I am in a challenging space in my life and it is as if the river of creativity has been dammed. Yet I know that as surely as we need air, I need to write. So I sought inspiration from myself because when I’m in this fog, reading others’ works just makes me more fogged… I need to be reminded that I am capable of putting one word in front the other in a sensible manner…
I looked into my trove and found a piece I wrote which was published (external validation – we all need it from time to time) in the How Women Work conference magazine 2013 … I think
Pushing Past Resistance to Living your Dream Life
My bookshelves are groaning under the weight of self help volumes promising the elixir of self-actualisation. So why am I still no closer to living the life of my dreams?
Knowing your heart’s desire is kindergarten, mine is writing. Actually doing it is like high school: all those swirling emotions that frequently paralyzed you. My feelings prevent me from pursuing, never mind realizing my potential. The most potent of these emotions goes by different names. Some say its fear and others resistance. I’m going to call it resistance and define it as the fear of pursuing what you were born to do.
Resistance is like treacle and it offers choices: submit or overcome; live in anxiety or live with freedom; wear a mask or be your authentic self.
My choice of degree and career was motivated by a desire for economic security and subtle but effective familial pressure. In the UK, a fifty-sixty hour work week plus 2 hours a day of commuting was the norm. Here, I tend to work regular hours and have had time to reflect, to remember and rediscover my purpose.
I excel at what I do and this is part of the reason I was able to secure my job in Qatar but it is not my true calling. This is the life am living but there is an unlived life, a dream life and between the two, as Steven Pressfield says in the ‘War of Art’, there is resistance.
Everyone who is following their true calling experiences resistance. The difference between the achievers and the rest is that they act despite the fear. In the last three years I have been swimming out of the swamp sometimes successfully and other times less so. Do I write as often as I should or would like to? Not always but I am making progress. I’ve distilled these actions from the numerous books. They’re helping me move through the molasses, I wish the same for you.
9 Actions to help push past the resistance
- Recognise that resistance exists as the sun exists.
- Recognise what it looks like for you – societal norms, family expectations, self-fulfilling myths, media projections/suggestions.
- Recognise your avoidance activities: internet surfing, eating, retail therapy.
- Feel the feeling. Go ahead allow yourself to truly feel the resistance, the anxiety, the fear. Let it rise up in you and let it wash over you. Hold it and own it. Now let it go.
- Record the feelings. Even those who claim to not be reflective, find writing out their thoughts cathartic.
- Get over yourself. The world needs you to live your passion so stop denying the world your gift. As Marianne Williamson, says in ‘Return to Love’, your playing small does not serve the world.
- Record the feelings you would like to experience or think you will have when you are living your dream life. These are usually the opposite of the feelings recorded in point 4. You’ll probably be thinking of ease instead of anxiety, openness instead of blockage, and clarity instead of confusion.
- Reach out to others. We are meant for community so if you want to write join or start a writers’ group. Remember two is a group. If you want to get fit, find a class that is calling out to you, be it spin or zumba and do that one class. Better yet invite a friend along and share the babysitting costs.
- Get a supporting cast. You are the star of your life. Find people to be your mentors: at work, via their books or their blogs, at seminars and workshops.
However, resistance is a recurring visitor so regular repetition is required. In doing so you will have the most amazing adventure of all: living the life you were born to live.