creativityI originally wrote this as a 2-3 minute talk for the “Presentation” module of Influencer Academy last December. It was cathartic to write because I was wrestling with Resistance when I wrote it. Sometimes it seems my entire life is one long lesson in managing Resistance.

When it hangs over me like a dark cloud (as it did when I wrote this) is when I need to be especially quiet, careful, and deliberate. This spring I’m going to craft a “signature” Ted-like talk. I’m so excited for that because public speaking has been a huge passion of mine for a long time that has gone largely unrealized.

For now, I hope you enjoy and get something useful out of this brief post.

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Have you ever started something you didn’t finish?

Ever wonder what takes you from enthusiastic and confident to crash and burn?

And doesn’t the threat of crash and burn feel especially intense the more you WANT whatever it is that you’ve started?

There’s a name for this insidious unseen force. It’s called Resistance. It happens to everyone. Resistance, by definition, is self-sabotage.

Procrastination is a symptom of Resistance. So is unhappiness. So is creating unnecessary drama in your life.

Steven Pressfield, who has researched and written extensively on the subject, says “the more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

Activities that trigger Resistance are:**

  • The pursuit of writing, artistic, or other creative endeavors
  • The launching of any entrepreneurial venture, for profit or otherwise
  • Any diet or health regimen
  • Any program for spiritual or professional advancement
  • Any activity whose objective is tighter abdominals

While Resistance may appear to come from outside circumstances, it comes from within us. Resistance will tell you anything to stop you from doing your work. And according to Steven Pressfield, if you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Because Resistance always lies and it always full of shit.

BUT Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and you conquer Resistance.

The solution is even simpler than “mastering fear.” The solution lies in the mundane. The obvious.

  • Cultivate good habits that become so ingrained, you won’t stray from them no matter how many times Resistance tries to throw you off track. Resistance HATES good habits.
  • Look at your morning routine and see how you can amp it up. Resistance HATES morning routines that prepare you for a focused and productive day.
  • Always always always return to your good habits. Resistance HATES it when we consistently reinforce what we’re doing right.

** From Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle

Flickr Creative Commons Image by Sean MacEntee

4 Comments on 3 Simple Ways To Manage Resistance So You Can Be More Creative

  1. Stefanie Frank
    August 28, 2014 at 2:43 PM (3 years ago)

    Alicia do you remember how terrified I was to give that talk in Influencer Academy? How Alexia had me turn, face the wall and take three deep breaths? RESISTANCE, even “on stage!”

    So glad this was timely for you and I deeply appreciate you reading.

  2. Alicia Mejia
    August 28, 2014 at 2:39 PM (3 years ago)

    This post is so unbelievably on time, thank you for this. I laughed out loud when I read “Resistance always lies and it always full of shit.” Excellent. I think reframing Resistance into self sabotage was helpful as well, it made me look at my actions (or lack thereof) in a new light, one of more accountability. If I’m the one doing this to myself, then I’m the one who has just as much power to change my behavior. Today. Thanks Stef!

  3. Stefanie Frank
    March 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM (4 years ago)

    Naomi thank you. I can’t lie I’m thrilled you turned a portion of this into a Pinterest badge. Gives me more ideas for more visual ways to share my work. Have a wonderful day. 🙂

  4. naomi
    March 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM (4 years ago)

    Hi Stefanie,
    I loved this post! I need to commit this to memory. I made a little badge for myself with the rules and posted it on Pinterest with a link back to your article. Thank you for sharing!

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