Tame The Resistance-Express Your Creativity
April 15, 2021
All of us, when we were kids, did creative stuff naturally. If we felt like painting, we would pick up some pastels or watercolors and paint with gay abandon. When our friends called us to put up a dance program at the community gala, we would be all excited to participate.
Unfortunately, as we grow into adulthood, our creativity gets suppressed as we try to conform and fit in. What would the other person think? What is the use of painting if others will not appreciate what I do? I don’t think I can sing well.
For much of our childhood, creativity was a hero that made our life exciting and colorful. However, as we age, a new enemy enters our system. That enemy is what Author Steven Pressfield, in his book “The War of Art,” calls Resistance.
“Most of us have two lives: The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”Steven Pressfield-The War Of Art
We are all born with the capacity to be creative and do original work. But, we get waylaid by Resistance. It kills our creative spirit. If creativity is the protagonist, Resistance is the antagonist.
Resistance fills our heads with self‐doubt.
- If you are thinking of writing something, Resistance will convince you that you have nothing to say.
- If you want to start an online business, Resistance will convince you that you’re not capable.
- If you dream of charting your own course as an entrepreneur, Resistance will persuade you to give up on your dream because you have too much to lose.
Resistance feeds on your weak mind and convinces you to lead an easy life. Resistance dumbs you down to watch TV for hours on end instead of committing time to your creative urges. Resistance is that voice in your head whose sole purpose is to put down the hero of your creativity.
How do we defeat Resistance?
Steven Pressfield, in the book, presents two ways to deal with Resistance
Steven Pressfield explains it brilliantly.
“If you’re feeling massive Resistance, the good news is, it means there’s tremendous love there too. If you didn’t love the project that is terrifying you, you wouldn’t feel anything. The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference. The more Resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested art project or enterprise is to you, and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it.”
When you feel unsure about doing something, Resistance is your guiding compass. Listen to that little voice in your head trying to tell you how important it is for you to do something you have been putting off. Gauge the amount of Resistance you feel towards doing that activity. The more Resistance you feel, the more important the project is for you.
Do you have this secret desire to learn Salsa? Or You have a wish to speak in French? Or you want to start a blog? Or you want to volunteer at an NGO?
Recognize the Resistance that is holding you back. Embrace it and take up the creative pursuit. Your soul desires it.
I have been writing for 470 days, and every day, like the vampire that never dies, Resistance is waiting to defeat my creativity. Every day, around 9 pm, I face my Resistance and get down to work, even when I don’t feel like working. All I care about is writing about some seed of an idea that strikes me and keeping writing until I have got a working draft. Sometimes, it takes 1 hour, sometimes 3 to 4 hours.
When you commit to a ritual of sitting with your Resistance every day without fail, something magical happens; there is some divine power that propels you. You access a creativity source that somehow handholds you and gets you past the finishing line for the day. When you face your resistance, you tame your resistance.
“If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet. Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”