Mission.org
Published in

Mission.org

A Simple Formula to Overcome Resistance and Reclaim Your Creative Power

Everyone already knows what they should be doing to achieve their goals.

If you want to lose weight, you know you should eat healthier and exercise more.

If you want to build an audience, you know you should be writing and creating more.

If you want to make more money, you know you should be selling more.

The problem is not knowledge.

You either have all the knowledge you need, or can have immediate access to that knowledge through a simple Google search.

The problem is resistance.

The magnetic repulsion you feel that keeps you from doing what you know you should be doing, already.

Resistance is the little death that blocks creativity and feeds on dreams, leaving only disappointment.

To create means to overcome resistance.

And in order to win this war, you must first know your enemy.

Resistance is the Enemy

Source: Fight Club

Resistance can be described as a ‘negative effect.’

It is a void, that stands between you and your creative goals.

Like a mass of emotion, a hurdle of guilt, that repels you from the pleasurable pursuit of your goals and creating.

The more you feel around what you know you should be doing, whether excitement or fear, the greater pressure you feel, and the larger the resistance is that repels you from action.

This is because resistance, while being the enemy, is not its own creator.

You are.

Ironically, you create resistance with your own mental energy, as a result of the way you choose to relate to your own creativity and the creative process.

You use creative power to create resistance, which keeps you from creating!

Which, of course, is a self-perpetuating cycle most of us spend our lives in.

Knowing this, you can overcome resistance by changing the way you relate to your creativity and therefore experience it.

You can stop it before it even begins.

Redefine Your Resistance

“Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” Marcus Aurelius

The way you perceive things changes the way things are.

You know the saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Same for one man’s crisis is another man’s opportunity.

How you choose to define something, is how it becomes, for you.

The world is complicated and difficult (nay impossible) to understand in entirety. And in order to make it easier to navigate, we label, name, generalize and stereotype things to make them easier to understand.

But our maps are never as good as the territory.

Worse yet, when you choose a negative definition, usually at a young age, you disempower yourself by warding off every other positive possibility.

Like the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said, “Once you label me, you negate me.”

Because by labeling something as well, something — you stop it from being anything else, to you.

So, when you label something as difficult to do, or something someone like you simply wouldn’t do — you make it so.

In this way, you create your own resistance.

But by changing your definitions that lead to resistance and therefore change the way you relate to your creativity, you can reclaim this waste of your creative power.

The result?

You feel more productive, more fulfilled and make more good art, without second thought. But these things come as a side-effect to doing changing the way you think about creativity.

A New Definition for Creativity

Source: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Webster defines creativity as: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

Maybe this is why so many struggle to see themselves as creative and face resistance, because this definition attaches feeling creative to the pursuit of original ideas. And being original is really, really hard.

Instead, ditch this definition and adopt one that serves you better.

A more empowering definition of creativity would be: the use of your whole brain to invest every resource at your disposal, to progress towards an internal ideal.

Now, this is my definition of creativity. This wasn’t always my definition, but it serves me at this step in my journey. Yours may (and probably will be) different and will change, too.

The important thing is, notice how instead of focusing on being original, this new definition assumes creativity is:

  1. Something you do as an extension of who you are (not a state you dip into and out of at different times)
  2. Progress towards the perfect (not the achievement of it)
  3. The leverage of every resource (mental, physical, capital etc.) to make your ideas into reality

A definition like this, supports smaller actions, which leads to more achievable progress and less resistance. It also leaves room for every possibility and excludes nothing: not even the mundane.

Which means you don’t need to be an artist to be creative—but that’s a subject all its own.

The real question is…

Why should you question your existing definition of creativity and create a better one that serves you?

Because how you think about creativity, is why you experience resistance.

And when you change that, you change everything.

The Simple Formula For Reclaiming Creative Power

Resistance forms out of the disempowering definitions of who you are, what you are capable of, and what creativity is.

But when you change these definitions you alter the process and stop creating your own resistance. And therefore, never experience it.

This simple formula can be used to dissolve resistance and reclaim the latent creative power you spent forming it.

The formula looks like this:

If you’ve read a lot of personal growth, you’ve no doubt seen something along these lines before. (or if you’ve read Buddhist philosophy from the 6th century B.C. and may have seen it there)

The gist of it is this: if you change the way you define your creativity, you change the way you relate to it.

Which changes the way you think about creating and the way you approach the creative process, which in turn, changes the quality of what you create and the results and reception you get.

If you define yourself and relate to your creativity in a scarce or disempowering way you will think negative, resistance forming thoughts like:

  • I can only create when inspired
  • I can only create in a certain place
  • I won’t create this because no one will see it
  • I am only creative sometimes
  • I haven’t been creatively recently so I can’t create now
  • I don’t feel creative so I can’t do that
  • I don’t have any ideas so I won’t try to create
  • I’m not good at this
  • People don’t think I’m creative so I can’t be

These kind of definitions lead to negative feelings, resistance and procrastination, which of course yield no results.

But when you choose more abundant and positive ways to define your creative capacity, you turn the entire process around and stop the formation of resistance altogether.

More positive ways to relate to your creativity are:

  • I am an inherently creative being
  • Creating is pleasurable and fun
  • I can learn how to do anything with enough time to study and practice
  • I can learn through creating
  • If someone else has done it before, I can do it too — and even easier because I can learn from them
  • Creating is not something I do, but who I am
  • Every time I create I learn more about myself and the world
  • When I create I add value to my life and the lives of others

We’re not all all taught positive ways to define our creativity and think about how we relate to the creative process.

But if you are able to swap out even a few of your scarce definitions for more abundant ones, it will dramatically decrease the amount of resistance you feel towards creating. And actually result in you reclaiming already spent energy you used to create resistance in the first place.

Now you may be thinking, “That’s all well in good, but if I don’t actually believe in my new definitions, then nothing happens. Right?”

Right. But try to think creative, there’s a solution for this too!

Hacking the Formula to Induce Creative States

Source: Elvis Presley

Applying this formula and getting results is, in the words of the King, “a little less conversation, and a little more action, please.”

Once you think critically about what definition of creativity would support the relationship you want to have with it, the next and final step is critical…

You have to ACT AS IF your definition were true.

Obviously, if you thought it was true, you would already be acting that way. Sometimes, thinking about it will spontaneously change the way you behave, but not always. And we can’t count on hope.

Instead, act AS IF you were an inherently creative being. Act AS IF your definition were true, because when you change the way you relate to your creativity, then act AS IF it were true, and you hack the process.

Why?

The flow from definitions to results is a river that flows both forwards and backwards.

So, if you want to change the way you think about something, act is if it were another way… and it will change, for you.

Rather, the way you relate to it will change. In a way that sticks.

This is because your brain bases beliefs off of experience. If you have an experience that doesn’t agree with your previous definition, then when your brain reconciles this experience, your definition will be forced to change.

Activate Your Archetype: An Easy And Effective Way To Change The Way You Relate To Your Creativity

Source: Unsplash H. Heyerlein

If you’re looking for a simple way to try this formula out for yourself, and new empowering definitions to ‘act AS IF’ here’s where I recommend you start.

We all relate to creativity differently. We all have different definitions, and different approaches to the creative process.

But there are 8 main Creative Archetypes that determine how we relate to our creativity, which affect every aspect of the creative process from start to scale.

These archetypes show up in our lives from the ways we create to how we are most likely to fail. They determine how we experience resistance and how we overcome it. They influence the way our creativity shows up in the world and the gateways we use to access it on-demand.

And the more we are able to tap into our unique Creative Archetype the more easily we can overcome our challenges, like resistance and fear.

So, to help you discover your archetype and easily adopt more abundant ways to define and relate to your creativity, and stop these problems before they begin…

I’ve created this quiz which gives you a unique report with practical techniques and strategies based on your result.

Go here to discover your unique Creative Archetype now (quick quiz) >>

Your result will teach you about your unique archetype, how you can leverage it to access and amplify your creativity, and easily avoid common challenges you will encounter.

And please mention your archetype result in the comments, so we can discuss your techniques, definitions, and get creative together!

If you enjoyed this story, please recommend and share to help others find it! Feel free to leave a comment below.

The Mission publishes stories, videos, and podcasts that make smart people smarter. You can subscribe to get them here.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Colton Swabb

Colton Swabb

1.5K Followers

Writer, Founder and Executive & Entrepreneur Advisor. Read my free newsletter at: https://www.wisdomwell.co