What form of resistance (of the toxic kind) is hindering you in achieving your goals? Especially your artistic and innovative ones!

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Are you…………….
Starting a business?
Creating something new and innovative at work?
Trying to live a healthier lifestyle?
Writing a book?
Working toward another similar goal?  Insert your goal here __________________

Not progressing as quickly as you would like?
Maybe not progressing at all? 🙁

The culprit apparently is named RESISTANCE.
And according to Steven Pressfield, the author of
theWARofART: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.
“Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet”.
It prevents us from achieving our potential.
“Each of us with our unique genius”.

In my case, it was my progress on writing my first book.
It has been over 2 years in the making.
When I shared my frustrations to a couple of my friends.
They suggested that I read Steven’s book.
So, I bought it.
And I read the theory.
And then I tried theory out.
And what did I discover?

Well, let’s just say that,
I now have a new appreciation and level of self-awareness of
just how nasty a beast Resistance can be.
As well as the “rogues gallery of the many manifestations of resistance”
that Steven shares with us in his book.
In, what I found to be, a very direct and straightforward way.
Unlike like my blogs. 🙂

Wow! Steven wasn’t kidding with the use of the word “Toxic”.
Although, in this case, I was exploring how it was affecting my book writing,
that nasty creature was doing the same thing to me elsewhere as well. ☹
My goal of gaining traction in my newly launched business.
My goal of maintaining my new healthier lifestyle.
Etc.

So, although I have discovered that this enemy seems quite present in my life.
And according to Steven, it will be hanging around for the rest of my days.
I have decided to wage war against it.
And I have been making some good progress lately.
I am winning most of the battles.

What I would now like to share with all of you.
Is just how I was able to use my learnings from the WARofART book to do just that.
Win those battles.

As mentioned, there are a lot of manifestations of Resistance.
My hypothesis is that:
Each of us is unique and each of us is in a unique situation at any one time.
So, it goes to reason, that different manifestations will have more impact on me
At any one time than on the rest of you. and vice-versa.

So, I have gone through the book and selected my Top 3.
The 3 that are having the biggest impact on my progress toward my goals.
i.e. causing the most resistance in me.

Feel free to pick up a copy of the book.
And take a crack at coming up with your own unique Top 3 list?
Feel free to pick up a copy of my book as well. 🙂
But it is not quite done yet. But it is really close.
As you are about to read,
I am meeting a whole lot less resistance these days. 🙂

But before we start, I just want to share one more thought from the author as context.
He refers to it as “What I know”

“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabee writers don’t,
and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard.
What’s hard is sitting down to write.
What keeps us from sitting down is resistance.”

So, if you are an aspiring writer.
What is stopping you from sitting down and writing?
If you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.
What is stopping you from sitting down on your exercise bike and pedaling?
If you are (insert the goal that you are striving for here).
What is stopping you from (insert what you should be doing here)?

O.k. Ready?
Here we go!
What are the TOP 3 things that are causing me to resist?

#1 Distractions (selected from page 7)

As I started to observe myself as part of this exercise.
I could not help but notice how easily distracted I can be.
Oh! The washing is done. I will just add another load.I will just wipe the counter before I go back to the office.
Maybe I will make a cup of tea.
Maybe I will quickly go check to see if I have mail.
And don’t forget my email, let me just respond to a couple urgent ones.
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.
Before you know it, lunch is coming up and I have barely put pen to paper. ☹

That is when the next nasty manifestation joins in on the fray.

#2 Procrastination (selected from page 21)

Well, now that lunch is so close, I will put off my writing until after lunch.
There are other things that I can do in the meantime.
They need to get done as well you know. I think.
And when the distractions continue to appear after lunch I move my writing to the end of day.
And when I start to feel tired from my long day of non-writing.
I push my writing off to the next day.
I must have had writer’s block today!
Oh well!  There is always tomorrow!
And the days and weeks and years after that.

Wow! Talk about a lot of resistance.
As some of my blog readers are aware.
One of my Top 5 strengths is “IDEATION”1.
There is a “Quasar flow of ideas and thoughts” going through my mind.
What a great way to distract my writing by having one pop up every couple of minutes.
And that is exactly what resistance has been doing.
Because resistance is inside me, it knows me well.
As such, it can actually turn my strengths against me. ☹

Luckily for me though, it is not all bad news.
Apparently, resistance can “be used as a compass”
“The more important a call or action .. the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it”

So, I guess I really do want to write and share my book. 🙂
That is likely what has kept me persevering over all this time.
My passion is helping me to persevere.
What I refer to in MY book (which is about enabling self-change and transformation) as GRIT.
Grit is one of the top 10 change enablers I share that helped me
go through all the changes that I have recently undertaken in my life.
And I am going to need all the grit that I can muster up.
Because now that I am nearing the end of my first book writing journey,
resistance is starting to take its game up a notch.

#3 Resistance is most powerful at the finish line (selected from page 18)

I am not sure if it is because I am more aware of it now,
Or if resistance is in the process of “making a counterattack”,
but, yikes, the distractions are coming from all angles these days.
The requests from my book designer for some of the final items for my book
are competing with …..
An increase in email traffic.
More linked-in traffic.
Even a lot more activity on Match.com. 😊
The phone seems to ring more often.
I am noticing a lot more littler things that I can very quickly get done without distraction (Yeah right!)
Etc.
Etc.

Oh well!
As we say in coaching, self-awareness is 9/10th of the battle.
At least I am aware of this now.
Besides, I could be dealing with a nastier manifestation, like “fear of failure”.
Although I do encounter bouts of fear every once in a while.
My new mindset around the spelling of failure has left me less resistant to that one.
FAIL = First Attempt In Learning.

But, at the end of the day, resistance is resistance.
So, how am I tackling the other 10% of the battle i.e. the self-management part.
Well, pardon my French, but my approach is just sitting my A*S down.
At 9am sharp, my BUTT is glued to my chair and I am writing away.

Some days it takes a while for the juices to start flowing but they eventually do.
Sometimes they even start flowing before 9am in anticipation of that start time.
Writing is becoming a habit and nothing pisses off resistance more than that.
So much for writer’s block.

Before I forget, let me mention a couple other enablers.
Just keeping walking Mr. Walker is one of them.
Ignore the distractions. Just get to your seat and start writing Dave!
And once you do. Stay focused buddy.
Turn off the emails. Close the blinds. Lock the office door.
Whatever it takes to just write.
Because that is the one thing that resistance does not want you to do.
So, put him in his place. (or her, for some of you).
But keep an eye out for him.
Because as Steven mentions in his book.
“Resistance never Sleeps”
And therefore,
The battle must be fought anew every day.

But that is it for me for today.
Time to enjoy the rest of my evening.
I look forward to getting back at it tomorrow
At 9am sharp.
You hear that resistance?
Come and get me,
if you can.
I know you “mean business”
But so do I.

Well, that’s all folks
Those are my Top 3
What are yours?
And more importantly,
What are you going to do about dealing with them?
And by definition that toxic, nasty little beast called RESISTANCE.

Cheers

Dave

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