Some weeks, I experience this great inspiration and I know exactly what I want to share in my blog. It flows effortlessly from my brain to my fingertips as I type it all out.
And then some weeks, I feel like there is no major inspiration, but I will have a few little ideas that I toss around. I start writing and then I question myself. I save that and start writing on something else and while this process is happening, there is this voice in my head telling me that that it has to be the most divine, uplifting information in order to be worthy of sharing. This voice tells me that I have to be able to save people with my writing for it to be worthy of hitting the Publish button. And so, I wait; I start and stop; I hesitate; and then I beat myself up for not having the most inspiring blog for every person every single week.
According to Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art, what I am experiencing is called Resistance. It is a force of nature that will try to derail any creative efforts of any person. He also states that it is fed solely by our own fear. He states that any time there is a dream, there will automatically be Resistance.
The pressure to live up to the perfectionistic expectations set by Resistance is maddening. And it is asking us to achieve something truly impossible. Tara Mohr describes the result of this commentary from our Inner Critic as ‘coaching us into hiding’. I agree. When my Inner Critic gets going, I feel like I am not creative enough or motivating enough or talented enough because I am not struck with the exact “right” thing to blog about this week, and then I hide. I put the writing off. I tell myself that I don’t have to blog every week, but then I feel like a failure for skipping a week, giving Resistance even more power.
One thing that we can work to let go of when we experience Resistance is the idea that “I can move forward when…” For example, “I can move forward with this week’s blog when I receive the glorious awakening that will reach everyone in existence.” Or “I can move forward with starting to teach that new class when I finish the training I am going through.” Or “I can move forward with helping people when I finish the book I am reading and I know more.” (I could go on for a while here…)
These are all excuses for not moving forward based on fear. Our Inner Critic thrives on motivation by fear and it is very good at sounding like the voice of reason. We believe that the Inner Critic or Resistance is our own voice, but Pressfield reassures us that thoughts of ‘I’m not good enough’ are not our voice, but purely Resistance trying to keep us from bettering ourselves. One of the excuses that I am familiar with is that I don’t know enough yet. I need to know more before I can help others, I need to know more before I can be a success, I need to know more before I can move forward with my business…and on it goes. And it’s all a lie. You may be familiar with this lie or others, but they are lies to keep us small and stuck right where we are. It’s quite comfy here, after all, as we already know what to expect. But, that’s not how we grow.
The Inner Critic gets really uncomfortable with the thought that we may possibly put ourselves out there, succeed, and then not need listen to the ongoing critical commentary any more. When we get close to something important or creative, the Inner Critic ups the game: “Oh. My. Gosh! You are planning to do WHAT?! You are going to look soooooo stupid! No one will ever talk to you again. You may as well just give up now. In fact, don’t even try. That would be the safest thing to do…” Basically, stay small.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?……And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
Marianne says it so well. There is no one else alive who can offer what you can offer to the world in the exact way that you can offer it. Pressfield tells us that we must sit down and “do the work” to move forward and then we will feel better. What if we put ourselves out there and we actually help others? What if we put ourselves out there and end up helping ourselves? What if we put ourselves out there and nothing happens? We will never know what could happen until we stop listening to the Inner Critic and just do the work.
So many inspiring people have put themselves out there and given us permission to do the same. Be brave. Share yourself with the world. It won’t be easy. Resistance will rear it’s ugly head and try to keep you stuck where you are. That is the sign that you must push forward because Resistance increases when there is a chance that we will move into greatness.
Take a deep breath and give it a try. I know you can do it. And don’t worry, I will be fighting Resistance right next to you.
Talk again soon,