Have you struggled to get your paints out? And I don’t mean physically.
Maybe you’ve experienced ‘Resistance’.
In it, Pressfield eloquently describes what he calls ‘Resistance’.
Resistance is a negative force within us that stops us from actually doing what we really want to do.
As he explains, you’ll know what resistance is if you’ve ever…
bought a treadmill home and let it gather dust in the attic…quit a diet, a course of yoga, a mediation practice..
Resistance is likely to show up when you attempt, or even think about attempting anything that
rejects immediate gratification in favour of long term growth, health or integrity
If you’re someone with a calling to paint, it can become PRIME Resistance territory. Resistance manifests in LOADS of different ways. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking any of following, be assured you are NOT alone!
“I’ll get my paints out when…
- I’m less ‘busy’” (this was me for years!!)
- I’ve cleaned the house
- I’ve finished this other more important project
- my family doesn’t need me as much
- things at work quieten down
- my health improves
- my partner’s health improves
- I get my own studio space
- I move house
This can often feel really REAL. The reasons ARE plausible and believable.
BUT, the funny thing is, whenever one disappears, another one pops up and you’re left still NOT painting.
Oh, and you’ll also feel a strange kind of guilt about it too. Because there’s a bit of you that actually knows these ‘reasons’ are really just excuses made by Resistance.
Fortunately, Pressfield’s book is a rallying cry to overcome resistance, and he gives great advice on how to do that.
In the end it’s about honouring the part of you that desires to paint and taking clear action to schedule time in your diary to do it regularly – like you would schedule in anything else that is important to you. Pressfield calls it Turning Pro. Applying the same principles to the passion in your life as you would your paid work.
Pressfield quotes 30’s author and playwright Somerset Maugham who was once asked if he wrote on a schedule or only when inspired.
“I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at 9 o’clock sharp.”
If you’ve been in the grip of Resistance it won’t feel ‘good’ sitting down to paint. Resistance will make all kind of attempts to undermine you. Including making you intimidated by your paints and paper. But if you ignore it and focus just on the next step ahead of you, you WILL feel SO good once you’ve done it.
If you want to see more, check out this brief interview with Pressfield on overcoming Resistance:
How about you?
Have you been in the grips of Resistance? And have you managed to overcome it?
Either way, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below…
Resistance free painting this weekend!