I’ve always made decisions relatively quickly. Part of it is pure laziness – I get bored doing research or hearing myself talk for too long about the pros and cons of something.
The other part of it is just a relatively high level of comfort with not knowing if something is “the” perfect decision, because I don’t believe there are perfect ways to do anything in life.
The way I figure, the road will lead somewhere, and I’ll learn from it, and most things aren’t as dramatic as we make them out to be, anyway.
Sometimes, though, a decision will throw me off my game and I’ll toil over it for weeks, which is total misery to me.
Usually when this happens, I realize that I’m making the decision a lot harder than it needs to be. When I feel like I have to really wrestle with something and lack clarity, it’s for one reason:
I’m not telling myself the truth.
I’m not letting myself really feel what I want, or say what I think. I’m pandering to others, or to the part of me that doesn’t want to change.
Steven Pressfield calls that part of us “the Resistance.” It’s the energy that rises up against us whenever we want to improve our lives, or change course, or do anything that’s unpopular. He tells us that the Resistance is conniving, persistent, and it’s out for blood.
Its best friend is Rationalization.
When a decision is ahead of us, most of us know what we want to do relatively quickly. But then Resistance and Rationalization show up, and they muddy the waters.
They tell us, “You can’t do that – you’ll hurt his feelings” or “That’s a great idea, but you should start tomorrow.” We make ourselves busy with distractions and bullshit and then we wonder why we’re paralyzed with indecision.
It’s because we’re letting our Resistance run the show.
My Resistance is very smart and subtle, and it shows up often in my work. Lately, it’s distracted me from a goal I set a long time ago, which was to write more guest posts on other blogs and websites that I respect.
For many reasons, I don’t want to do this, and the primary one is Fear: fear of rejection.
Resistance loves Fear, because it feeds off of it.
So since I’m afraid of pitching guest posts, Resistance shows up with all these seemingly true reasons for why I shouldn’t put myself out there:
- I don’t have time – I’m already writing two posts a week for my own blog
- I’m not sure there are even websites out there that would be a good fit for me
- It probably wouldn’t even grow my audience anyway, and I’d just waste a lot of time
Do you see how crippling this bullshit can be?
Even though I (big I, my Self) know that guest posting is a valuable way to spread your voice and serve more people, the Resistance makes it so much more complicated and difficult than it really is.
All it would take for me to submit a guest post is to find a blog I like, write a post like I would any other day, and email it to them. It’s really very simple, like most things in our lives are.
We can generally make things easier for ourselves by recognizing the Resistance and telling the truth.
We can ask ourselves questions like:
Why am I really avoiding making that decision?
Why am I really distracting myself with all this busywork?
Why do I really want to stay? Or leave? Or scream? Or jump for joy?
What’s really going on here?
Even though it can stop us dead in our tracks, Resistance is also a gift, because it’s a sign that you’re on a path toward making positive changes in your life.
As Pressfield wrote in his book The War of Art, “The more important a call or action to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
So if something is difficult, try not to worry – it means you’re working through some really important, soul-level stuff. Simply do your best to notice the Resistance and its lies so that you can break free and move forward.