Best-selling American author of the best-selling book, The War of Art, Steve Pressfield likens resistance to gravity–something that pulls us in one direction. It is a major force that can pull you away from your dream and stop you from implementing the necessary changes needed to make your dream come true.
I’ve been thinking a great deal about resistance this week — how some dreamers I have known have resisted change, how they made excuses to avoid taking a step that could radically change their lives, and how much they avoided any real risk by allowing resistance to run their show.
Why, when given the chance to go after their dream in a big way they resists it?
“Self destruction at the last minute is the force that arises from anything that challenges us to grow.”
So it appears that resistance is a natural part of making your dream come true. It’s what you do with the impulse when it arises that makes it either self-destructive time bomb or a compass calling out out to get off your ass and do it.
In this crazy, lightning-fast world we live in we seek stability. We think stability keeps us safe. So we seek to control our dream path, control our risks, and even control the tedious after it has become monotonous. Boredom is safe, right?
But safe doesn’t land you an interview with Oprah.
Can we fix this toxic behavior?
Pressfield argues that the reason your resist and never quite get your dreams off the ground because you treat your dream journey like an amateur would. Amateur by the French meaning of “one who has a taste for something, lover of, to love, a dabbler.”
Meaning, you play around.
You are someone who admires your dream, but you don’t 100% participate in the creation of it.
Pressfield contends that until you treat your dream like a professional–your dream will not come true.
The first way to change your resistance is by turning “pro” and saying to yourself:
“I am a Professional [ name your dream].”
And treating it as a professional does.
In my case, I might say, “I am a professional writer and publisher.” How does a professional writer and publisher live? A professional writer writes everyday and submits work regularly for publication. A publisher regularly seeks new talent to showcase and make money with.
Mr. Pressfield says that the 3 attributes of a true professional are –
1. Showing up for your work every day.
2. Staying with your work all day.
3. Doing your work full-time.
Are you showing up full-time for your dream?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what my dream would look like if I could live it full-time. I ponder how I’d go from doing something which supports me and my family to doing my dream full-time. I know it would take funding, but this is where my resistance begins to show its lovely face and I come up with reasons why it won’t work full-time…yet.
See–I resist too.
I tell myself that I must continue to balance supporting my family financially by doing something for a living that is not my dream in order to have extra funding for my dream while putting my son through college (because he deserves his dream–you know?). Which in turn gives me little time to work on my dream and the cycle continues. Mr. Pressfield would say that I am being an amateur.
And I don’t have an argument against that.