Resistance is the Enemy
The idea of “Resistance” came from a book I read while on Christmas vacation a year ago, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. As I was reading it, I knew my life was about to change. Some things resonate so truthfully that if you ignore them you must take full responsibility for your cowardice, accept your impending failure, and say to yourself, “You just ain’t got it kid”. Once the enemy had a name – Resistance, I had to admit that for my entire life up to that point I had always given in to it.
So what is Resistance? It takes so many forms that almost everything is resistance. It’s anything that stops us from doing what we know we should be doing with our lives, things that elevate us, the pursuit of our calling and purpose. It’s the artist that doesn’t paint, the writer that doesn’t write, the dancer that doesn’t dance, the entrepreneur that doesn’t start the enterprise he’s dreaming about. It’s the self-doubt that criticizes our rough draft and convinces us that it’s not good enough for anyone to see much less publish. It’s the procrastination that protects us from the risk of failure, better to dream about it than find out we really don’t have what it takes, right? It’s the perfectionism that needs to do a little more research, improve just a little on that talent first, add that one extra educational achievement before we are ready to roll things out (which we won’t). In total Resistance is anything that keeps us from delivering our gifts to the world, and anything that keeps us from doing our work and fulfilling our purpose.
What are we doing instead of “Our Work”? We’re engaging in our shadow career, something easier, something we’re less passionate about, our soul less invested in, something far less risky than actually taking a chance and possibly failing in the one endeavor that you dream about doing in your heart of hearts. Your shadow career pays the bills, it’s the industry you’ve paid your dues in, even climbed midway up the ladder just because you’ve been there so long and attained some competence in. You can’t possibly start over in something totally new now, “I’m too old!” The best thing about the shadow career is that if it doesn’t work out, it’s no big deal, your soul never fully bought into it anyway. It was just a means to a living.
Now your “Work” is a different story. It’s good to have hope. One day the stars might line up and you’ll actually take action on your dream, but if you fail here, you’ll be devastated. So why risk it? It’s so much better to carry the dream around unharmed. You can plan it, talk about it, fantasize about it, lament over it, and then you still have something to hang on to. But if you go for it…and it doesn’t work out…then what? This is what we don’t want to face. This is why Resistance is such a fierce adversary. There’s too much at stake. It’s a battle for your life. It’s a battle to the death. Only one of you will leave the battlefield.
The turn of the year brings a chance to start with a clean slate and in the beginning of 2014 I wondered to myself, “well, I know for a fact that I’ve given in to Resistance for my entire 30 year business career. I’ve always gone for the sure thing, the easy hit to first base, the thing that required the least amount of effort, smallest risk, or only required the slightest of reach out of my comfort zone. In spite of this, I’ve still done ok for myself, supported my family, haven’t gone hungry. But have I really lived? Is what I’ve been doing living, or merely existing, surviving? I’m only going to be on this earth for a tick on the clock, what am I scared of? In a hundred years no one will remember me or care whether or not I made a fool of myself, or failed miserably, or how much money I made, or my socioeconomic status, or if I bested the competition. Hell no one really cares now. Only my ego cares.
What would happen, if for a change, instead of giving in to Resistance, that I faced it head on and even used Resistance as a guide? Steven Pressfield talks about the stronger the Resistance, the more likely you should be doing that. Could I use Resistance as a beacon of sorts to tell me where I should be going and which direction I should be heading? Maybe this is all I need to know.
I made a commitment during that vacation to act on each and every glimpse of Resistance, not only for the coming year, but for the next decade. I’d already coasted through three other decades and could see the results that brought me, couldn’t I at least devote one toward my experiment in Resistance Therapy? (btw, I claim the term “Resistance Therapy” and I hereby trademark it)
Well I’m a year in now and can tell you it’s been an amazing one. Just a few months into last year I could see things were rapidly taking off. I went from a sedentary homebody to a man about town. My wife, Lisa, started calling me “Sir-Lunch-A-Lot” because of the people I started to meet and connect with. It’s really true that when you make a commitment, the universe moves in mysterious ways to support your cause and become your ally. I hesitate to list my milestones because I prize humility, but I’m hoping by doing so you will be inspired to join the Resistance Fighters and conquer your dragon and begin to live your unlived life. I can hear it calling and awaiting your answer.
Milestones since starting Resistance Therapy January 1st of 2014
Started a Mastermind
Joined a Networking Group
Started a Yoga Practice
Learned to facilitate Yoga Nidra and teach monthly classes
Created 3 Different Workshop Events (Stress Retreats, Core Desires, & 7 Secrets of Money)
Created an 8-week Coaching Course (Meet Your Silent Partner)
Enrolled in Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy
Major Apartment Renovations
Restructured Apartment Management Systems
Accepted First Paid Private Coaching Client
Won Several Speaking Contests
Became President of GSU Toastmasters
Hired 4 Consultants to Launch Speaking Career
Joined the National Speaker’s Association New Orleans Chapter
Began a Career in Professional Speaking
Committed more deeply to Meditation
Determined my Core Desires
Determined my Life’s purpose
Created Salon Accelerator Group Coaching Program for Beauty Professionals
and this on top of everything else that I normally do! Oorah!