I know that, if you’re reading this, you must be a creative person, although I don’t know what your dream is. Maybe you would like to write a book, finish a quilt, learn how to play the guitar or how to cook. What I do know for certain, is that behind every one of those dreams there is a monster in hiding. It is called Resistance.
Resistance is an annoying and lazy monster. It lives in a corner of your head, sitting on an old stool. It uses phrases such as “be careful”, “it’s best to leave it” or “tomorrow”. It’s the King of excuses, and words like “change”, “risk” or “challenge” put it to work.
Resistance takes its job very seriously, which consists in impeding you to move forward. It creates fear and doubts and it does the impossible for everything to stay as it is. If it feels threatened it whispers a thousand temptations: “check your Gmail again”, “tomorrow you will have more time”, “go to the cinema”, and if it feels that you are running a risk it begins to sabotage you.
Here are three tools you can use to keep your old monster quiet:
1. When Resistance appears, don’t act as if nothing happened. Notice that it’s behind the “I’m going to arrange my desk again”, hiding. Give it a name, open your door and invite it in. Explain to it that you understand its motives but that it need not defend you anymore. Resistance is, at heart, a friend. Margaret Atwood said that in the same way that there can be no shadow unless there is light, our resistance exists because we have a dream. So welcome it. Let it vent, and after that you’ll politely invite it to leave your house so you can start working.
2. No tool is better against Resistance than persistence. The downfall is that it’s not always easy to persist. Our day-to-days are full of excuses, requests, urgencies… If persisting is impossible for you then be stubborn. Be like a kid who wants another cookie. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it; don’t let them tell you that you might not be alright. Climb up a few dictionaries, pick up your jar, fill your mouth with chocolate and ask them to leave you alone.
3. Use your passion: paint with passion, write with passion, take photographs with passion; don’t let your fears or insecurities mask the largest resource you own. Don’t expect the round of applause; don’t think about what others may say. Create for the love of creating and you will see that if you increase your work, Resistance won’t have any place to stay.
Unfortunately we are not born with infinite possibilities. Each of us has a talent to discover, a ‘me’ to uncover.
Don’t let any resistance drag you through the safe world of “everyone is doing it this way” impeding you to discover your destiny.
Deep down you know what you have to do. Say it. Yell it out if necessary. Everything is valid, when a dream must come true.