When the Resistance Comes Calling

The writer Stephen Pressfield has a great book called The War of Art. One concept he explores is what he calls “the Resistance.” This is an all-too-common phenomenon for anyone who is trying to make anything—the idea of making the thing is great, but sitting down and grinding it out seems impossible. 

The Resistance makes up a million excuses about why now isn’t the best time, what else you could be doing instead, and has a host of clever ways to get us to put off creating whatever our cool thing may be. The most insidious thing the Resistance does is talk to us in our own voice. 

Thousands of people want to do the same thing you do; what makes you think you can make it?

No one cares about what you make.

Do you think you’re special?

You know you’re just going to quit again, why even start?

What on earth makes you think you have something unique to share?

We talk to ourselves in ways most of us would never dream of talking to someone else, especially a person we care about. 

However, the Resistance wavers in the face of persistence and a great internal cheerleader. The cheerleader is the counterpart to the voice of the Resistance—if it says, “no one cares about what you make,” the cheerleader says, “I do! It matters to me!” The cheerleader reminds you who you are, why you matter, and that what you do in the world is important. We all need cheerleaders, especially when the Resistance is at its strongest.

You can’t believe the Resistance, no matter whose voice it uses.

The Spotlight Is On You

Rate of Perceived Exertion

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