In 2004 I was really struggling with my job and wanted to leave but wasn’t sure what else I wanted to do.
So I went to see a career coach.
She took me through a number of exercises, personality assessments, and we mainly just talked a lot.
I really liked her and had high hopes she would help me figure this career thing out.
I remember at one point she said to me, “I think you need to have writing be a part of your career.”
While I liked this idea I just could never get my head around the fact that you don’t see many jobs advertised with the title “writer.”
I also didn’t have confidence I could write a book that would actually be published and sell.
So guess what I did with her recommendation?
I put the idea of writing as a career on the shelf.
I went on to try to find “a real job.”
I didn’t know it at the time but I was experiencing The Resistance.
Steven Pressfield coined the term Resistance as the invisible destructive force that attempts to stop you any time you begin a new project or attempt to improve your life in some way.
The Resistance has good intentions of protecting you from perceived danger.
However, those good intentions can result in keeping you stuck.
We can always seem to find a reason why we should quit or not move forward with an idea.
The only way I’ve found to defeat The Resistance is to expose it for what it is – a lie.
When liars are exposed they run away.
So here’s how to expose the resistance and take control of your thinking.
Step 1 – Identify the resistance. Write down every reason why your ideas won’t work. Every single one of them. Then pretend you are that mean uncle who likes to argue about everything at Thanksgiving. Argue against all the reasons why it won’t work – even if you agree with the reasons. Then, after you have that out of your system, write down what it would take to make every idea work. Be sure to include crazy ideas like having to write a NY Times bestselling book. Think big and think crazy.
Step 2 – Be courageous. You’re going to feel fear. Expect to feel fear. However, being courageous is not the absence of fear. It’s taking action despite being afraid. Commit to taking action on at least one of your ideas.
Step 3 – Decide to start. In Jon Acuff’s latest book START he says that starting something is the only way to know if it will work. You don’t have to know steps 8, 9, and 10 at this point. Just begin with the next step in front of you. The rest of the plan will continue to open up as you go.
A lot has changed for me since 2004.
I never could have predicted blogging would become a way for me to incorporate writing into what I do for income.
I was initially disappointed my career coaching sessions never revealed “the answer” for me.
Yet sometimes “the answer” only requires us to expose the resistance and give our passions some room to breathe.
More oxygen always fans the flames of our passion a little brighter.