There was once a very spiritual man, who knew that he could do great things, if only he had great wealth. Now, before you start thinking, ‘Oh this is one of those stories where we discover that you don’t need a lot of money to do good’, let me ask you a question: what’s going to allow you to create the greatest difference in the world, a hundred dollars or a hundred million dollars?
So, back to our good man. He concluded that the best way for him to quickly get the money he needed to do all the good he had planned for the world, would be for him to win the Big Lottery. And, he reasoned, it stood to reason that he should win it, because of all the good he would do. And for now, bear with me and accept that our good man had been told by God (the Universe, his intuition, whatever you want to call it) that yes, he was such a decent chap that a big windfall was indeed his destiny.
Weeks went by, and our hero checked his email every Sunday morning, and waited for his big win. And waited. And waited. And after many weeks had passed, he threw his hands in the air and demanded of the God he so believed in, “You said I was due a big win,” he railed, “yet nothing has come my way! When will you fulfil your promise to me?”
The clouds parted, and a rather tetchy voice boomed from above: “Work with me on this, my son – at least go buy a flippin’ lottery ticket!”
OK – that’s a joke (and not a bad one – it’s the sort of thing I can imagine the late, great Dave Allen telling, if only they had the Lottery when he was on our screens). But it has a serious message: no matter how great our work is, no matter how much we deserve to be nicely paid for it, if we don’t get it out there, in front of the people who need it, and will happily pay for it – then we are still going to be waiting for our ‘big break’ when we leave the building feet first.
There is this concept called Resistance – that kicks in when we have something big to do. It gets us thinking that we are too small, too insignificant, too unoriginal to really make a difference. It convinces us that there are other people who are already doing and saying what we do and say – and probably better than us. It asks us: “Who are you to think you’re so special? Get back in your box!”
You can tell when resistance has got you – procrastination kicks in, we’ll do pretty much anything to avoid actually putting our stuff out there. Accounts suddenly become incredibly urgent; the office desperately needs tidying; all those missing commas on the website need fixing too, before we could possibly tell anyone to go take a look at it. Procrastination is the biggest indicator of Resistance.
So, how can you overcome Resistance? Well, not everything about it is false – I find it usually rears its head when there is something just slightly ‘off’ with the way I’m talking about my work. So I find the best way to overcome Resistance is to challenge myself (or better still, get a trusted group of peers to challenge me) about exactly where I’m “marketing” my work, rather than openly and honestly telling people about it. When I’m being completely authentic, I have no problem with Resistance, I just get on with things.
Admittedly, the things that I get on with don’t always bring me the floods of clients I’d hoped – but if I try too hard to ‘fix’ that by copying someone else’s clever marketing, that’s when the warning of Resistance kicks in. Because what worked for someone else, even someone totally ethical and trustworthy, may not work for me – it worked for them because it resonated with them and their work. The trick to overcoming Resistance is to root out its true cause – not that we are not enough, but that we are simply out of alignment – and to create something that truly resonates with who we are as individuals. And then get that out there!
What are you allowing your resistance to hold you back from doing? And what are you going to do about it?