I am constantly being reminded of my lack of confidence. I am told that I am my own worst enemy, that I fear failure and believe myself to be incompetent. Author Steven Pressfield refers to this internal struggle as “resistance.” I do not deny that I experience resistance, though when I reflect on projects I have completed or failed to complete, what I usually recognize is the absence of risk. Upon considering the creative endeavors that are behind me, I reduce my understanding of my own resistance to what I see as playing it safe. That is all. I dismiss the comments of my mentors and peers. I decide, in retrospect, that I “probably could have pushed it a bit more.” I decide that my war with resistance is limited to minor regret and is not something more belligerent and complex as others often claim it is. I think this may be because I, in the past, confirmed that I was being honest rather than apprehensive or insecure. I felt that I was merely being realistic when I proclaimed that I was incapable of achieving something.
My understanding of resistance has changed drastically with the commencement of the robot dance piece that I am working on in STAC. I do, at least partially, accredit this change to my recent experience reading The War of Art. I am confident that the new mentality of embracing the present that I adopted one month ago (when I decided that I would pursue the arts) has something to do with it as well. By deciding that I wanted to alter my mentality, I, naturally, was implying that my approach to art and life throughout the past few years has been less than ideal. We do not modify things that do not require modification.
This has contributed to a more developed understanding of potential and, thereby, a feeling of dissatisfaction and disappointment when I feel I have failed to reach that potential. I am looking resistance in the eye, during my process, and it is scary and downright painful. As questionable as I realize it does seem, I do not think I have ever experienced anything like this in the past. This is entirely new to me. I used to be submissive when faced with resistance. I would attribute my hesitancy or insecurity to self-awareness (I am reluctant because I am a realist. I simply know that something is beyond my capability). I would almost surrender subconsciously, and this would occur so quickly that I had no idea I had a sense of defense somewhere within me. Now, I have accepted the challenge of creating this dance piece and I want nothing more than to work to my potential. I, as a creative individual, did not succumb to being a manifestation of my own resistance. I am choosing to fight. I have declared war against resistance and upon approaching the battlefield, I came in contact with my opponent. That is what this week has been for me and like I said, it is painful and emotionally taxing. My adversary is relentless and I am bombarded with negativity every few minutes. Constantly. It is distracting and like nothing I expected. I feel it somewhere in my chest and it is so, so loud.