January 2, 2011 by Beth Hess
There is always a reason not to bother with making a change. It’s almost always easier to just stay the same. So as I choose to be more real, I already knew courage would be a recurring theme in the journey. The inner critic would really rather I not rock the boat.
In the War of Art, author Steven Pressfield defines the enemy of change as Resistance – with a capital R. And he is very, very clear. Resistance only shows up when the change is worth doing.
Ok, so I have to face Resistance – the enemy of a new blog, a new way of thinking, eating better, sleeping more, or ANY pursuit worth doing. But I love how Pressfield defines and characterizes Resistance because he makes it way less scary. Here’s a peek at my bullet-points gleaned from several chapters of the War of Art.
- Is impersonal. It’s not out to get me. It doesn’t even know who & am and doesn’t care. It resists only for the sake of resisting.
- Has no strength of its own. All of its power comes from my fear of it.
- Gets stronger the closer I get to the finish line.
- Likes to distract me with a cheap, easy fix in order to keep me from doing my work.
- Most often shows itself as procrastination.
- Is expressed as fear. But the pro tackles the project that makes him stretch. The amateur bows to the resistance.
- Must be fought anew everyday. Its repeat appearances, then, does not mean I should give up. Quite the opposite. Repeated resistance means I am still headed in the right direction.
And this is my favorite: “Resistance is always lying and always full of crap.” (Ok, so he uses a different word, but I’m going with this one.) What a relief! I don’t have to worry about whether that inner critic is making sense or has a good argument – I just have to call her out for the liar she is and keep on doing the work (whatever it may be) that I have been called to do.
Christopher Robin says it like this to Winnie the Pooh: “You are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
But as much as I love that quote, I think I’ll cling more tightly to this one: “If God is for us, who can be against us?…In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:31, 37)