Contributed by Tanya S.
The hard part about being creative is not writing the book, painting the painting or working in your own business. The hard part is sitting down to write, standing in front of the easel or venturing out to start your own business. The hard part is starting.
Do you procrastinate? Yes we all do. But do you procrastinate thinking about your procrastination problem? Are you a painter that doesn’t paint? A writer that doesn’t write? Do you want to start a new wellness program? Do you want to go back to school? What is stopping you – resistance. We all face resistance within ourselves. It shoves us away, distracts us, buries our head – it does whatever it can to make us stop doing what we dream of and turns us the other way. It comes from within us; it is not your boss, spouse, friend, parents or children. It will give you 100 reasons why you can’t do it and tell you lies about yourself to make you believe it. The more important the act is to us, the stronger resistance is. We all face it and it never goes away. It grows stronger the closer we are to our goal. The trick is to learn to face it and move forward anyway. But how?
Resistance has gotten me many times. It is only when I am so unhappy about not following my heart that I decide to move forward. But why do I allow myself to get to this point? My resistance feels like unhappiness, restlessness, a desire to go to sleep or stay up and party. If I do not watch my vices will come in, I will watch lots of TV. But I know at this point that I am missing something. So I pay attention; what am the most afraid of? That is how I know what I have to do.
For many years, I wanted to start my own business. But I always avoided it, convincing myself I had to have thousands upon thousands of dollars. My ideas for businesses would confirm it. I needed a few hundred thousand to open a spa. So I dropped it. My next idea also cost a lot. But the idea of the business was not the important thing; the important part was working for myself and being in control of my own life. In this rough economy, I lost my job. I looked for jobs, applied but heard back from no one. I had no choice but to start my own business. Like many, I had to reach rock bottom before I could start.
Am I scared? Yes I am petrified. I have moments of self-doubt. I become paralyzed by my fears and have to sit still and talk myself out of them. But doing the work changed me. I started to realize that it was okay if I didn’t become a millionaire from my work … I do not need to create a business that I can sell in two years. I can just work for myself, earn a living to clothe, feed and house myself and that is fine. This allows me to commit to myself and take my work seriously. I will not dabble, I will do. I show up every day. I show up no matter what. I do my work until it is done. I do not let it define me. I fail – but I am happy to fail because it means I am doing it.
So how does resistance end? It doesn’t, it is always there. The difference is that I face it, smile sweetly and nod my head, and work anyway. After a while of working, day after day, dealing with fear and doubt, an amazing thing happened – I started to come up with more ideas. Creation came to fight against resistance and help me do my work. I know that if I am having a funky day, nothing will take that feeling away except working towards my goals.
Reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield reminded me of all this. Creativity is not for some, we all have it. It is not a miracle that makes our dreams come true, it is work and having a commitment big enough to move through my fears.