“Resistance is faster than a speeding bullet; more powerful than a locomotive and harder to kick than crack cocaine.” (Pressfield)
Resistance. I have seen it in others and experienced it myself in so many ways this week. First, I read a really powerful post on the addictive nature of procrastination and how it made the writer feel – but procrastination is simply a symptom of the bigger cause. The R word is the cause. Steven Pressfield says procrastination is the commonest manifestation of resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalise. He also says it’s harder to kick than crack cocaine – that always makes me feel better. Kicking resistance FEELS tough because it IS tough.
One of the things I’ve been procrastinating about is writing. I don’t need to tell you that cos the evidence is here. It is months since I’ve written for my blog. I’ve been trying to do something about that, to reconnect with the joy I find in writing, by doing something called Morning Pages. Here is a collection of thoughts that came to mind recently based on all I’ve seen and heard (yes, and experienced!) recently about resistance. Writing this made me realise why kicking resistance is hard. It’s because resistance is part of me. So when I try to kick it? I kick me too!
The words below describe my solution. For me it’s all about noticing the resistance and allowing myself to feel it. Then recognising it for what it it is. A part of me, deep within, that is simply trying to keep me safe. Once I understand it I know that I have choice – to resist it or to embrace it. To embrace it as an important part of me enables me to become whole again and to move on.
If you’re not a great fan of long posts, there’s a recorded version too. I know some people are much better at taking in information by listening – if that’s you, click on this link and listen to my reflections instead.
There. You have three lines in my book all to yourself.
What is your purpose?
If it is to keep me safe then it’s not working!
And yet at some level you must be working.
What do you keep me safe from?
Rejection, being exposed as a fool, being exposed for not knowing enough.
For not BE-ing enough.
You keep me safe from drawing attention to myself,
from being in the spotlight, from having the biggest fall yet.
You keep me safe from being an imposter.
You keep me safe from failing.
From finding I can’t make the money I need after all.
From having to tell my friends and family I couldn’t make it.
You keep me safe from not being good enough.
You keep me safe from being too good.
You keep me safe from getting above my station.
You keep me safe from other people’s expectations – meeting them and failing them.
You keep me safe from my own expectations too.
You keep me safe by being so insidious in how you work that you simply keep me playing small.
You keep me safe by making sure I question the amazing feedback on the work that I do.
You keep me safe by sewing seeds of doubt in their opinion.
WOW. You work jolly hard at this keeping me safe thing.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Every part of my being – every part of my being that isn’t you – wants to write something angry here and enjoy the moment of telling you to F*** Off and leave me alone.
But that is perhaps what you want. And where could you go?
You are part of me.
So I thank you. I embrace you.
I love you for all you have done to keep me safe.
I love you so much that I want you to be the part of me that helps me to fly.
I love your effort – work with me to make that flight effortless.
Let’s do it together – as one.
Thank you. I love you.
Until next time… be bold, be brave and be brilliant.
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