“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
I love the concept of framing my failure to do what I need to do as though there is some foe external to me that needs to be defeated. I’ve internalized this idea of Resistance (with a capital ‘R’) as an invisible force that wants me to fail at everything. Resistance wants me to take the elevator instead of the stairs. Resistance wants me to live off refined sugar and fat. Resistance wants me to go home and have a nice little sit on the couch to catch up on Instagram instead of going to the gym. Resistance wants me to brewery tour on the weekends instead of mountain biking or working around the house. Resistance wants me to sleep in to the last minute instead of getting up to write.
The interesting thing I’m finding about this mental framework is that I no longer feel like I have an inner adversary. It’s not my lack of self control, it’s not my dark side, it’s not even my failure. Resistance outwitted me—drat! Live to battle another day.
This feels important because it allows me to stay positive with myself. To treat myself as an ally instead of an adversary. I don’t need to punish myself for making a mistake, I just need to learn to do better next time.
I am getting better at this. You won’t find me sitting on the couch scrolling Instagram if I haven’t written yet on that day. But Resistance is smart and sneaky, and it’s finding new ways to try to keep me from my most difficult goals. This week has been a good example of that. I have been quite productive at work, and I’ve gotten a lot done around the house. I’ve spent time with friends and family. But I have been terrible about writing everyday.
Resistance is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It will take the easiest path to keep you from doing what you need to do, but it will not be deterred. We must remain diligent to defeat this cunning foe.