If you are a creative person, chances are you have read “The Art of War” by Steven Pressfield. And if you didn’t, you might want to give it a read.
Art and war? How would these two come together?
The reason Steven Pressfield associated art with war is that internal struggle. Yes, there is a war, but not with the external world. It’s from within. It’s from within us.
Steven Pressfield explains how resistance keeps us from doing the things that will elevate our souls.
“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t know. And the secret is this: it’s not the writing that’s hard. It’s the sitting down to write—and what keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.” -Steven Pressfield.
As a matter of fact, I am writing this post because I am currently resisting my creative project. Now that I am realizing what I am doing as I type away.
Resistance comes in a couple of forms:
1. The voices in our head: It’s the voices in our head that undermine our ability and pretty much crush the soul that tells us…
- “This idea is not worth pursuing.”
- “It’s done 100 times before.”
- “You wouldn’t be able to stand out.”
2. Distractions: It tempts us with distractions. Some of them are more obvious than others. It has an objective—to introduce incapacity, so we wouldn’t do the work. It comes in many forms, such as
- Getting sick
- Getting into an accident
- Checking Instagram
- Getting hungry
- Playing games
- And the list could go on, and on and on
The laws of resistance
Knowing the laws of resistance will help you snatch it and contain it before it comes to kill you, or your creative endeavors.
1. The more important a project is to the evolution of your soul, the more resistance you feel you are starting. The resistance you feel for writing your book is so much stronger than writing your grocery list.
2. Resistance appears in predictable moments. It appears before you start where you hear the voices in your head saying, “You are not good enough. Why would anyone be interested?” It appears again once you start and have all those creative juices going. Then appears when you are exhausted and on the verge of hitting a wall, and again after you are finished with the project.
3. Resistance always appears second. It’s the shadow of our dreams. When you find yourself overwhelmed by fear, prone to procrastinating, self-sabotaging, and distracting yourself, you are being hit by resistance.
“In fact, I have a rule of thumb, which is: When in doubt, it’s Resistance.”-Steven Pressfield.
Characteristics of resistance
Resistance doesn’t care, and it’s here to destroy your dreams. It’s…
- Invisible. You can’t see or hear it, but you can certainly feel it.
- Internal. It comes from within. It’s the voices in our heads.
- Insidious. It’s highly intelligent, creative, and will come up with ways to seduce and terrify us.
- Implacable. It’s here to kill us. It’s evil.
- Impersonal. It will find you no matter who you are.
- Infallible. It will always operate according to its principles. The more important your creative project is, the stronger it comes to hit you.
- Universal. It’s a law of nature. Everybody has it.
“It’s just like gravity. It doesn’t know who you are. It doesn’t care. It just wants to destroy you. That’s all there is to it.” - Steven Pressfield.
The good news is that if we know the laws and characteristics of resistance, we would see it, figure it out, find it and defeat it.
“Let’s say we have 10 ideas that we’re thinking about. We ask ourselves, “Which one am I most afraid of?” Whatever that is, that’s the one you have to do. So that’s a principle of resistance that’s absolutely true. The more important an activity is to the evolution of our soul, the more resistance we will feel to it.“ -Steven Pressfield
Which idea or project are you resisting?
Mention it in the comments below.
Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash