If you’ve not heard Steven Pressfield talk about The Resistance, you need to spend three minutes and set that right.
Good. Now we’re on the same page..
I’m an avid daily journal person - I’ve been collecting daily posts for the last four years which I keep in OneNote. But this recent journal entry seems like something others may benefit from.
This post is about a bunch of my own internal resistance reasons that I use to procrastinate doing actual work on my next Pluralsight Course (which is on PWA sensors, and which I’m actually super pumped about)… and the rebutt to those lies so you can just get on with Turning Pro and actually doing the work.
Enjoy the journal!
There is massive resistance on working on my Pluralsight course today - even though I have set aside the day to do just that.
So what’s under the waterline of this iceberg of resistance? What’s stopping the daily progress?
Deadlines are creating fear and disappointment. I thought my accountability stuff - asking a friend and my editor to hold me to a deadline - would help me kick my own butt and make some progress, but the reverse has happened. It’s made me freeze. Scared to progress. Terrified of clicking record. Fearful I won’t ship anything in time and miss a great opportunity. BUT: that mindset takes hold when you forget: Habits make goals come to you!! Just fall in love with the daily grind and you’ll be done in no time. Just move the needle forward in some small way every day.
Resentment that I’m not making hay while the sun shines. I have this awesome consulting opportunity at the moment that I could be monetizing every single day . But I’m busy tinkering on this slow-as-molasses course progress which I resent as anti-business-wisdom. BUT: will I resent this down the track? Absolutely not - I know the work an hour/get paid an hour thing is dead. I only do it at all because it’s a good way of keeping my dev skills applied in a real business team context - and grow my programming chops by working with other developers. Pluralsight scales out!
Scared I don’t have the stuff. Ah, that old chestnut. That I “don’t know this area deep enough”. The truth is that I, like everyone, have many knowledge gaps - but I’m curious, and so will explore things with a beginners mind as I go along. My mind still plays the old, “there are better people out there in this area who will rubbish and ridicule this course”. BUT: of course, that’s all non-sense. Most real experts I know are gracious - and love to see others level up. And I’ll also be offering a ton of enthusiasm, a beginner’s mind, and a passion for levelling people up.
Tension about having the (super large) tracts of time I (pretend I) need. I feel like there are constant interruptions, so how will I get in the flow for this course to progress? How will I move this forward in little blocks of an hour here or there? BUT: the truth of the matter is that I make great progress in a single Pomodoro - so there’s no risk of this lie really being true. Thinking in smaller blocks of time is very helpful.
Zero self-compassion. No matter how much I track through, I’ll never feel like I’ve done enough, so why even start? Reality means other things do sometimes trump my courseware development. BUT: the other things that have trumped Pluralsight progress have been wonderful, and important, and it’s worth remembering my value is not measured by completed Pluralsight courses - I was created to enjoy life. Imagine if I treated myself the way that I would treat a friend who accomplished a similar amount of work in a day… I would give them a raise! So feel good about yourself, and crack on.
Losing my why. I forget that I want to become a world class trainer, mentor and coach. BUT: the way that you do that is through mindful practice. I sometime resent “putting in the practice” on my Pluralsight work - since it’s not making immediate money. But then I remember that it’s not, and was never, about the money anyway!! It was about making the world a cooler place - levelling up developers in entertaining ways - and growing in my own potential - and getting better at doing online training!
No next step. This one is actaully kinda true. I am a little light on the planning stage - and when you don’t have an immediate “next step” to move onto, you can spin the wheels working that out. BUT: I can grow in this area and I have great tools available to me in Kanbanflow or even Trello - so I’m going to develop my next steps as I go. Certainly having no plan doesn’t serve me - so I’m going to create a coarse grain plan and refine as you go. Live the agile dream!
Not making it fun. First, learn to practice! BUT: the first step there is to make it fun. Give yourself little rewards. Set micro-deadlines that are actually doable - and then hit them and celebrate. No more Herculean epic tasks - those “I’m not allowed to celebrate without doing 40 hours of progress in 6 hours of work” mindsets. That’s ridiculous. And it doesn’t serve you. So leave it behind.
No room for overflow. When I dive into Pluralsight, all my blogging/vlogging/whatever goes to zero. There’s no overflow to share. BUT: that’s crazy. I’m learning new things every time I sit down to work on the course, so I just need to work out a lightweight way to share those insights. No “massive tome” blog posts. Just punch out a few little sentences to encourage yourself. Or a quick vid to just demonstrate something cool. Or something from your journal. I’m going to commit to a Wednesday blog day.
Well, that’s all I can think of immediately this morning. So I figured I’d just write it down so I can see the madness in some of my mindsets.
I’m going to edge forward today. I’m going to break that resistance.
Let’s get started :-)