TNH loves to support women entrepreneurs, living their dreams and making a difference. Check out guest blogger, Molly King, as she shares how she broke down the walls of fear and completed her first novel. Not to mention she is a badass woman who is an inventor, dancer, and travels the globe helping people achieve their goals, create a life they want, and have fun doing it! She’s a stellar example of a woman who walks the walk she talks!
How I Beat Resistance
By Molly King
As Steven Pressfield describes it, resistance is the impersonal and universal force that keeps us from doing our craft, and we have all come into contact with it. It comes as the voice in our head saying we’re no good, that our work is no good, and who would want to read/watch/listen to something I create? “It’s already been done before. Who am I to think that my version would be any different or better than something that’s already out there?” We all have these voices masquerading as our own thinking. But it’s not us. It’s simply resistance.
And I’m here before you as someone who’s had a very volatile relationship with resistance over the last few months. Between publishing my first book, and putting a west coast swing routine on the floor at the US Open Swing Dance Championships in October and November of this last year, I’ve become very well-acquainted with the voices of resistance.
“This book sucks. Who’s going to read this!? Who would be crazy enough to even want to read this crap? I don’t even want to publish this anymore” (Actual thoughts that were happening two days before I hit publish).
“Shit. I’m going up against the best dancers in the world in two days. Who do I think I am, entering the Classic Division? I can’t even make it to finals in my Intermediate competitions—do I just secretly suck at dancing? What’s wrong with my dancing? Why do I even try anymore? I feel so incredibly foolish for even being here. And my family is flying out for this… ugh. I just want to sleep through this weekend, and wake up and have it be over” (Actual thoughts two days before I stepped out onto that floor and danced our routine with my partner, Andy.)
Thankfully, even with this inner monologue clogging up my otherwise-normally-positive outlook on life, I was able to both hit publish, and step out and perform on the US Open Swing floor. And executed both to relative success, I should add, and to even more personal success.
The thing is, with both scenarios, I also got to experience what true healthy “detachment” felt like. As any artist knows, we can get so intertwined with our work, to the point where we feel that it not only represents us, but we can even get to the point where it can feel like it defines us, and will continue to define us for the rest of our lives. Thankfully, I’ve found that this doesn’t have to be the case.
Gratefully, before both big moments, I found a sense of peace by exploring the worst-case scenario: “Who the F cares anyway? What if I do write an awful book? Then it won’t sell. And what if I place last in the Classic Division at the US Open of Swing? You know what? We did! And I’m still alive, and kicking!” The point is, while we are certainly in relationship to our results, I am more interested in the actual going-out-there-and-actually-doing-it than the wondering, getting anxious, and not doing anything side of life.
One of the major takeaways that I’ve gained from both of these experiences is that I’d rather be in the game, than in the sidelines—no matter what the score is at the end of the game. In the game of life, we don’t get points for perfect books left unwritten, or beautiful manuscripts that only live in our imagination, never seeing the light of the printed page.
If we can realize that there is no way to get “great” at something without first being “average” or “intermediate,” then these titles won’t destroy us along the way. Praise last place! At least I was on the dance floor! That’s closer to first place than I was last year while I sat in the stands! Here’s to the mess ups, the “failures,” the “I’ve only lost 7 pounds,” the “It only sold 50 copies.”
Those are the marks of resistance losing its grip on us, slowly but surely. And as Steven Pressfield notes, the more we feel resistance, the more we can be sure of its value. Because good work draws strong resistance (kind of like how I resisted writing this blog all day and ate more than my daily allotment of Hershey Kisses in the process). And each time we're victorious over those limiting beliefs and the bully inside our head, we create a storage bank of demonstrations, proving that what we thought was impossible...is actually possible. And then we can exercise that anti-resistance muscle again, applying those same principles to the next area of life that seems insurmountable in order to create more art. The fact is, you’re on the path. This IS the journey. Each step/page/audition/pound lost counts, and makes you better for it. Don’t disparage it because it’s not amazing yet, that’s what editing and rehearsing and practicing are for. We do the best we can in each moment—that’s all we can ask for.
So what’s the short answer to battle resistance? Take action.
Action kills resistance while analyzing feeds it.
So perhaps you feel the fear and the worry, take one step forward anyway. Book that dance class. Write the outline for the manuscript, and don’t let yourself on social media or out of the house until it’s done.
Believe me, as one who’s now sitting on the other side of Book #1, and my first trip to the US Open of Swing—resistance doesn’t go away. But the deep satisfaction that comes from being tear-streaked, exhausted, and covered with dust and dirt at the end of the long fight with resistance, makes the victory so sweet. And I’m excited to get in the game again (and again, and again).
Molly King, of St. Louis, MO is an Accountability Coach, Author, and Inventor. Her new book, Don't Settle, is now available on Amazon: http://bit.ly/dontsettle-mk
http://mollyking.com and www.facebook.com/themollykingpage
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of the “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.