As I write this post, I am 8 days past a personal deadline I set for myself to write a blog post for my new business website I recently launched. Every day I leave my home with my notebook and laptop seeking to out the perfect place to craft my post, and instead, I run errands, go for a run in the park, or visit a friend for lunch. Sound familiar?
So today I decided to surrender to struggle to write this post because I needed to figure out what was going on. Here is what I found.
My procrastination is called resistance.Simply stated, resistance is self-sabotage.
It comes in many forms like exercise, an additional cup of coffee, a load of laundry, or lunch with a friend.
It’s fed by fear and is happy to be with me every moment of every day if I allow it.
It’s the voice inside of me that tells me things like, “I’m tired, I have plenty of time or Nobody gives a sh*t about what I have to say.”
It disguises itself as my personal protector. By building a wall that blocks my emotions, my feelings and my will to do the work I most want to do.
So I think, I’ll put it off and complete this blog someday. Knowing full well that someday could be the day where I’m at the end of my life, and there’s no more time to write this blog post.
Did you catch resistance there? It showed up as self-dramatization.
Steven Pressfield demystifies resistance in his book, “The War of Art.” Pressfield teaches us how to identify, defeat and demolish the barriers within so we can let our creativity come through. After reading this book, I finally figured out my plan to defeat resistance. Here is what I discovered.
5 Ways to Crush Resistance.
- Become aware. As a yoga instructor, I guide my students to become aware of their bodies by focusing on the breath. So every time I find myself putting off the important work, I take a breath to regain my composure so I can become aware of triggers of resistance. My triggers include points of resistance are procrastination, frustration, eating ice cream, going for a walk and an unsettled mind.
Once I become aware of the triggers, I know I need to seek out silence. So I meditate using an app named, Calm, to regain control and composure over my mind, body, and soul.
- Eliminate distractions. There are many forms of distractions like laundry, another cup of coffee, errands, exercise, and the Internet.
To eliminate my distractions, I leave my home in my workout clothes, with my laptop and find a place to do work. I remove myself from my home, get my work done and then work out right after.
Eliminate online distractions; I use an app named, Freedom, which enables me to block access to the Internet and social media.
- Get organized and focus. I track my tasks on a to-do list and schedule my work in my calendar. I do this a few times during my work week. I usually prepare the week ahead on Sunday. Each evening as I close my workday, I review my tasks and appointments for the following day. It reduces stress and eliminates surprises.
- Reward Yourself. I usually schedule a something to look forward to on my calendar after I’ve scheduled my work time. It could be something like a manicure/pedicure, a visit to my favorite ice cream stand, wine with the girls or sitting on my couch to watch my favorite show. By having something to look forward to it helps me stay motivated to get my important work done.
- Become a Professional. It is straight out of Pressfield’s book. When you become a professional, you suddenly formulate a way to eliminate distractions and focus on the work you need to get done.Some of the gems in “The War of Art,” includes;
“A professional dedicates himself to mastering his technique.”
“A professional reinvents himself.”
“A professional isn’t afraid to ask for help.”
“A professional isn’t afraid to act in the face of fear.”
“A professional endures adversity.”
So here I am, 8 days past the deadline I set to complete this blog post, and I feel calm. I’m sitting in Barnes and Noble with my notebook and laptop, in my workout clothes, elated that I’ve completed my important work.
And all it took was awareness, motivation, eliminating distractions, getting organization and being a professional to complete this post.
So how do you overcome resistance?
For me, this simple formula seems to work. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is just to start. Start something.
One little step will usually lead to flow in the right direction.
So get off my page and go kick resistance’s ass.