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How to Beat Resistance (Advice for Painters)

 

 

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

~ Steven Pressfield

Have you ever tried to get into your art studio only to be distracted by trivial tasks?  Do you find yourself “Productively Procrastinating” instead of doing the REAL work that matters to you? Why does doing the thing you love most seem so hard?

That, my friend is Resistance. It’s real. Even the most accomplished painters face it. Join me as I share insights about my journey and tips on how to beat Resistance. If you are ready to make 2020 a more productive year – you’ll want to pay close attention!

Identifying Resistance

I first learned about Resistance when I read Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art in 2005. Before then, I had a hard time understanding why painting, writing, or any other creative endeavor was so hard.

Since then, I’ve re-read that book at least once every year. It’s one of the few books that I re-read on a regular basis. Each time I read it, I have a different insight.

If you’ve read Steven Pressfield’s book, the War of Art, you’re familiar with Resistance. Even if you have not read his book, I’ll wager you are familiar with Resistance, you just didn’t know it had a name, a proper name with a capital “R.” It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s a sneaky little bastard who’s not always easy to spot.

Pressfield uses a lot of war analogies in his descriptions of Resistance, and he’s right to do so because it’s serious business. Resistance is at war with you, it can destroy you. Resistance wants to take you out, so I do see Resistance as an enemy. If I let him have his way, I’d stop showing up for you. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere – I want to help artists like you find your way to beat Resistance and do the work that matters most to you!

My rules for overcoming Resistance

Resistance will encourage you to overthink, over-analyze and over research to the point that your mind is so filled with data, you’re immobilized. I am the queen of overthinking and self-inflicted analysis paralysis.

Since I know that is my tendency, I’m learning to make action my default. Over the years, I found a few helpful ways to overcome Resistance’s influence in my life.

Here are a few rules I’ve made for myself, in time I may adjust them but for now, they’re among my best tips on how to beat Resistance:

  • Given the choice between consuming and making, I will always choose making.
  • I can only research for 20 minutes at a time.
  • After I research I ALWAYS take action. That means if I’m researching a technique, I can only spend 20 minutes before I try the technique.
  • I only need to know enough to take my next step. Most of the time, that baby step is enough to get me going.

I’d like to challenge you to make your own rules for beating Resistance. You may not be prone to analysis paralysis, but you’re prone to something, and Resistance will find it and use it against you. Take the time to identify Resistance’s power in your life and plot steps to mitigate and even remove its power. Trust me, I know it’s hard work but it’s worth it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:01] My introduction to this episode.
  • [3:00] Some awesome feedback from artists like you!
  • [5:00] Let other people inspire you.
  • [7:00] How Resistance shows up in my life.
  • [9:30] Helpful rules that I’ve come up with for how to beat Resistance.
  • [12:30] Using resistance to your advantage.
  • [17:30] How artists like you are dealing with Resistance.
  • [21:00] Closing thoughts and helpful tips.

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Resources Mentioned on this episode

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