Almost every night as of late I go to sleep knowing exactly what I want to do the next day, enthusiastic and ready to take on the following day's tasks. I think to myself, I'm going to get up and write that blog post! Then I'm going to work on the book all morning! And then I'm going to spend the afternoon working on all the business-related tasks on my to-do list! And almost every morning I wake feeling resistant to doing any of the things I'd set my mind to the night before.
It's an odd feeling, this resistance, like an toddler in my brain, saying "No!" just for the hell of it, even though she really wants to be saying yes. Or maybe more like a teenager, refusing to partake in something she knows will be fun just because she feels like being difficult. Whatever she is—teenager, toddler, defiant inner devil—she's a brat, digging in her heels and refusing to cooperate just for the pure purpose of being difficult. Her resistance is like a rough push in the wrong direction, a little she-devil on my shoulder whispering, Wouldn't it just be more fun not to do the things you need to do?
The interesting thing is: the items on my to-do list are, for the most part, things I really like to do. Writing. Researching. Creating. And yet, as much as I love doing these things, lately I've been feeling very resistant to doing them. For quite awhile, I've been worrying about this—wondering why I've been so defiant with myself and trying to ignore the nagging voice in the back of my head saying, Why don't you want to do what you need to do? Is it because you don't like it? Are you on the wrong path in your life? What's wrong with you?
And then, this morning, as I was hesitantly drafting up a blog post on a topic I felt lackluster about, I came across the image above via Maps to Herself on Pinterest. I've been wondering for some time if the resistance I've been feeling has been a sign of some sort—perhaps a sign that I'm not doing exactly what I should be doing—but when I read the words of Steven Pressfield, "The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it," I instantly realized it to be true. I wasn't resistant to doing things because I was on the wrong path; I was resistant because I was on the right path.
The right path is sometimes the harder path, the path that makes you push yourself and struggle and become better. The right path isn't the path of least resistance. Sometimes it's the path of most resistance. Which, I'll be honest, kind of sucks. When you're living the dream, doing what you love for a living, you think it'll be awesome and effortless—yay! I get to write all day, every day!—but it's not a straight shot down Easy Street. It's a winding road with bumps and potholes, and there are roadblocks—and most of them, for me, are in the form of internal resistance.
I've been letting the difficult trek get the best of me, pulling over for far too many long rests and making way too many needless stops in an attempt to avoid the resistance pushing back at me. But after reading that quote this morning, I've realized that the resistance need not be a roadblock. It can be transformed into fuel, something that can be used to propel me forward instead of pushing me back. Resistance of the internal variety isn't an easy thing to transform (especially considering it's hard to identify in the first place!), but I know there's a way to take that negativity and turn it into something positive. Here's my plan for coping with internal resistance: