If you’ve asked me for a book recommendation lately, I am sure I RAVED about Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. It’s essentially all about Resistance, turning pro + getting out of your own way. Ever since I had a miniature thought in my mind that I wanted to teach, there was always part of me that was fearful + doubted my abilities. Steven makes several great points in the book that sing to me + I had to share them with you.
But first, let’s chat about how Steven defines Resistance. “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever quit a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? … Then you know what Resistance is.”
Essentially, how can we push past this Resistance to lead the lives we know we are meant to live. How do we eliminate the excused + make the changes we know we must make. How can we start today?
One of my favorite sections is titled “Resistance and Procrastination” + it states “Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down + do our work.”
I mean – who can compete with that? The external forces, the inner dialogue, the social media – all of that can derail us. But you have the choice everyday to pave your own path. I used to sit behind my desk at work + know I was meant for more. I am a dreamer; I am a doer. It just took me awhile to find my stride.
The next one has been a tough one for me: “A Professional Endures Adversity.” As a people-pleaser, I want to make everyone happy. Um, this is not possible – ESPECIALLY in New York City. Ha! Steven states, “The professional cannot let himself take humiliation personally. Humiliation, like rejection and criticism, is the external reflection of internal Resistance. The professional endures adversity. He lets the birdshit splash down on his slicker, remember that it comes clean with a heavy-duty hosing…The professional keeps his eye on the donut and not the hole. He reminds himself that it’s better to be in the arena, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot."
Standing up in front of hundreds of people per month in a group fitness setting can be intimidating. Feedback will happen – and not all of it what you might want to hear. I learned quite quickly to develop thick skin + teaching has taught be to become more self-confident. My motto in the studio became, “As in life, not everyone will like you.” You gotta take the good with the bad. I try my best to tune out the bad. Instead, I listen to my students who tell me I inspire them + have changed their life. If I’ve accomplished that, I can die happy.
Toward the end of the book, Steven dissects the concept of “Fear”. He says, “Resistance feeds on fear. We experience Resistance as fear. But fear of what? Fear of the consequences of following our heart. Fear of bankruptcy, fear of poverty, fear of insolvency…Fear of Failure. Fear of being ridiculous. Fear of throwing away the education, the training, the preparation that those we love have scarified so much for, that we ourselves have worked our butts off for. ..These are serious fears. But they’re not the real fear…Fear That We Will Succeed. That we can access the powers we secretly know we possess. That we can become the person we sense in our hearts we truly are.”
This is the big kahuna, eh? I am terrified + anxious every day. The hustle is real, especially when no one is sending you a consistent paycheck. Each day is a fresh start. But I move forward because I know there are beautiful connections to be made + lives to enhance. Sometimes I look at my 15 hour stacked days + wonder how I will get through it. But I often surprise myself. When I work with people who are raw about life + that moment, I am energized because it’s so real. I work with amazing people training them 1 on 1 and in companies. We all arrive as we are. And that’s all anyone can ask. When everyone keeps it real + honest + authentic, we develop a bond that creates a community of support.
So, let’s move past Resistance together. Every. Damn. Day. Why? Because you are worth it.