Steven Pressfield has really coined the term *resistance in his famous book The War of Art amongts some other books he dedicated to it, and his words are so accurate that it is a must read for everyone in the business of making shit happen.
TL;DR The resistance is a phenomenon well known to creative people, entrepreneurs and anybody trying to make something different and/or new happen – to some extent it is like a force of nature that manifest itself against our will to improve, our desire to advance.
The resistance is the dark side of the force, here to maintain our free choice in the grand scheme of thing.
Here it is, in the words of Pressfield:
From The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities that most commonly elicit Resistance:
- The pursuit of any calling
- The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
- Any diet or health regimen
- Any program of spiritual advancement.
- Education of every kind.
- The undertaking of any enterprise whose aim is to help others.
- Any act that entails commitment of the heart (the decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship, etc.)
- The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity.
In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favour of long-term growth, health, or integrity
Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.
Any of these acts will elicit resistance.
Now, what are the characteristics of Resistance?
Resistance Is Invisible
Resistance cannot be seen, heard, touched, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential.
Resistance is a repelling force.
Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.
Resistance Is Insidious
Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work.
It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole.
Resistance is protean.
It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you.
Resistance will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a 9-millimeter in your face like a stickup man.
Resistance has no conscience.
It will pledge anything to get a deal.
Then it will double-cross you as soon as your back is turned.
If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get.
Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.
Resistance Is Impersonal
Resistance is not out to get you personally.
It doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t care.
Resistance is a force of nature. It acts objectively.
Though it feels malevolent, Resistance in fact operates with the indifference of rain and transits the heavens by the same laws as stars.
When we marshal our forces to combat Resistance, we must remember this.
Resistance Is Infallible
Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North—
meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing.
We can use this.
We can use it as a compass.
We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or purpose that we must follow before all others.
Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution,
the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
Resistance Is Universal
We’re wrong if we think we’re the only ones struggling with Resistance.
Everyone who has a body experiences Resistance.
Resistance Never Sleeps
Henry Fonda was still throwing up before each stage performance,
even when he was seventy-five.
In other words, fear doesn’t go away.
The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity:
The battle must be fought anew every day.
Resistance Plays for Keeps
Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable.
Resistance makes no prisoners.
Resistance aims to kill.
Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, our uniqueness.
Resistance aim to take the priceless gift we were put on this earth to give and that no one else has but us.
Resistance means business.
When we fight it, we are in a war to the death
About The Resistance by Steven Pressfield
Now you know.
Start paying attention.
Procrastination, self-doubt, over-confidence, anything that result in delaying the creation of anything of value – is the resistance at work.
Fighting the resistance is like a sport.
You start slow and easy.
As you get better, so does the resistance.
It is like Newton third law, for every force exerted, you have a a second force in direct opposition and equal in magnitude resisting the force of progress.