Monthly : October 2017

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Diagnose Yourself: The 16 Symptoms of “Resistance”

In Stephen Pressfield’s essential book The War of Art, he reveals the hidden cause of untapped potential:  “resistance.”

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.” – Stephen Pressfield

To understand what he means by “resistance” (and its devious cure) take 5 minutes right now to enjoy our cartoon summary of The War of Art:

Simpleology Summaries:
The War of Art
download now (while it’s free)

But first, you may want to take this quick self-diagnostic test to see if this book will help you.

Do You Have Any of The 16 Symptoms of Resistance?

If yes, read The War of Art cartoon summary immediately to discover the devious cure.

1.  Procrastination

Procrastination is the most common manifestation of resistance. The most dangerous aspect of procrastination is its habitual nature. It becomes easier over time.

2.  Sex

Sometimes resistance takes the form of sex, or an obsessive preoccupation with sex. Unfulfilling sex is a cheap, and easy, distraction from your work.

3.  Trouble

Ill health, alcoholism and drug addiction are forms of trouble. As are accidents, neurosis and personal screw-ups. Anything that draws superficial attention to you tends to be a manifestation of resistance.

4.  Self-Dramatization

Creating drama in your life is resistance. Resistance knows as much attention can be drawn from bringing home an unsuitable girlfriend as from creating a work of art.

5.  Self-Medication

When you drug yourself, you simply consume a product which dulls you. This is at the expense of applying yourself to self-knowledge, self-discipline, delayed gratification and hard work.

6.  Victimhood

The victim compels others to come to his rescue, or to hold others hostage to their predicted illness/meltdown/mental dissolution. The victim is rarely productive.

7.  Unhappiness

Resistance feels like unhappiness. You want to go back to bed. You hate your life. You hate yourself. You do not create art.

8.  Fundamentalism

The fundamentalist cannot stand freedom. When you adopt fundamentalist beliefs, you cannot find your way into the future, so you retreat to the past. When you cannot move forward, you cannot create.

9.  Criticism

If you find yourself criticizing other people, it may be out of resistance. When we see others defeating their resistance, it irritates us if we have not defeated out our own.

10.  Self-Doubt

Only a pretender is wildly self-confident. Genuine artists are scared to death.

11.  Fear

The more fearful you are of a calling, the more sure you can be that you have to do it. When resistance is experienced as fear, the degree of fear equates to the strength of resistance.

12.  Being a Star

Grandiose fantasies are a symptom of resistance. They’re the sign of an amateur. The professional has learned that success only comes as a byproduct of work.

13.  Isolation

Resistance may tell you a creative endeavor will make you lonely. It will arouse in you the false fear of being alone.

14.  Healing

The idea that you need to complete mental or spiritual healing before you will be ready to do your work is resistance. The more energy you expend on exploring the boring injustices of your life, the less energy you have to do your work.

15.  Support

The more energy you spend gathering support from colleagues and loved ones, the weaker you become. This makes you less capable of handling your business.

16.  Rationalization

Rationalization presents you with plausible, rational justifications for why you shouldn’t do your work. It prevents you from feeling the shame you would feel if you faced the cowardice of not being productive.


If you are plagued by one or more of these symptoms, you are experiencing “resistance.”  Read The War of Art cartoon summary immediately to discover the devious cure.

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