The more we live and expand our experience the “shoulds” and “rules” start to attach to us like barnacles. Covered head to toe in a hard crust. Trapped like statues in a protective shell, unable to move or do the work our heart craves. Every inspiration forced to travel thru a gauntlet of judgement before we even start. Very few ideas survive the journey. We become filled with resentment, tortured by the potential inside that wants to be free.
Our enemy is Resistance, Rational Thought, and Loved Ones. Steven Pressfield explains, in his book The War of Art, Resistance takes shape as fear, procrastination, self-doubt, and perfectionism. Resistance seduces and distracts, pulling us away from the work we know we need to do. Rational Thought suppresses our intuition. It’s the voice of reason convincing us to rethink and doubt our gut feeling.
“A child has no trouble believing in the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”
– Steven Pressfield
Family and friends love us just the way we are. Remain the same person I know and love. There are exceptions, some loved ones attach no conditions and will love you even when you are becoming a different person.
Combating resistance is a daily war. The first step is recognizing the disguises it wears in our patterns and routines. Then consistently attacking it by doing our important life work in spite of all the excuses. I wanted to become a better writer, so I set a goal of reading for 30 minutes and writing for 30 minutes six days a week. I felt this was a good way to expose myself to new thought provoking material then practice the habit of explaining insight I gained as a result. It did not matter if I wrote one sentence or a novel as long as I set aside the time to put pen to paper.
Each day I completed my 30/30 task I would color the square of the calendar in my office with a blue highlighter. A symbol of a battle won. As my calendar filled in with blue strokes, I felt a shift in power. A building momentum as I could see a body of work build. It was unclear how I would use these daily writings, but I was sharpening my skills and honing my craft. I could feel joy and accomplishment pulse thru me.