Overcoming Creative Resistance: The Lesson of the Dragon Slayer

Dan Goodwin

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Something all of us who are creative have in common is experiencing, at varying levels, some form of resistance to our creativity or creative flow.

This can be from any number of external sources, but for now let’s focus on the internal resistance that originates from our own minds and thought patterns, and the subsequent behaviour they can produce.

No doubt you’ll be familiar with your own personal variations on time-honoured creative self-doubts such as “I’m not good enough", “I have nothing important or valuable to say" and “Who am I kidding, I don’t have the talent to be successful".

These kind of statements revolve around the minds of ALL of us who are creative and, if we take notice of them enough and allow them to dictate our behaviour, can take almost complete control of our creative lives.

So how do we deal with them?

Most of us tend to strap on the heavy old battle-damaged armour, raise our shields, unsheathe our weapons and prepare to wage war on these mighty dragons of resistance.

Despite feeling afraid, out of our depth and overwhelmed, and with the dragon towering over us about to singe our eyebrows with a fire breathing sneer, we still think we the only way we’ll have a chance to defeat our resistance is to attack it head on.

So we try all we can to eliminate the dragon – those negative thoughts and doubts of resistance - from our minds, which usually results in much anguished and exhausting mental gymnastics.

Unfortunately though, even after all that, we soon realise that dragon’s got a mighty big family. Even if you manage to slay him, his brother/ mother/ Great Uncle Draco is going to come looking for you!

In effect our resistance to creating simply regathers itself and returns more fearsome than ever.

And so we take up this internal struggle time and time and again, until we have no energy left to fight and slump defeated, more often than not giving up on our creative efforts altogether.

But, there is hope. You see we don’t have to try to be dragon slayers, there is another way.

What if we accept that internal resistance of some kind has a constant place in our thoughts and lives, and WILL always regenerate and reappear?

As long as we’re capable of having thoughts, we’re capable of having negative thoughts. It’s just part of how our minds work.

And after all, we’re creative people, even if we overcome one negative thought, we’ll soon conjure up another that’s equally powerful and debilitating.

So instead of seeing this resistance as our deadly enemy, something we must fight with all our strength each time it rears its (fire breathing) head, what if we changed our viewpoint and approach?

What if, next time one of those dragons appeared, we sought to understand its motives and needs? What’s the real purpose of these dragons of resistance? What drives them, what are they seeking to do for you, how do they want you to be, and why?

Maybe it’s to keep you safe, to protect you. Maybe it’s to stop you suffering disappointment, rejection or being hurt?

Once we adopt this change of perspective, we’re in a much stronger position to begin dealing with our resistance. We’ll also see that behind this apparently completely negative resistance, there is a positive motive of some kind behind it.

So write out some of your resistant negative thoughts, ask these kind of challenging questions about them and start to see them in a different light.

Once you start seeing just one or two in a new way, it’ll automatically lead you to inquiring further into all the others.

After all, acceptance and understanding tends to give us better results than panic and blind fear almost every time.

© Copyright 2006 Dan Goodwin

Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin is the author of “Create Create!", a FREE twice monthly ezine for people who want simple and powerful articles, tips and exercises to help them unleash their creative talents. Sign up right now and get your FREE “Explode Your Creativity!" Action Workbook, at http://www.CoachCreative.com .


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