There is a bit of Dougal in all of us.

father-dougal-mcguireResistance doesn’t think, “how can I use the fear of failure or the fear of success to stall her from working.”

It thinks, “how can I use the fear of failure and the fear of success.”

If we were afraid of only failure then we would be able to justify working using success. So if I think “I might look stupid but at least I could help one person see something fresh”, then it’s worth it.

So resistance evolves to include the fear of success too.

“If this goes well I may be asked to take on more responsibility, which I’m not ready for” or
“If this post gets people talking and coming back I’ll need to write something just as good or even better”.

Notice how the fear of success quickly turns into the fear of failure.

We might need to come up with other great ideas, or we might need to surprise ourselves.

The good news is that this frees us up to be generous. When we focus on the potential failure or success we are focusing mainly on ourselves. We’re afraid of looking stupid or getting people’s hopes up and then feeling stupid when we let them down or make a mistake.

The antithesis to this is generosity where the only goal is to give without expectation of anything in return. You can’t feel stupid if you don’t care.

I can write a blog post that resonates with people and that’s fantastic so I work to make that happen again. But I do so by simply doing the work and putting it out there because it’s the right thing to do.

Whether it connects or not isn’t so important; it’s part of the active strategy to keep being generous.

Surprisingly though when we keep doing that, eventually something sticks. Something you write encourages someone or even better, the hope to do their own work. If you stop being generous eventually you’ll become so self obsessed and paralyzed with fear that you stop working altogether.

And your work is far too important to us to let that happen.

The greatest lesson I learned about being creative.

Sitting down everyday to write and facing a blank page is one of the hardest things to do as a writer. There is so much space to fill and so little to fill it with. If you face a blank canvass you can be sure that resistance will come along and fill it for you.

Anything to stop you creating.

There is one way to beat resistance. Continue reading

Tying Your Shoe Laces

So the last couple of days have been pretty stressful for me. Work troubles you ask? Nope. Deadlines looming? Got in there just in time. Missed JT week on Jimmy Fallon?….caught it on t’internet thank you very much, the new album is pretty hot too…er sorry off topic.

No the last couple of days have been stressful for one other reason.

The snow.

Now I don’t really mind the snow usually. I have no opinion on it actually.

However, saying all that, the snow is causing me some serious worry in the fact that I have not been able to run the last couple of days.

Wait?! That’s why you are stressed? You haven’t been able to run?

Yep that’s right. I’m running a marathon in a few weeks and I don’t want to fall back on my plan.

Yeah yeah, but seriously… stressed because you can’t run? Continue reading

You’re not winning

One of resistance’s biggest strengths is convincing you that you have defeated it.

You haven’t.

It doesn’t matter that you spent the last 5 days awaking at 6 am and getting a lot of writing done. It doesn’t matter that you have been hitting the gym every single day and are starting to reap the benefits.

Resistance will return.

It will change and evolve as you do.

It will never give up.

So neither should you.