How to resist the power of resistance

by Katie on August 7, 2014


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. Steven Pressfield
Last week I sat down to write this blog post.

Then I remembered I was hungry, so got up to get a snack.

Then I decided it was more important to organize my closet.

Then I realized I wanted to watch that reality TV show, just a quick one.

Then I got tired and figured I wasn’t in the right mental state to write anyway.

I never got around to the blog post.

Most of us call it procrastination. Constantly putting things off until tomorrow, or the next day, or never. But more importantly, why do we do it? Why do we always put off the things that we know would be beneficial to us? What is the root of it all?

I like to call it resistance.

Resistance. The reason you didn’t exercise today. Or start the painting. Or take action toward that business idea. The reason you were able to talk yourself out of it.

Resistance is that voice in your head that says it doesn’t matter, that it isn’t important. That it can wait.

It says you aren’t good enough, that no one will care. Why even bother.

That voice is so loud, we often listen to it and stay stuck.

Have you ever had an inspired idea and for a split second got super excited about it? Had a vision of what was possible and felt a rush of inspiration?

Then a second later did all the reasons why you shouldn’t do said thing crop up? Why it never would work, why they all would laugh, why it was a stupid idea to begin with? There went that idea.

Yep, that’s resistance.

Creative endeavors cause resistance to show up the loudest. Resistance is fueled by fear, insecurity, vulnerability, and self-doubt, and creativity tends to trigger these feelings.

And resistance often shows up the most when what we are about to do is really important for our growth and well-being. The higher the stakes, the more vulnerability and fear we feel.

As Steven Pressfield says in DO THE WORK, “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.”

[Along with DO THE WORK, another gem from Steven Pressfield is THE WAR OF ART. All about resistance, it will seriously make you see everything differently.]

Resistance is insidious because it shows up in many forms. Procrastination is a big one. But it also shows up in ways we don’t expect. How we judge others. How we self medicate. How we rationalize our ideas away for not being “realistic”. How we believe in scarcity. And think we don’t have enough time. All of the excuses we use to justify not doing whatever it is that would move us along.

So how do we deal with resistance? Especially when it shows up without us even knowing it.

The first step as with everything is noticing when it appears. Being conscious of when resistance is rearing its head and talking you out of doing what you deep down know you want to do.

Then, the best way to combat resistance is to take action. To just sit down and do it. If it’s writing, sit down and write. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you don’t feel inspired. The best way to break the resistance addiction is to get moving. Even if it’s a small step. You will start to train your brain that resistance isn’t welcome.

And you will feel more free.

Free to create. Free to realize your inner desires. Free to be vulnerable and alive.

Resistance is powerful, but so is our ability to take action anyway, push through the blocks, and ultimately prevail.

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