June 1, 2023

Getting Back in the Arena

I was recently recommended a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield by Gant Laborde. When he told me to read it, one of the things he said was along the lines of, "Even if you don't read the first thing, just read the preface."

And so I did just that and this excerpt stuck out to me:

Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic... Are you a writer who doesn't write, a painter who doesn't paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.

What is Resistance?

In this book, Stephen Pressfield turns the concept of resistance into a proper noun: "Resistance." Capital R and all. By doing so, Pressfield personifies it as a force of nature that intends to get in your way from living the life you want to live. And while I'm not done with the book yet, other concepts with evoke a similar feeling to me include:

  • Perfectionism
  • Overthinking / Decision paralysis
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Fear of failure / success (yes this is a real thing, I'll write on this another time)
  • Self-erasure

It's this notion that the life we want to be living is always somehow out of reach. We can see it clearly, yet we struggle with manifesting it into reality.

My recent struggle with Resistance

Over the last few months, I found myself at the mercy of Resistance once again. Prior to the content hiatus, I was streaming twice a week and trying to publish content on my YouTube channel on a consistent basis. And while it worked for some time, I eventually succumbed to Resistance.

Things I found myself creatively crushed by included:

  • Having unrealistic expectations of the content I had created. So much content these days have this polish that can give part-time content creators like myself absurd expectation for what our audience "expects" of us. And while some of it comes from Resistance, seeing comments validating the concern can be immobilizing since it fuels the Resistance to be like, "See! I told you! Not good enough!"
  • Questioning whether there was value in the content I was creating. There are many who devote their entire channels / careers to creating content full-time, so the Resistance in me questioned whether there was a point to creating what would theoretically be "subpar" content since I wasn't a full-time creator.
  • Struggling against the natural urge of many content creators to go with the most viral or trendy topics for more views. Content creation for me is about sharing genuine experiences that align with my values and principles. So this tug of war of content creation is one that has plagued me repeatedly.

Where I am now

The reason I wrote this post is because I wanted others struggling with the same thing to know they're not alone.

And while I wish there was some magical mantra to silence Resistance and some way to gain back the last few months, the reality is that I just need to show up and make the change now.

This post is me trying once again. And rather than to try and claim some overzealous goal of releasing context X times at Y interval, I can promise you that I'll keep showing up. No matter how many times Resistance knocks me down, if I'm alive and conscious, I'll find a way to stand back up.

See you in the arena. 🤜🤛