Writers block or the inability to pursue creative endeavours affects all of us.
I struggle with this “Resistance” on a daily bases, it blocks me from producing work. I was introduced to the concept of resistance by the book “The War of Art“, by Steven Pressfield. In the book he explains that any action that takes you from a lower sphere to a higher sphere in life insights resistance.
Resistance is that feeling of discontent. You feel like you want to get up and party, but you want to stay in bed. You want to leave your dead end job, but you are too afraid of the new change. It is a state of indecision, unable to commit to an action that you know deep down you should do. An action you would tell your best friend to do in a heartbeat. An action you would tell yourself to do, if you only had the guts.
Fortunately there is a way to overcome resistance. That is as Mr. Pressfield puts it, “turning pro”. Turning pro is the act of committing, not only in words but in body, mind and action. Committing to move towards your goal inch by inch each and everyday. With this action you are telling resistance that you are not going to be bullied anymore, that you will fight it tooth and nail, gaining ground an atom at a time.
My mentor Brian used to tell me, “beginning with the end in mind”. When I set out to write my book, I knew I needed about 10 hours of content, the approximate length of a 250 page non-fiction audiobook. I worked backwards, if I had to finish recording in 30 days, 10 hours of audio, I could do it by recording 20 minutes each day. If I simply followed this rule, I would arrive at 10 hours like magic.
I pre-committed to recording 20 minutes a day before leaving my room each day. Before leaving my room, I would send the recording to my virtual assistant to transcribe. After 30 days I had recorded over 13 hours of audio. The simple act of starting each day towards my goal, got me motivated to record above and beyond the 20 minutes I set out for myself.
The act of pre-commitment helps with our willpower. If we slot the action into what happens naturally in our day, the action has a chance to form into a habit.
Beat resistance by moving towards your goals little by little each day.