Fear and Resistance
Episode 002: Fear and Resistance
Resistance is an invisible force stopping you from doing your work. The more important the work, the more it will hold you back. So what to do? Listen to hear my thoughts on it.
Episode 002: Fear and Resistance transcript:
So guys, episode number 2. Thank you so much for clicking to listen to this one and all the feedback you have been giving me over the first, the pilot episode. It’s been a lot of wonderful texts and amazing comments and it did feed my ego… so thank you. I really appreciate it.
I posted this on the podcast Insta page, but I wanted to reach a 100 followers on Instagram and I wanted to have 100 listeners in the first week and what do you know? by the time we are recording this I have 118 of you guys following me and 112 listens so I’m super pumped thank you for all the feedback and especially the feedback that couple of you gave me regarding my voice cause it’s very hard to record something and listen back to yourself and say “Oh my gosh I sound so terrible and I hate it” and many of you said that my voice was very intriguing and interesting and secondly—regarding the content—it was really nice to hear that and handful of you have said that it sounded like I was just talking to you and really asking you about the imposter complex and experience of it so keep listening and subscribing end thank you for even the reviews, I have a couple of those on iTunes that’s what’s really making this fun if you tell me what you like then I can create that content for you. So I really appreciate it.
So today I wanted to tell you a little bit about what to expect for the future and the content I want to create for you will be a handful of solo episodes probably nothing ever really more than 30 minutes long, we will see, and then a handful of bonus episode after each arc that will be more of an interview format with guests that you may or may not know creative field some friends of mine are clients of mine with whom I have worked with.
Today I want to tell you that I reached out to two really exciting guests and they’re kind of famous in my world—in the design and creative fields—or in my book anyway, and I want to tell you about how I reached out to them and how to relates to today’s topic which is fear and resistance. I’ll put a pin in to who they are and what they said but first I wanted to tell you that fear and resistance I’m gonna group it together for today’s episode because I feel that they go hand-in-hand to describe the inaction of moving forward they mean the inaction of moving forward so fear is more of the motion that we feel, but resistance is actually the action or in this case, to inaction we take.
So in my creative field of graphic design tackling a project always comes with excitement first and then fear sets in. I’m not sure if you’re experiencing this in new challenges in your work or your line of work that do you do but it’s always a sense of excitement “OK, does things happening I just met the coolest clients they have some really neat things that they want to do with me” and then fear immediately sets in. What if fail, what if I’m not good enough. Sometimes I don’t even make any progress because I already pre-determined that I’m just gonna suck at this job and I won’t do a good job and why even bother. Eventually, I need to pay the bills and I end up talking myself off the ledge but this idea of fear interferes with my work on a regular basis.
Often times it just creeps in midway. Like a mid-project meltdown. Things are moving forward but then all of a sudden seemingly does this something that stops me. I find really creative excuses for time and money and energy and what I want to tell you today is that that something is called resistance.
I really love this book by Stephen Pressfield it’s called the War of Art and in this book, he says this so well he says “Resistance is invisible, it’s self-generated, and it stops us from doing the most important work that we have to do.” It will seduce us to do things like cleaning your sink, I work from home, so I often find myself cleaning the sink or sneakily all of a sudden thinking that I need a cup of water, or I’m hungry and I just find myself with the fridge wide open, wondering what I should eat. Other forms can grow into something you may hear as buffering, such as social drinking or even just social media consumption. You might find yourself scrolling through your phone endlessly no matter where you are, in the grocery line or when you’re hanging out with your friends.
Have you ever noticed that when you have to do something really hard or it’s not going well you’re all of a sudden distracted, all of a sudden it seems possible to do the task and for me and often comes up but I’m quoting a project. I say that it something really custom and I don’t really know the price but really in my heart of hearts I always have kind of a gut number that I’m ready for but I dillydally and I don’t take the few minutes really that I would need to create a quote to send it off because I’m stopping myself, I am allowing the resistance to hold me back from quoting what I need to quote and what I am worth.
What do I do? I get up from my desk and make a cup of tea. Do I really need tea? Maybe. It’s beneficial and antioxidant and hydrating but it’s also a form of resisting. So do you really need to fold laundry when you’re supposed to be writing a blog post for your company website? Probably not. Did I really need that cuppa tea? Probably not.
Turns out this resistance, this invisible force of where you just need to pop up from your desk or not finish something, or switch task it’s really resistance and it’s really very sneaky thing. It will double-cross you it will bully you it will lie to you. One of my favorite lines in this book, from the War of Art, is that “Resistance is infallible.” and I want you to think about that for second and let that sink in.
“Resistance is infallible”
So it leads me to a couple of thoughts on resistance that I want you to kind of considering me one is that if you’re noticing that you’re standing in front of the fridge with the door wide open, wondering what you should eat, maybe that’s a trigger for you. I think it’s Brene Brown who says in one of her TED talks that she has a note on her fridge or pantry I can’t exactly remember that says “Why are you here?” Just a little note. I love that because it stops you in your tracks and makes your check-in.
So it’s one thing that you may unconsciously get to the point that you get up from your desk and you are in front of your fridge but if you know that that’s a trigger for you then you can combat that up at something as simple as that little note. And maybe perhaps you are hungry, and maybe perhaps it is lunchtime but it is possible that you are trying to eat out of boredom or resistance.
And it doesn’t have to be food I’m just using this as an example.
I oftentimes find these triggers—I find myself on Instagram scrolling I love Instagram and so when I have to get some really serious work done I put it to airplane mode and it’s actually not until I’m trying to get on the app where it’s telling me that I don’t have Internet, or when it’s not loading that I realize that I’m basically fueling my resistance, I’m basically taking away from the important work that I have to do.
So the truth is that everything we really ever want is on the other side of fear, it’s on this other side of resistance, it’s on the other side of yucky and uncomfortable so if you think that I’m not shaking in my boots recording these episodes I really am—it is it is very nerve-wracking.
I have pushed back for a year with really really good, fantastic excuses on why not to pull the trigger and I did have a challenging year yet I was just using that as resistance to fight back.
The quote that I love the most in this book says “That the more important a call or action is to our souls’ evolution the more resistance we will feel towards pursuing it. So the more important the call the more resistance we will feel.
One of my tricks is to tune out the world—for example, I didn’t really do any research on the podcast format. I am doing what makes sense to me. I know a lot of people do solo episodes, lot of people do interview formats, there are some wonderful creative podcasts out there, inspirational stuff, there is amazing work on thought work out there, but I didn’t want any of that to influence me and stop me in my tracks and create more resistance and more excuses, so I’m just going with what feels right for me and hopefully what sounds good to you.
And secondly, it’s about doing the work, to just actually sit down and do the work. It’s fascinating how much you can start to learn to trust yourself when you move towards the discomfort and allow it to be just kind of weird and icky. I want to suggest to you that you really quickly set yourself a goal to do something in 10 minutes. I read a post somewhere last week that’s said: “it took me 11 minutes to do something I pushed off for three months.” And I just really resonated with that so when I typed up the excel spreadsheet for the podcast episodes I put down a little synopsis next to each episode and then I put down some initials of guest names whom I wanted to invite this is where I wanted to unpin that pin from the beginning of the podcast.
I wanted to tell you I have some really big goals for this podcast I want to talk to some really interesting people and let them tell you how they got to where they got to and what it’s like to be in the creative process, what it’s like to be working with me who is guiding them in the creative process.
I could’ve just sat around in fear wondering if I could invite these guests to the podcast or I could just sit down and do it so I gave myself (I was actually overseas when this all happened and I just gave myself a couple of minutes and I wrote out the email to these two amazing women and I explained to them who I was and instead of getting wrapped up in “I only have one episode” “They don’t know who I am” “I don’t really have any clout especially not in the podcasting field” how will they feel or what will they think. Instead of just getting caught up in all of those excuses and fears and resistance, really, I just decided to send the email invite them, say hit send. And what do you know both of these women responded back as a tentative yes. I don’t know how or when we will get all of this done but it was really amazing and I was completely shocked that it happened so organically and beautifully and I just didn’t make it into a bigger thing that needed to be I just immediately took that fear and resistance out of the equation, right?
So the end of the day it’s just a simple email to write and instead of fear of I’m not going to be good enough or resisting sending the whole entire note out and just getting wrapped up in a lot and lots of drama I just did it.
Guys, I’m telling you if I can do it you can do it too.
So my point today is two-fold again. But for real. One is to turn out the triggers and well, one is to tune out distractions and notice the triggers, right? so maybe it’s that fridge door for you, maybe it’s Instagram so you could leave yourself a note on the fridge or you can turn off the internet or you can set a timer on your phone. The other thing is to do the work. It’s always worth it at least to gain a little bit of momentum because you know that on the other side of fear and all the heartache it’s the good juicy stuff that you want to get to get yourself that momentum by spending 10 minutes creating a little bit of content, making a task list, emailing that one person that you’ve been putting off because it’s going to move to next steps forward. So instead of looking at all of this as just giant boulders that you have to move that seems possible maybe you get your toolbox out and that jackhammer out in the first 10 minutes and plug it in. So the next time you’re ready to start working on it.
Don’t discredit the efforts that you can put forth in 10 minutes especially if you are racing the clock and set a timer it’s absolutely amazing how much you can accomplish or how much momentum you can gain when you know that next time another 10 minutes will propel you even more forward.
The more you lean in and kick resistance’s invisible ass the more, the closer you gonna get to the juicy work that you are really meant to share with the world. So let me know how this lands for you and I’ll catch you next time.