Recently I wrote that any day we choose can be Day One of the greatest day/ week/ month/ year/ decade of our creative lives. I have to admit though I’ve been rather slow in getting going with a few projects since December departed.
I have been creating plenty, and my morning stack of habits is close to invincible, even surviving a 48 hour bout of sickness over Christmas worse than I can remember and which saw me hardly leave my bed.
I still showed up on the yoga mat those two days, because it was important to me. And I felt better when I left the mat than I did when I arrived on it.
Where I have been a bit reluctant, is in starting to plan coaching courses for this year. Because it involves, you know, creating and putting a lot of stuff out there that people might not be interested in, and asking people for money in exchange for my work, time and coaching.
I’ve been aware that the consistent creativity I have shown in recent weeks – mostly in writing blog posts, writing haiku, taking photographs, and engaging in the creative communities on CCS and Google+, have been in some sense, classic acts of procrastination.
When I have a big challenging thing to set up (especially a big challenging thing that involves charging people money) I tend to find plenty of other things to do.
Now this is far from a waste of my time, because the other things I’m doing are very worthwhile and contribute to my overall personal growth and enjoyment. I’m in a very creative phase in my artwork, and very happy with how this is evolving.
But still I have the nagging thought in the back of my mind that it’s time to get going again with something that helps others be more creative in a focused and concentrated way. A nagging thought that won’t quieten, and that I need to listen to.
Last year I ran four main group coaching courses, and they all resulted in people making great strides in their creative lives. The system I’ve developed works, and each time I learn a little more about how to make it better, more rewarding and more accessible.
The only barrier then is good old Resistance, standing in front of me pulling faces, saying “na-na-na-na-nah, you’re too scared to do this, you’re scared of failing, and worse than that failing publicly.”
My Resistance looks something like The Backson, but not quite as cuddly.
And so, publicly, I’m going to spit in the face of Resistance and declare that I’m going to push ahead anyway with the new course, whatever he chooses to say or do.
I’ve already started composing the elements and content in my head and transferred that yesterday to a plan on paper in bright red pen.
I’ve also set a start date for the course – Saturday Feb 11th.
I know from the past that once I do these two things – sketch out the plan so I can visualise it, and set the start date, then it’s game on. There’s no going back.
I can breathe a sigh of relief and get on with the important work, while Resistance is left squinting and trying to wipe warm saliva out of its eyes.
Something else that helps when I start feeling this kind of resistance is making my intentions public. Or put another way, giving people permission to keep nagging me and asking how composing the new course is going.
This seemingly quite simple and easy step, works because it helps the part of me that needs to justify my existence on this earth by helping and supporting other people, take centre stage again.
In a kind of It’s A Wonderful Life internal montage I can then remember some of the messages and feedback I’ve had over the years about the difference I’ve made to people’s creativity, and use that as motivation to continue to make a difference.
We don’t do the work just for ourselves, that’s merely the beginning. We have a certain obligation I believe, to create what’s within us, so others can be inspired also.
So, to sum up, I still struggle with Resistance, and quite likely always will, but I’ve found ways that help me spit in its face and move through it anyway.
First, become aware of when you’re in Resistance.
Acknowledge that although you’re creating and doing important work, and that this is a good thing, there might be other, more important work, that needs to be done. Acknowledge that Resistance might be at work in another guise here.
Second, commit to the most important work.
You already know what your next big scary project is. Make an initial plan or at least a few notes. Make it visible, give it form. Set a date to begin the work. Set a date to launch it publicly. Make a public announcement if it helps.
Third, remember your work is not just about you.
You’re not meant to create amazing artwork in secret, in complete isolation, then bury it in your back garden so no-one ever finds it. Part of creating is about sharing your work, and this can – and will – have a profound positive influence on the lives of other artists. That’s your duty, it’s in the contract. Honour it.
So I’m off to continue planning the new course.
How do you deal with Resistance?
Join the conversation to share your thoughts on Resistance.
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