As I’m typing my first blog post, I’m having an epic battle with Resistance.
You probably don’t know this about me, but I’ve been building a business for almost a year now. I’ve chipped away at expensive courses, read probably 30 books, taught myself some coding languages, participated in dozens of webinars – ALL without a peep of sharing what I was doing with the world, nor a mention of how I could share my talents with others.
I just started reading Steven Pressfield’s, “Do the Work,” which is about ACTING first on your goal and refining later – and how left unchecked, Resistance will take you and your good intentions down. My face burned red as I read this line:
Start before You’re Ready.
Don’t prepare. Begin.
My bedside table is littered with books on business, leadership, communication, sales, and entrepreneurship, splashed with some self help. But acting on the knowledge? Well…
Pressfield even predicts this tendency, and suggests putting oneself on “A Research Diet,” allowing three books maximum on your subject, as:
Research can become Resistance.
We want to work, not prepare to work.
If you are an entrepreneur, or in any creative field, the struggle with Resistance is real.
Pressfield says, “Any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long term growth, health or integrity… Or put another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any of of these acts will elicit resistance.”
See Entrepreneurship, as it appears No. 2 on Pressfield’s Resistance Greatest Hits.
- The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.
- The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
- Any diet or health regime.
- Any program of spiritual advancement.
- Any activity whose aim is the acquisition of chiseled abdominals.
- Any course or program designed to overcome a unwholesome habit or addiction.
- Education of every kind.
- Any act of political, moral or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern on thought or conduct in ourselves.
- The undertaking in any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.
- Any act that entails commitment of the heart – the decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.
- The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity.
It starts with awareness, and Resistance is sneaky.
Have you ever been thinking about working on a business goal, sitting down to write a blog post, or just considering a new product or service, when you get this really strong urge to clean your whole house, watch a series that you’ve ‘heard is really great,’ or decide to plan a trip or adopt a puppy?
BUSTED. Resistance is so slimy, even you are convinced the procrastination is productive. In turn, that business/life goal (revisit Resistance’s Greatest Hits above) gets pushed down the line of priority chain due to your self-inflicted mini drama.
If you’re like me and you struggle to put yourself out there, I challenge you to answer these questions when resistance rears it’s ugly head around your business. This is especially pertinent for those of us, (probably women), who have guilt or shame around selling, which leads to huge procrastination and resistance.
These questions shine a spotlight in Resistance’s face, and in turn helps to illuminate your true intention.
- Are you genuinely excited about what you have to offer to the world? Why?
- Could what you have to offer positively affect the world? In what ways?
- What kind of knowledge, skills, products, services or talent are you denying the world by holding back?
- What has Resistance cost you/your business so far?
- Are you waiting until you’re “good enough” or “better” before you put yourself out there?
- When you’re reading a good article/blog, what type of person are you the most attracted to: The “perfect” person, or the one who is totally rockin’ his or her imperfections and flaws?
- Why are you attracted to him or her? Think of an example.
- At the end of the day, is your aim to manipulate or trick people into buying from you?
Now that you’ve done a gut check around your true intentions, you can boldly go tell Resistance to Screw Off.
In celebration, you’ll want to go drink a delicious Bloody Mary.
Damn. Resistance is good… Now get back to work!
The problem with creating a business that no one knows about is, well – no one knows about it, obviously! On a deeper level, the reality of letting it keep us quiet, is that our talents aren’t shared with the world.
In the Dalai Lama’s recent article written for the NY times, they discuss why modern societies, with all of our technology and advances, are so discontent:
A small hint comes from interesting research about how people thrive. In one shocking experiment, researchers found that senior citizens who didn’t feel useful to others were nearly three times as likely to die prematurely as those who did feel useful. This speaks to a broader human truth: We all need to be needed.
Being “needed” does not entail selfish pride or unhealthy attachment to the worldly esteem of others.
Rather, it consists of a natural human hunger to serve our fellow men and women.
As the 13th-century Buddhist sages taught, “If one lights a fire for others, it will also brighten one’s own way.
How can you “light a fire for others,” if no one knows about your business?
On a fundamental level, we all want to serve others, and shouldn’t feel guilty about doing that– especially in the form of a business.
As Pressfield mentions, any action or thought to pursue your higher purpose will immediately attract resistance. It’s better to be aware and prepared. Without this awareness, it has the potential to detract us for an hour, a day, several months or even several years.
In an effort to end my daily battle with Resistance, I’m posting this blog article without my regular dose of procrastination followed by obsessive editing, topped with total avoidance. I know that although I have won this battle, the war is hardly over!
I’m looking forward to using this blog to share topics and themes interesting and relevant to entrepreneurs, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear the tricky ways resistance has creeped into your business below.