Resistance to Creativity

June 10, 2014 | 17 comments

To all authors, composers, painters, sculptors, designers, and other creative types out there in the world, have you ever felt resistance to finishing, or starting, your next creative project?

Have you ever had a great idea but couldn’t get organized or settled enough to start your work and get a bit accomplished?

It’s called Resistance! Resistance coming from the carnal mind at large that wants to stop anything new and progressive.

If you don’t understand how it works and how to defeat it, that idea may stay…well just an idea with nothing to show for others to enjoy.

I recently read a book titled, “The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle,” that contains 50 pages exposing Resistance that would stop the creative outcome. When I started to read I exclaimed, “Oh yes, yes, I can relate to this! Resistance, I face it all the time.”

Steven Pressfield, the author, astutely describes many of the forms Resistance takes, like distractions that pop up in unexpected forms, opposed family members, even sickness. But he also exposes Resistance and shows ways to conquer it.

On page 16, for instance, he points out that Resistance is fueled by fear. He wrote;

“Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.”

I like that. It’s easy to come up with excuses to delay our creative work. And we feel justified in the delay. But if you watch thought closely, you’ll see an underlying fear that is behind the excuse. Address that fear, get over it, and Resistance will disappear. And your creativity will explode with results to show.

[After the Resistance section, the rest of the book was ho-hum for me, but I gained enough benefit from the beginning, that I ended up a content reader.]

17 thoughts on “Resistance to Creativity”

  1. fantastic message today Evan, thank you so much…..this is very helpful to me as I have been putting off a big project and making excuses for doing so. This makes me identify why !

  2. True and it is not only concerning projects even in putting into practice the messages that come to us. I mean every encouragement of Mind needs to be done fearlessly. This way helps me overcome discouragement concerning my health.

    Thank you Evan and to all.

  3. As a professional artist I certainly can relate to this. The delaying tactics I can come up with to put off beginning! Sometimes even housework seems more appealing than confronting the fear of failure. Because it always boils down to fear. That’s when I find it helpful to remind myself that I am not the creator, to be humble and sort of “let go and let God”. ” …for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” (Isaiah 26:12)
    Thanks for this message.

  4. I often found during my working career, the most difficult time, became easy after I began the challenge. Once I started, the fear was gone and most projects, became so interesting that I was able to dig in and often spent continuous hour past my working schedule to complete it. Like any project, we take a moment to touch God’s guidance and the thoughts, eliminated fear, and things almost always went well.

  5. “The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle” by Steven Pressfield is a wonderful book not only for those in the creative process, but metaphysically to counteract that inner voice stuff of a mortal mind personality that wants to pick up a hammer and use it on him/her self. It’s on my bookshelf and I return to it periodically when stuck! Thank you for highlighting it here.

  6. To define procrastination as fear and resistance is to give us a spiritual solution for conquering it. VERY helpful!

    1. I love Spirit View. It, along with My Bible Lesson, starts my every day and proof of the action has come in overcoming the belief of blindness. In the past year I have completed 38 oil paintings of the old masters. It has been a joy.

  7. “This age is reaching out towards the perfect Principle
    of things; is pushing towards perfection in art, inven‐
    tion, and manufacture. Why, then, should religion be
    stereotyped, and we not obtain a more perfect and prac‐
    tical Christianity? It will never do to be behind the
    times in things most essential, which proceed from the
    standard of right that regulates human destiny. Human
    skill but foreshadows what is next to appear as its divine
    origin. Proportionately as we part with material systems
    and theories, personal doctrines and dogmas, meekly to
    ascend the hill of Science, shall we reach the maximum
    of perfection in all things.”
    Miscellaneous Writings (Pg 232) by Mary Bake Eddy

    Letting Soul, God, be what it is: the Artist we all reflect , can
    lift our perspectives (and improve our art!).

  8. To me the biggest and most important project is to correctly getting to know God and our relationship to him. All other projects and our completion of them successfully are based upon the former. Mortal Mind knows this; (As if Mortal Mind knows anything of goodness, success, and the blessing that knowing God brings.) It takes that as a threat and will do anything by SUGGESTING to destroy any helpful progress to be successful.

  9. I add my thanks! I started a blog just to help me move beyond what kept me feeling that nothing I had to share was “good enough” for the Christian Science periodicals, or that I needed to be a fantastic healer before what I share would have the power to bless. The blog removes for me the inner critic that is the resistance you describe. Now to take it the next step, trusting God needs everyone’s voice to express His infinity.

    I so appreciate everything you share, Evan, and your blog has encouraged me to keep the reader more in mind, and to offer more short and to the point entries.

  10. I concur with Jeanne. When I notice resistance the most is when I sit down to do “good work”. Oh, I forgot to put the wash in the dryer, or, that plant needs water, or the real killer: I don’t have any fresh ideas and am too uninspired to come up with a good treatment.
    I know this is ‘aggressive suggestion”, but never identified the culprit as fear. So thanks Evan, for sharing those ideas!

  11. Thanks, Evan, and to all those who have posted such wonderful ideas. Isn’t it interesting how resistance fades to nothing as we turn to the truth. I’m grateful.

  12. Brenda’s comment about resistance to doing good work and to giving treatments hits the proverbial “nail on the head”. Then to see it as simply fear to be removed/destroyed is so helpful. Thanks, Evan, for this wonderful blog. As others mention, I read it as part of my daily routine and appreciate the comments from others as well.

  13. I have been reading and doing the tasks from Julia Cameron’s book….the artists way. It’s for blocked artists and writers to get over their fears and …just do it. She comes from a spiritual perspective and it has really helped me to move forward. I can highly recommend it! Xxxx

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