…and by “this one” I of course mean me.
The last few months have been nothing short of a constant battle (a mostly losing battle, it’s felt like) against that inner hell-demon many, most notably Steven Pressfield, refer to as Resistance. I tend to refer to it more specifically as self-resistance, but ultimately the name is irrelevant. Whatever you call it, the force is ever-present and opposing any kind of creative or soul-driven effort we try to make.
Why? Because it hates change and it wants us to hate change so we can coast along and stay cozy-comfortable without attempting anything that could allow ourselves and our souls to grow.
In truth, I’ve felt self-resistance before, but never like this. In recent weeks, I’ve come to peel back layers on my vision and goals — which include vast amounts of fiction and nonfiction writing, and, on the physical end, vast amounts of running. And self-resistance has been in my face at every turn.
I knew it would be difficult to form new habits and do away with old ones. But what I didn’t expect was how insanely difficult it would be and how set my mind has been with those old comfort-seeking habits — the harder I try to set these types of goals these days, the less I seem to be doing of them and the more self-resistance seems to be winning.
I know this probably sounds like whining. And maybe at some superficial level it is. But what I’m trying to point out is that despite this constant opposing inner force that I’ve allowed for so many years to stifle my creative efforts, I’m pretty set on making sure I move past this stage of difficulty.
Years of succumbing to anxiety and grief, allowing the pain and fear of both to convince me to not to move forward with those things that I know drive me most, has inadvertently resulted in a thick wall of fog that surrounds me most when I’m actually closest to change.
And that’s the kicker here. I’m realizing now why I’m facing resistance at its most potent ever — I’m close. I’m close to actually making this thing a reality. I’m close to transitioning from hesitant, uncertain, doubtful, once-in-awhile-when-I-feel-the-rush-of-creative-energy to a person of consistency, persistence, non-negotiable creation. Yes, I realize that sounds naively optimistic, but I don’t care.
All I know is that resistance has been one bastard of a foe as of late and I’m determined to overcome by doing exactly what it’s trying to convince me to not do. And that is rise early. Run. Write. Create and move incessantly.
With this I’m also realizing how much I truly need to create my own path here, my own routine. I’ve been trying routines others have used, but going by those pre-set templates hasn’t been working. Nothing has stuck. And so I’m continuing to chip away at the routine, taking influence from many sources, until I get it down to what does work and what allows me to do these things daily while also maintaining those other factors I love and am responsible for in life.
There are some who may be thinking that I don’t need to run every day to be a runner, or write every day to be a writer. Well, for me I do. I need to go all in on this. If I don’t do it with consistency, I don’t feel that deep-down settling at the core of myself. When I have been consistent with these things, I’ve felt an inner tranquility begin to ferment and then spread. But because of all those years of negative mindset and anxious fear-based actions and endured grief from loss, I’ve allowed fear to convince me to not remain consistent. The stark reality is that succumbing to fear is a death sentence for soul growth and creativity.
Another thing I’m realizing: self-resistance, anxiety, fear — none of these will ever go away, There is no “defeating” of these things for humans in my view. You can tame them and manage them, but they’ll still be there, waiting at every turn in the event you decide to doubt. The goal is to get to a point where they don’t rule your life, they don’t drive the car. They stay in the back seat with mouths shut and eyes out the window.
What I need to do, what I must do, is move forward in spite of it all. Run forward when the fear-based mindset throws up red flags and sets off flares and sounds the alarms screaming at me to stop because it’s afraid of change, afraid of what might come of it.
But I already know what might come of it. That inner peace of knowing I’m following my gut, and finally listening to what my core has been whispering me to do for so long.