takes. We blame and berate ourselves, letting shame and guilt move in, once again. This might lead to self-pity, low…