“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas A. Edison
Recently, I’ve become familiar with the writings of Steven Pressfield, which I see as being very applicable to brand building. Over a decade ago, Pressfield wrote a book titled The War of Art. In it, Pressfield speaks about the act of experiencing resistance when attempting to reach the full potential of an idea. Whether in life or in business, when it comes to making a change within your world, that familiar knee-jerk feeling of wanting to resist, or being forced to work harder than anticipated to overcome obstacles in reaching your goal, is in fact an indicator that you are indeed on exactly the right track.
Entrepreneurs know a thing or two about overcoming resistance. Whenever they have a new idea, create a new venture, see an opportunity, or take the risk, they are acutely aware that it will also be accompanied by that initial feeling of resistance. But this is what visionary business leaders (and the brands they manage) are exceptionally good at: challenging that resistance, and going for the goal anyway. They recognize that resistance occurs whenever they are attempting to create something truly new and amazing in order to realize their dreams.
Pressfield believes that the two elements, dreams and resistance, always materialize together. Like the tree and its shadow, when there is resistance, it is an indicator that you are close to a dream nearby. This is because resistance occurs when individuals or companies attempt to move from their baseline to something better- from being good to being great.
The act of creation is inherently an act of bringing about change to the status quo. But status quo is comfortable for most people; they know what to expect and how to function in that space. Therefore it is not surprising that even the most amazing ideas are almost guaranteed to be met with some resistance, friction, and their fair share of naysayers before finally picking up the momentum required to be successful.
But make no mistake: overcoming resistance, and getting really, really good at doing so, is the difference between the professionals and the amateurs. Pros never make a decision out of fear to remain comfortable. They begin each day in action, and move towards what they want to achieve without fear. And when they experience that twinge of resistance, from themselves or others, they recognize it as a sign that they are in fact creating the change they want to see in their lives, careers or business. You don’t get to be a pro by knocking it out of the park on the first try. Pros know it takes time to get good at something, and they get up every single day and go for it, getting better and better at it. And when they fail, they learn from it and, without hesitation, they get up and do it again.
The pros, the entrepreneurs, and the visionaries: they know that to reach the dream, you have to get good at overcoming resistance. You might just be closer to realizing your dream than you even realize in this moment.
Check out some videos of Pressfield below, and read more about overcoming resistance in The War of Art.