Ever felt super excited about a new project, opportunity, or piece of work to find yourself procrastinating and doing everything you can to avoid getting started? I've been going through exactly the same thing recently. When I planned and outlined my upcoming digital book release way back last autumn I was super excited and motivated to get started. After making some headway last year, I've been struggling these past two months with some serious reisistance and my launch date just keeps getting pushed back while I struggle to get things done. At first I feared it's because I just wasn't capable of such a big project, but I've realised over the past few weeks that I'm just struggling with a serious case of resistance which has been masked as avoidance and procrastination.
Overcoming creative resistance can be tough, and in my own personal experience it can leave me feeling insecure, overwhelmed, and incapable of moving forward. Thankfully, after taking a step back and spending time with some creative friends and revisiting my initial plans I'm starting to move past the resistance and really enjoy the creative process again of working on my book. If you're stuck with a project and struggling to move past resistance, I have three simple steps worth exploring to help you move forward and get the work done.
Identify The first step is to identify exactly what it is that is holding you back. Steven Pressfield said that resistance is "that invisible, destructive force that opposes you any time you try to accomplish something significant or make an improvement in any area of your life". This podcast episode from Michael Hyatt is a must listen if you're interested in finding out more. For me, it was a mixture of both fear and uncertainty. Fear of it not being good enough, and the uncertainty of this brand new challenge and creative endeavour. If you're struggling to move forward with a piece of work, take the time to figure out exactly what it is that is holding you back. Is it doubt? Overwhelm? Fear?
Explore Once you pinpoint the factors adding to your resistance, it's time to explore them in more depth. Some fears and worries are unfounded, but others are worth exploring more. For example, a huge thing holding me back was the worry I was feeling around the design of my book and how I was going to create something I was proud to release to market. Visual skills aren't my strong point, but after sitting down with a friend with graphic design experience I now feel so much better after bringing him on board as my book's designer. Get down on paper each thing that is holding you back and explore whether it's just doubt and insecurity, or something that needs more attention. The best way to move past resistance in my experience is to face each issue head on.
Overcome Now that you've identified and explored what's causing your resistance, the only thing left to do is overcome. I think the most important thing is to know that resistance is normal and is to be expected. Feeling scared about taking on a new challenge? That doesn't mean you're not capable of getting it done, and done well. Uncertain of the response and how it will be received once finished? I think everyone feels that whenever they share something new with the world. Whether it's client work or a side project you're launching, or maybe even just a new blog post or website, nerves and uncertainty comes with the territory. It's up to us to keep going, do the work we feel inspired to do, and proactively overcome the resistance holding us back. Resistance usually leads to distraction and procrastination, so craft out time for just you and your project and leave procrastination at the door. Tell the people close to you that you're struggling, ask them to cheer you on along the way, and if it's possible don't be afraid to extend your timeframe and due date.
If you're working on something super exciting and struggling to move past resistance, I'm rooting for you to get things done. I know how horrible it is to feel like you're incapable of moving forward, but I'm learning that the biggest thing standing in our way is ourselves. Move past those fears and doubt and don't be afraid to adapt along the way. Whatever happens, if you know it's something you really want to share with world, keep going until it's done.
Do you ever struggle with resistance?
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