Monday, July 23rd, 2012...11:28 am
Just do it! Nike was right—and wrong.
I’m going to tell you how I move through blocks, resistance, and avoidance. But I’ve heard all this before, and so have you. Why read more on this topic? I don’t know. Maybe something will click this time. I’ll let you know what clicked for me.
You’re stuck. Writer’s block. Or you can’t pick up the paint brush and don’t know why. You don’t have a clue why “Just do it!” isn’t moving you like it should. If you only knew what was stopping you…
You tell yourself it’s something from your childhood, and if you could only remember, or if you do remember, you think if you could only deal with it life would be rosy, but you’ve tried that for a decade or two already.
You’ve even read a lot about it…
Susan Jeffers says “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Deepak Chopra says, “Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind…”
And in this sweet book by Christina Baldwin, she implores us to “Move at the Pace of Guidance.”
Phil Stutz & Barry Michels offer a tool called “The Reversal of Desire” to activate what they call the “Force of Forward Motion.” Basically, they’re saying to move through the pain or fear you’re resisting to receive support from a higher power.
That reminds me of the Rumi quote, “What you seek is seeking you.”
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to move forward, how to break past the blocks, misbeliefs, and insecurities inside us. When I was first rejected (See how we internalize rejection? It was the manuscript that was rejected, not me)…
When I was 25, I submitted a manuscript for publication. It was rejected. I decided that meant I couldn’t write and I didn’t send anything in again for 15 years.
What are you afraid of?
In more recent years, I’ve resisted all kinds of possibilities because of some undefined fear. When I would figure out what I was afraid of, I’d move forward, but if I couldn’t identify the misbelief holding me back, I wouldn’t do anything.
For decades now, I’ve told myself “Energy follows action!” When I get paralyzed, my husband reminds me of those three words he’s heard from me so often in the past. But even then it didn’t always free me to move ahead. Then I wondered, what if I just acknowledged that an irrational fear was holding me back, even though I couldn’t identify where it came from, and made a commitment to move forward anyway?
That’s what finally made it “click” for me!
It worked. Not right always right away, but if I’m resisting something, I tell myself what I’m going to do, that I’m not afraid of whatever is holding me back, and after I act, I often wonder why I didn’t do it sooner.
Anxiety is always part of the creative process. Jonah Lehrer talks about how we have to saturate our left-brain before we get to the juicy right-brain stuff (my take on it). Unfortunately, that’s often where most of us stop—when we hit the wall, instead of forging ahead to the gifts on the other side.
Creativity coaching guru (and my teacher) Eric Maisel goes as far as to tell us to invite anxieties in. But when those anxieties are stopping us, he says to ask ourselves, “What can I do to effectively deal with these regular, predictable experiences of anxiety?”
He suggests your answer could be, “Just be aware that some anxiety is present and choose not to flee.”
I read this book of his years ago, I’ve had classes from Eric, and it didn’t sink in until I learned it for myself. Isn’t that how it always is?
It’s like telling your kids a piece of wisdom you’ve acquired. The intention is to save them from heartache, but you might as well save your breath, or maybe it’s enough if the advice clicks later when they hear it (or experience it) in another form and they realize they first heard it from you.
When our birth son was small, he’d resist just about everything we told him to do—unless we talked with him, told him why it was a good idea, and let him know we understood why he felt the way he did. That’s the only chance we had at getting him to comply. (By the way, our parenting style changed drastically after adopting two more children!)
Kaj wanted to be acknowledged. He wanted to be heard. I’m not going to throw “inner child” stuff at you, but I do have a picture of me as a child on the bulletin board here by my desk, and once in a great while, I do have a few words for her.
However, I decided rehashing the junk from my past over and over is not only tiresome at times but often unproductive. So, if you’re with me on that one, just tell whatever it is that’s stopping you, “Yes, I know… And I’m doing it anyway.” Once you get past the murky wall of mud that’s thrown at you, it’s like that little kid in you gets a piggyback ride to where you’re going.
Is the Nike slogan enough?
Maybe. Once it clicks. What have your experiences been? Do you have a trick to get past resistance and avoidance?
Maybe the real question isn’t about whether the Nike slogan is enough. Maybe the real question is “Are you enough?”