I was inspired by Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art, as well as Chase London’s blog Resistance to expand upon my thoughts regarding resistance.
I found the way that resistance was talked about in the book quite interesting. To sum it up, resistance is any person, place, thought, or thing that stands in your way of achieving something of value. Resistance is depicted as a negative force in this context, but it’s a very mischievous force that masks itself as something that might even appear normal. For instance, Steven mentioned that resistance could take form of legitimate responsibilities, such as taking care of children or changing your car’s oil.
Resistance has its many forms. What’s important is that you resist the resistance. Spoiler alert, it sucks. It sucks because achieving something that is worth value comes with a bounty on your head. The more value that you create, the more resistance you accumulate.
I’m sure you’ve felt the “why am I doing this?” feeling a couple of times in your life; The, “is the result even worth it?” question that you ask yourself after hours of slaving. It always seems to become more and more difficult to answer these questions as time goes on. This is resistance at its worst.
The War of Art really put the answer to the above questions into perspective for me. Every time that I am faced with that same barrage of resistance, I don’t try to brute-force my way through it, I just accept that things really do suck. I look into the face of resistance and say: “I do this because it sucks.”
The first time I tried this was in the gym. It was late at night and I was the only one in the gym. I was already tired as all hell but I couldn’t let a good workout slip out from under me. So, I yelled at myself, saying “I do this because it freaking sucks” (maybe not that exact wording). It felt pretty exhilarating because I could imagine all of the people doing stuff because it doesn’t suck.
This is something that actually helps me a lot. It builds a sense of pride, enough to get me through resistance at its worst. Maybe this is a strategy that could work for you as well. Let me know what your thoughts are!