I’ve been pondering what moves people to failure, to quitting, to making excuses and to becoming sheep rather than sheep dogs. Looking at the performance data we have at The Arsenal, namely attendance, I found the enemy: Resistance.
“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
–Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
The enemy is within each of us, and for many of the athletes on our team the enemy is indeed winning. How do we fight something that is invisible and living inside us? An enemy that makes us believe it is our friend and has our best interests in mind? I don’t have a clear cut answer, but I have some ideas worthy to experiment with:
- Commit with your whole self
- Invest meaningful money and more importantly consistent time, every week, no matter what. Don’t half ass commitment and give yourself built in escape routes for when Resistance comes.
- Don’t go it alone
- Find someone who is ready to battle Resistance in her/his life. Accountability is a powerful weapon that saves us from the worst versions of ourselves.
- Align your commitment with your values
- If getting more fit physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally is important to living out your personal values, then you will have the inner resolve to fist fight with Resistance everyday (that is how often she comes calling). If you are doing something for superficial reasons, outside of your own personal growth, then Resistance is going to own you.
- Build a strategy for the worst version of you
- If you don’t have a schedule or plan that is built for you at your worst, I can promise it is loaded with a thousand holes where Resistance will enter. Assume you will be busy as hell, tired, make mistakes and lose motivation. That we can count on. Don’t assume you will be the energetic, motivated and bulletproof you every day.
This is a small list of ideas, just a starter. This battle against our number one enemy, Resistance, is something The Arsenal team is dead serious about fighting. We have a litany of stories on our blog about your teammates who are winning this daily battle, so learn from them. Your coaching staff and teammates are fully committed to ensure you are not ‘going at it alone’ with Resistance in your life.
Recommit yourself to fighting that Resistance inside you. It only cares about things that matter, so if you are not fighting any Resistance right now, odds are you missing your highest calling. You are made for so much more, now prove it. Today and everyday forward.