The Voice of Resistance

One of the most influential books I read in 2019 was Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, a 190 page reflection on what is needed to create and battling the voice of Resistance. I later read Pressfield’s Going Pro. Twice. “Going Pro” is Pressfield’s antidote to the voice of Resistance.

Resistance is the voice of the enemy, working to keep us from pursing our calling.
It is the voice that says,
“You don’t have a story to tell.”
“It’s already after ____ o’clock; may as well wait until tomorrow (and tomorrow…and tomorrow…)”
“No one wants to read/see/hear your work.”
“Boy, were you wrong! You aren’t cut out for this at all!”

While working on a project recently, things had been clicking along quite nicely with progress coming on a regular basis and joy seeping through the seams of the process. Empowerment was flowing. “This is going better than I’d dared to hope! Let’s keep pushing. Growing. Pursuing.”

And one day the work didn’t go well. At all. It was thoroughly disappointing.

“Yikes. You were really wrong on this one,” comes the whisper of Resistance. “Don’t you think it’s time to move on? Why don’t you try something else. You may have swerved out of your lane here…”

I almost wrote the whisper was “This was a failure. YOU are a failure.” Because that IS what it FELT like, but that’s not the words. That is too harsh to be true. However, had I indulged Resistance and let that voice carry the day, it could have fermented to that level.

One important factor of the voice of Resistance that Pressfield does point out is that Resistance’s voice sounds JUST LIKE MINE.

Overcoming Resistance, Pressfield argues, requires a professional level routine. Want to write? Then write EVERY DAY. Want to paint/sing/act? Whatever your medium of creation, it must be pursued–actively, routinely pursued–every day.

Overcoming Resistance also requires knowing the truth and having the ability to speak the truth right back in Resistance’s face.
“Today was a bad day, but one tiny step backward does not take me back to where I began.
I’m far too far along on this journey.
The process is good.
The work will get better.
I will pursue it.
I will NOT be sidelined.
I will not sit the bench.
I have GONE PRO.”

And that day, the work was thoroughly disappointing and disheartening.
But the next day was a new opportunity to pursue and push and create and work.
And it was a better day.

The voice of Resistance is oh so very real.
But you know the truth.
You were created to create!
Refuse to be sidelined.
It’s your life.
You get to play.

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