Did you know that there’s a force out there that may be crushing your dreams right now, without you even being aware of it? I’ve just finished reading Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art. While there were parts of the book that I fundamentally disagree with, it was still an interesting read on the topic of resistance – the force that does its utmost to prevent us from ever achieving our goals and turning our biggest dreams into reality. Resistance is that which sucks our souls dry and leaves us mired in the hell that is the almost-but-not-quite. It’s the thing that chains us to unrealized potential.
Pressfield views resistance as a lethal killer – it’s out to obliterate us utterly by making sure that we never, ever, achieve that dream that is inside of us, and it’s the ultimate soul-destroyer. A little melodramatic maybe, but I do think he has a point. Resistance tells us that not going after the dream is the most reasonable thing to do and it gives us all sorts of excellent reasons why we shouldn’t. And it is such a clever beast – it’s a master of disguise and can cloak itself in ways that make it’s seductive words seem like the most sane and logical course of action we could take. It
Resistance is a liar
But all its words and reasons are outright lies. Resistance is not here to protect you, or help you in any way. Its sole raison d’être is the destruction of your dream; the complete annihilation of that special gift that only you can bring to this world. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions… well, resistance is the one who built that road in the first place.
When you lose your dream – when you give up on it or let it go – you are dooming yourself to a lifetime of wondering what would have happened… if. If you’d been brave enough. If you’d been determined enough. If you’d been strong enough. If you’d been motivated enough. If you’d just stood up for yourself and taken the chance to make it happen.
Resistance will destroy you
The thing is there is nothing more harmful to the human soul than not going after the dream. This is the biggest cause of misery and unhappiness out there. When you are not actively becoming the best version of you that you can be… it destroys you from the inside out. Resistance may be slowly crushing your dreams, but they will never die completely. Never. They are too much a part of you.
So when you let them go they will continue to gnaw at you forever. No matter what you do or where you go, they will be calling to you, desperately trying to turn you in the right direction. And there is nowhere in all of Creation that you can run or hide that will keep those dreams from whispering to you… begging you to turn them into a reality.
And this is why resistance is so dangerous. The sole purpose of resistance is to prevent you from taking the action that is necessary to turn your dreams into reality. It will appeal to your sense of responsibility; it will guilt-trip you; it will seduce you by telling you that you will be happier if you just let it go. It will tell you that it’s too hard. It will tell you that another option would make more sense for you. It will tell you that putting things off is the best way to make things happen. It will tell you anything it needs to tell you in order keep you from doing what you must do in order to turn those dreams into reality.
Resistance knows you
You see, resistance knows you. In some ways, it knows you better than you know yourself. It knows how to manipulate you, and it will not hesitate to do so. It knows exactly what to tell you to make you procrastinate and put things off, and it knows how to make you think that that is actually a good thing. You’ll be crushing your dreams and thinking you’re doing the right thing by doing so, even though you’re destroying your soul in the process. And the really insidious thing about it all is that more important that dream of yours is to you, the stronger your resistance to actually making it happen will be.
It’s critical that you recognize resistance when it crops up, for two reasons: 1) obviously, it should be a danger signal to you that you need to be very careful about what messages you’re listening to and acting upon; and 2) it should also be a signal to you that you are on the right path; when you’re feeling resistance towards doing something that you know will help you, it is a sign that this is the direction in which you absolutely must move forward.
Resistance is a sign
Train yourself to see resistance as the doorway to everything you want in life. Don’t go looking for it, of course, but when you notice it cropping up, realize that is a neon sign pointing the way to the course of action that will be most beneficial to your own personal evolution or emergence. When you feel resistance, it means that this is what you need to do in order to get to your next level.
So do it.
Recognize what the resistance is and what it means. Let it make you angry if that’s what it takes – how dare resistance stand between you and everything you want most in life? How dare resistance try to tell you that this isn’t what you really want when you can feel with every fibre of your being that it is? How dare resistance try to squash the precious gift that only you can give to this beautiful world? How dare it.
Use resistance as fuel for the fire
Let the realization that resistance is standing between you and your dream fuel your determination to succeed. Feel the power that comes with this realization and then use every single trick you know to get yourself through it. Just freaking DO IT! Got a book you’ve been wanting to write? Make yourself write every single day. Set a timer and focus yourself completely on getting it done. It doesn’t matter if what you write is any good, as long as you make sure to write during the time you have dedicated to the task, and that you do it consistently.
Trying to launch a business but keep putting things off? Same thing; use a timer and get things done. Just decide to do it and then make it happen. Whatever your dream is, commit yourself to taking real action towards it every single day despite anything in you that tries to convince you not to. Build that website. Sign up for the audition. Submit your demo tape. Apply for the job. Ask about showing your work at that new gallery. Just do something today to bring yourself closer to that dream. And then do something else to bring you even closer tomorrow.
Don’t let resistance to continue crushing your dreams. Don’t let it drain your soul. See that resistance for the destructive force that it is and push through it. The only power it has is the power you give it. Take the power back and channel it into building that which you want most in life. Build your dream.
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)