Identifying and Overcoming Resistance in Your Creative Journey 

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By Antrese Wood, Conversations about the business of art, and Inside the artist studio. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Webster’s Dictionary defines Resistance as, “an act or instance of resisting: opposition. b: a means of resisting. 2: the power or capacity to resist.”

What comes to mind when you think about resistance? Do you start thinking about all the things that are giving your resistance in your life? Do you have a resistant family member? What about that project that keeps giving you a headache? Imagine what it would be like to clearly identify and manage the resistance you face both personally and professionally. I’d like you to join me as I share some insights about my journey with resistance and some tips I’ve picked up along the way. If you are ready to make 2020 a more productive year - you’ll want to pay close attention!

Identifying resistance

I first learned about resistance when I read Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art” in 2005. Before then, I had a hard time understanding why painting, writing, or any other creative endeavor was so hard.

Since then, I’ve re-read that book at least once every single year. Each time I read it, I have a different insight. If you’ve read Steven Pressfield’s book, the War of Art, you’re familiar with resistance. Even if you have not read his book, I’ll wager you are familiar with resistance, you just didn’t know it had a name, a proper name with a capital “R.” It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s a sneaky little bastard who’s not always easy to spot.

Pressfield uses a lot of war analogies in his descriptions of Resistance, and he’s right to do so because it’s serious business. Resistance is at war with you, it can destroy you. Resistance wants to take you out, so I do see Resistance as an enemy. If I let him have his way, I’d stop showing up for you. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere - I want to help artists like you kick this jerk to the curb!

Antrese’s rules for overcoming resistance

Resistance will encourage you to overthink, over analyze and over research to the point that your mind is so filled with data, you’re immobilized. I am the queen of overthinking and self-inflicted analysis paralysis. Since I know that is my tendency, I’m learning to make action my default. Over the years, I found a few helpful ways to combat and even overcome Resistance’s influence in my life.

Here are a few rules I’ve made for myself, in time I may adjust them but for now, they’re working for me:

  • Given the choice between consuming and making, I will always choose making.
  • I can only research for 20 minutes at a time.
  • After I research I ALWAYS take action. That means if I’m researching a technique, I can only spend 20 minutes before I try the technique.
  • I only need to know enough to take my next step. Most of the time, that baby step is enough to get me going.

So there are a few examples of rules I have created for myself and I’d like to challenge you to make your own. You may not be prone to analysis paralysis, but you’re prone to something, and Resistance will find it and use it against you. Take the time to identify Resistance’s power in your life and plot steps to mitigate and even remove its power. Trust me, I know it’s hard work but it’s worth it!

Outline of This Episode
  • [0:01] My introduction to this episode.
  • [3:00] Some awesome feedback from artists like you!
  • [5:00] Let other people inspire you.
  • [7:00] How resistance shows up in my life.
  • [9:30] Helpful rules that I’ve come up with to combat resistance.
  • [12:30] Using resistance to your advantage.
  • [17:30] How artists like you are dealing with resistance.
  • [21:00] Closing thoughts and helpful tips.
Resources Mentioned on this episode

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