OK, so only fellow Star Trek geeks will get that title but here is a little reminder of that plot line…
I just started this book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield which is all about overcoming Resistance. What does he mean by Resistance? He says most of us have two lives…the life we lead and the unlived life inside us. Between the two is Resistance. And like most people, I am awesome at Resistance.
I have a dream. I passionately love making jewelry and my dream is to touch as many people as I can with my creations. For this to occur however, I need to have a successful jewelry business. I have been actively (so I tell myself anyway) pursuing this dream for the past few years with some success but not as much as I would like. And my enemy is Resistance, which is basically me avoiding doing the work necessary for me to succeed at my dream. And by ‘the work’ I don’t mean actually making jewelry. That’s the easy part…I could do that all day, every day (and frequently do). No, my Achilles Heel is actually running the business part-sales, marketing, and especially, accounting. I will do anything to avoid those things. I’m a champion at avoiding those things. Especially accounting.
Why do I avoid those things? To be honest, it’s mostly fear. Sales and marketing require me to put my stuff (and by extension, myself) out there for the world to see, possibly opening me up to ridicule and/or rejection. I might look foolish. I might seem arrogant…for example, this blog. I know having a blog is great marketing for your business, plus, I love to write. I have something to say. But still, every week I tell myself I need to post more often…and every week I resist writing a blog post because I start thinking, who cares what I have to say anyway? I know that is not technically true…I have plenty of friends who definitely care what I have to say. But for sure there are people out there in the world who don’t give a crap about what I have to say…and why should I even care about those people, or let them stop me? But I do. So dumb.
And I can’t help but think there must be a bit of Fear of Success going on too…why else would I resist doing the very things that help me reach it?
So I thought I’d make a list of the Top 10 Things I Do to Resist. I do this to call myself out publicly in the hopes that will help me and maybe some of you in overcoming your Resistance. This is kinda scary to do so be kind…
1) Reading books and articles on blogging instead of actually blogging (I’m REALLY good at this). Somehow all that reading about blogging doesn’t magically get transformed into actual blog posts.
2) Reading books and article on sales and marketing and SEO optimization instead of actually doing those things. Especially since after two paragraphs of reading anything about SEO my brain starts to glaze over and I don’t absorb anything anyway.
3) Making new pieces of jewelry while I have a pile of pieces forlornly waiting to be photographed and uploaded to my Etsy shop.
4) Making lame excuses about why I’m very lax about keeping track of expenses and sales. Well, I can access those figures if I need to…doesn’t that count?
5) Social media. Yes, let’s check Facebook for the 1000th time today because I am sure George Takei’s hilarious posts will help me sell more jewelry.
6) Shopping online for new supplies that I don’t need because I just had an awesome new idea for a design or technique and I must immediately have this new tool/gemstone/metal/enamel to see this idea to it’s inevitable brilliant denouement. Or how about I just think of brilliant ways to use up all the crap I already have? Trust me, I have a lot.
8) Going to check on my Etsy shop and then start reading the Forums and checking out other shops instead of working on my tags and titles to see if I can improve my SEO.
9) Thinking that by next week I should have enough good pieces to submit my work to shops and galleries and catalogs I’d like to be featured in. I tell myself this every week.
10) Not setting goals except vague, nebulous ones that don’t hold me accountable for anything. I have commitment issues.
So there they are…I am hoping that being more aware of Resistance in my life will help me overcome it. Since, of course, Resistance is futile…just DO THE WORK. Which incidentally, is the title of his other book that I will also be reading when I finish The War of Art. Hopefully reading about Doing the Work isn’t Resistance.
I would love to hear how you all deal with your Resistance. What dreams to you have that you put off year after year, always making excuses as to why you can’t take that step towards fulfilling it? What things do you do that sabotage your success? I know I’m not the only one!