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Episode #36: Resistance

I was listening to a great podcast the other day with Steven Pressfield called Entre Leadership. Now, if you don’t know Steven, he is an American author of The War of Art who talks about how everyone has resistance. This is such an amazing idea that I want to share it with you.


Steven’s been a writer for decades and decades, and he says that when he sits down to write, he still feels resistance. Even though he’s trained his craft, every time he sits at the keyboard, his brain tries to distract him by saying he’s thirsty or he needs to grab something really quick.


I felt huge relief when I heard this. Sometimes I’m in a great flow and I get a lot of things done. And sometimes I just don’t want to work on tasks that would move my business forward.


The way to get through this resistance is…..he just does what he’s supposed to be doing. There’s no crazy strategy here. Our brain is always going to try to take us off course. You just need to sit there with those thoughts, and still do the thing you’re supposed to do.


If Steven Pressfield has experienced this, then so can I! It’s totally normal. There is nothing wrong with you if you feel that resistance. But if you go to the meeting and walk through that resistance, you’ll still move forward toward your ultimate goal.


When I push through the resistance, I feel more energized and excited about my work. Because I did what I said I was going to, it allowed me to lean in and enjoy a little time off.


Call to Action: Notice when you’re feeling resistance. Do the thing you’re supposed to. And then, notice how you feel when you work through that resistance.

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Hello and welcome to episode number 36 of the Strategy Corner, where our goal is to get you to take action. I’m your host, Michel Zink, the owner of Intentional Solutions Corp. Today’s strategy is all about resistance and how to get things done even when you don’t want to. I was in Atlanta two weeks ago visiting a client and I was listening to this amazing podcast on Entre leadership. So it’s a podcast. It’s called Entre Leadership. And they were interviewing Stephen Pressfield and he’s the author of many amazing books, one of which is Art of War. And he was talking about this idea that everyone has resistance. And when he said that, I was really taken aback by it because he was talking about how every day when he would go to his typewriter, his computer, I guess a typewriter wouldn’t be right. That’s really aging him. But his computer to actually write in the morning, he would always feel resistance every time. And this gentleman has written thousands, you know, thousands of words. And every time he sat down his computer, he would feel resistance. He talked about how his mind would say he needs a cup of tea or his mind would say, I need to use the restroom or his mind would say, you shouldn’t be doing this or his mind would say, let’s go for a walk.


And as he was sharing this, it really made me feel normal. It was one of the best things I could hear. And that week when I was in Atlanta, because I was feeling heavy, I was feeling resistance. I was feeling upset that in the evening when I came back from visiting my client, when I choose to do things in the evening that would actually serve myself, like check my company emails, follow up on things, etc. I was feeling resistance. I was feeling like all I want to do is sit on this couch and watch TV. I was feeling resistance to get up in the morning to do so, my journaling when I usually love it. But I was just feeling all of this resistance that week and I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I’m in this great flow. Other times everything feels hard. Everything feels difficult. And when I heard Steven Pressfield, this amazing author, say that he has the same issue that I have, me, this little woman sitting in Atlanta in a hotel with her resistance, he’s feeling the same thing I am. It made me feel like this is great. I’m totally normal and this is totally normal. Right. And so for me, it gave me the energy to realize like this happens.


Now, the way that Steven said that you go through this resistance, wait for it. What he said to do, wait for it. When you’re thinking I should be doing something else, wait for it. He actually just does what he says he’s gonna do. So he feels the resistance. He feels that he needs a cup of coffee. He feels that he needs to go for a walk. He feels like he needs to the bathroom. He feels like you should go tell his wife something. He feels he should do whatever he needs to do. And he just sits with it in his mind and starts typing. That’s right. There’s no crazy strategy here. The strategy is just to do it. I know. I feel like Nike just do it, but in reality, that’s all we do because our brain is always going to have resistance. Our brain is always going to tell us we should be doing something different and our brain is always going to try to take us off course. And the more we realize this and the more we normalize this and the more we make it not about us, about us, like because I was thinking I should. And if you listen to my podcast before this one, the should-ing, you know, I should, I want or I need to. Those things don’t help us. We need to go ahead and say I’m choosing to. And even then when I choose to, I’m going to sit down to those emails and not want to do it. And guess what I’m going to do? Just do it.


So what I realize in this hotel in Atlanta was that evening when I came home, because I listened to this podcast the morning while getting ready and while driving to work, I realized I’m going to try this tonight. So I got home, got sitting on my couch with my computer, and I’m ready to do what I said I was going to do, which was probably checking emails. I usually do that right away. And man, did I not want to do it. I was thinking, oh, let me get that ice tea that I have in refrigerator. Let me go ahead and just turn on the TV really quick and just check what’s on. Let me do everything but check my emails. But guess what? I didn’t do it. I actually just checked my emails. And then after I was done with that, I looked at my calendar and I said, what does it say next? And then I did exactly what it said and all the while feeling resistance. It feels like I don’t want to do this. But with me knowing that Steven Pressfield went through the same obstacle and still continues to go through the same obstacle, it let me just be there with the resistance and not make it mean anything about me, not make it mean I’m a horrible person, not make it mean like I worked so hard on creating this company and I’ve worked about talking about being an owner. And why can’t I do this? No, none of that. All I thought was, hey, here I am with Steven Pressfield. And if he can just do it, that I could just do it. And that’s what I did. So we feel that resistance. The only thing we should be doing is doing exactly what we said, always scheduled what we planned on. Doing and move through the resistance because it’s totally normal. And it is going to come up and he said that it still comes up to this day and he’s been writing for I don’t know exactly, but probably 30 years at if it’s still coming up or a professional at the level professional he is. If he’s still feeling resistance, then I know that nothing’s wrong with me. And this is just part of the job.


This is just part about this is just the part where we want to create things in the world. We want to do bigger things. We’re gonna have resistance. And that’s it, right? We’re going to have resistance when we have to have it, not have to when we schedule an employee meeting. We’re going to have resistance. I don’t want to do this. I’d rather be in my office doing what I want to do. Totally, totally normal. Right. But we go to the meeting and we move through it. Oh, I don’t. Oh, I have schedule that I need to go do an audit or I need to go out on the shop floor and take care of something. Right away that resistance. You could do it tomorrow. The guy’s probably not even out there. Nope. I’m going to do it. I’m going to walk through this resistance and maybe even bring Steven Pressfield with me in my mind. Right. If Steven can do it, so can I. That’s what you should be asking yourself. If Steven Pressfield, an amazing, extraordinary author, can feel resistance and move through it, so can you.


I know you guys are already guessing this, but guess what your call of action is. Your call of action is to notice when you’re resisting and just to do it. Just decide to move forward and do that thing anyway with no drama, with no like I don’t wanna do it. I feel I shouldn’t have to feel this way. Why do I always feel this way? No, no drama. Just here’s the resistance. I see you note it and do it. Whatever you said you’re gonna do, just do it. And then the big call to action is truly to notice how you feel when you’re done. Because when I sat down and did what I said I was gonna do, move the resistance. And when I was done, I felt more energy. I felt alive. I felt calm in a sense that when I went to dinner, cause I scheduled my dinner. I know you guys probably think I’m crazy with all my scheduling, but really try it. It works. When I went to dinner, I felt more relaxed and I was like, okay, what do I want to do at dinner if I didn’t have anything scheduled specifically, do I want to listen to a YouTube or listen to an Audible? Do I just want to sit there? Like because I had done what I said I was gonna do, I was able to just lean into whatever I wanted to do when it came time to having that free time. It also allowed me to watch TV at night and not feel guilty because guess what? I already did what I said I was going to do. And now I scheduled free time and I’m going to enjoy that time watching a TV show.


So your call to action again is to notice when you’re resisting. Right. And then just do the thing that you said you’re gonna do and then see how you feel at the back of it. How do you feel when you’re actually done with it? Because what we want to notice is when we do things, we want to notice if we feel good afterwards or bad when we’re done. I’m guessing you’re going to feel good because I know I felt good and I continue to feel good. Like this morning’ I had scheduled to tape four podcasts. I didn’t want to do it. I had resistance. I want to do everything else. I wanted that cup of tea. I wanted to do everything but tape the podcast. But guess what? I sat down and taped it. And I’m feeling more energy. And I’m feeling really excited about the opportunities I created for myself this morning and the knowledge and the content that I’m sharing with you, my audience. So let’s just do it. Let’s just do what we say we’re gonna do. Go through the resistance and just be like Steven Pressfield, because why not? We have a choice. Why not feel like Steven Pressfield? Why not create and dream and get this stuff done in the world that we really want to do?


Now, if you could please go to i-Tunes, Stitcher, Google Play and subscribe to the Strategy Corner. Also, it would be amazing if you could leave a review on i-Tunes. I’d really appreciate it. Go to my website and sign up to get my weekly blog post, which also has a link to the latest podcast. Until next time, remember. Through action and growth progression happens. Let’s take action together. Thank you. And create an amazing week.