How to overcome resistance

This strategy for overcoming resistance doesn’t require willpower, force, or any other limited resources, because it’s based on your innate and ever-present access to a much higher power…

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{ Book extract from Tonics For Your Creative Spirit

Can we overcome resistance?

However fun and fabulous the creative life can be, there may be times when we’re stopped in our tracks by an inner force – a strange reluctance to do what we know we should do. 

We may even feel reluctant to do what we claim we want to do. 

We find ourselves facing that infamous foe of the creative hero:

Resistance.

There may well be good, valid, obvious reasons why we don’t want to do whatever we’re resisting. 

Perhaps it’s dull, boring, scary, messy, etc. 

Or we may be battling unseen and unknown forces in our psyche, long-buried issues deep in our subconscious mind.

Whatever the reason, the result is the same; we just don’t wanna!

What to do?

“When we are inspired and lit by an inner spark, the prospect of taking action is so much more effortless and enjoyable than battling through resistance to do what we feel we ‘should’.”

The Muse Spa 

Inspiration vs resistance

When we’re inspired, we don’t need willpower or discipline, we don’t need to struggle or force – we’re carried by a natural motivation that comes from within. 

So, instead of pondering how we can push through resistance, a more enjoyable approach is to ask: 

How can I get inspired?

Happily, there are many ways we can entice inspiration into our lives more regularly, and there are also practices that are renowned for ‘wooing the muse.’ 

But a simple way to begin is to create a collection of remedies that work for you.

What inspires you?

Cast your mind back to when you were last in the flow, in the zone, when the creative juices were flowing easily. 

What had you been doing? 

Where were you? 

Who were you with? 

See if you can spot any recurring themes that seem to open you up to the voice of inspiration.

For example, if I ever have to write something specific, and the words aren’t flowing or I’m feeling some resistance, I turn to my Resistance Remedies – a list of activities that I know always spark some new ideas or motivation.

For me, these include walking in nature, yoga, cooking, reading a good book, and – as much as I ‘resist’ it – housework seems to always lead to new ideas and insights. 

I’ve learned to turn to these remedies ASAP, whenever I feel that heavy sense of dread or reluctance, aka resistance.

No single tool works every time, so I keep a list with lots of options, and some may be more appropriate than others. 

For example, yoga might not be the most practical remedy if I’m writing on the train. 

My list of remedies also changes over time, as I monitor and track which ones work the best, for me.

cherry blossom farmhouse whixley nature overcome resistance remedy

{Inspiring walks and picturesque scenes can naturally help to overcome resistance}

Real life examples

If you find your creative journey being slowed by bumps of resistance, or if you’d simply like to be inspired more often, can you begin to uncover your own Resistance Remedies and create a list of go-to inspiration tools?

Here are some examples from both the world of work and life in general, to help you explore what inspiring actions might work for you:

• Resisting writing an article or report? 

Read an inspiring book or blog about your industry. 

Or revisit your career goals or vision board. 

Or chat to a colleague about work you’re doing that excites you.

• Resisting cooking a meal? 

Spend ten minutes looking at delicious meals on Pinterest. 

Or call in at your favourite deli. 

Or curl up with a beautiful cookbook.

• Resisting having a difficult conversation? 

Rehearse expressing your feelings clearly with a good friend. 

Or go for a walk and imagine the dialogue going the best possible way.

• Resisting mundane chores? 

Review the bigger picture – what’s the ideal scenario on the other side of those chores? 

Imagine how good it will feel to have them done. 

Picture the relaxation and relief of not dreading them anymore.

And so on….

stack of letters ribbon books pile shelf inspire overcome resistance

{Inspiring displays in your home can help to overcome resistance to housework}

How to overcome resistance

Whatever it is that you’re feeling resistance around, give some thought to what would inspire you to actually want to do it – or at least to begin the process. (Starting can often be the hardest part.)

Instead of wasting your energy on…

• begrudgingly forcing yourself to do it (not easy)

• harnessing your reluctant willpower (not fun)

• berating yourself for avoiding it (not nice)

…why not put your energy and focus on finding ways to inspire yourself to do it?

Give your attention to what you do enjoy or find easy – then look for ways to tap into those inclinations in a way that will help you get moving with whatever you’re resisting.

And if you keep a record of what helps you, before long you’ll have created a list of your own personal Resistance Remedies.

Then the next time you’re facing a task or challenge that you’re really resisting, instead of struggling to enforce your (limited) willpower, you can try this effective and less stressful approach.

Instead of wondering how you can force yourself to do a particular task, try asking instead:

What inspires me to do this? 

And don’t forget – you are a creative being.

So if you can’t think of ways to inspire yourself – experiment, explore, get curious. 

Use your imagination and try different approaches until you find the ways that work best for you.

As you learn how to get inspired when you need to be, you tap into a formidable source of creative power, which can help you overcome, or simply bypass, any lingering resistance.

And because being inspired and in flow are energising, revitalising states of being, your Resistance Remedies will not only boost your creative life, they’ll enhance your health and happiness too.

So, I hope this inspires you to get started with your Resistance Remedies list!

danielle raine creativity coach

Hi! I'm Danielle.

creative coach danielle raine

creative coach danielle raine l

OBSESSED WITH THE CREATIVE PROCESS SINCE 1993

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Dive deeper…

If you’d like more simple ways to take those all-important baby steps towards your creative goals and dreams, my Starter Kit is for you.

It’s a series of the holistic principles that I’ve discovered and developed from almost a decade of holistic creativity coaching, supporting lovely wellness-seeking creatives just like you.


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This is for you if;

• You want to enjoy more clarity, momentum, inspiration and flow in your creative life

• You’re craving support, encouragement or guidance but not quite ready for private coaching

• You want to learn more about my holistic approach and all its lovely benefits

Related posts…

This post is featured in Tonics for your Creative Spirit…

Available now: The Book of the Blog

An inspiring anthology of self-coaching tips for creatives

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