How doing the wrong things is worse than doing nothing
I have this unnecessary disdain for combining the word entrepreneurship with other words.
Solopreneur. Wantrepreneur. Mompreneur. Foodpreneur. Etc, etc, etc.
I find it to be pointless and I think it takes away from what it means to be an entrepreneur—someone starting something new and building something that matters, that will bring value to themselves, their clients, and the world. The modifier doesn’t matter.
My favorite word to combine with other words, however: procrastinate.
Maybe because it makes me feel less like I’m procrastinating when I’m procrasticleaning or procrasticising or procrastireading or procrastiscrolling (although that one does make me feel guilty, not quite as guilty as straight-up procrastinating).
I am a master procrastinator. If it was included in the Strengthsfinder assessment, it would for sure be in my top 5.
The best combination and way in which I procrastinate: procrastiworking.
Yes, I put off things I need to be doing on client projects, on growing my business, on improving my life by working on other things. Things that seem important, but do not contribute to any of the above. My favorite way to do this? Instagram.
I’m a big fan of Instagram, both as a scroller and a content creator. I like the challenge of writing short, engaging posts, finding pictures that at least somewhat relate to my words, and then arranging my feed in just the right way such that it evokes feelings of symmetry, beauty, and purpose. I can spend a lot of time doing these things. It makes me feel like I am doing something important for my business. Here’s the thing: I don’t get much business at all from Instagram.
When I look at where my clients come from or sign-ups to my workshops and events, Instagram is the lowest contributor. The lowest.
So why do I spend time meticulously planning my Instagram feed? Because I’m putting off doing other work that would make more of a difference. If this seems ridiculous to you, I know. It seems ridiculous to me.
But I continue to do it. Why?
Steven Pressfield, in The War of Art says this:
“Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness that poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be.”
He defines Resistance in many ways, one of which is infallible. He says:
“…Resistance will unfailing point to true north—meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing. We can use this. We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action we must follow before all others. Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
I feel no resistance or hesitation in spending time on Instagram. But I feel a ton of Resistance when it comes to planning my coaching and training offers to help people get unstuck. One is more important than the other. One is better for my business and more aligned with the mission of my work.
As counterintuitive as it may be, that’s exactly why I spend so much time on Instagram.
There are no easy answers or 5 steps to overcome Resistance. It’s different for everyone. At the risk of sounding cliche, I do think the first step is recognizing it. Acknowledging that you are putting off something you really want to do, something you feel would make a positive impact in the world because you feel Resistance allows you to start working through it.
It’s worth noting that while Resistance and Stuckness are related, they aren’t the exact same thing. They are kind of like fraternal twins—they share a lot of DNA, but they aren’t identical. You can be stuck because of Resistance, but you can also be stuck for other reasons.
Like stuckness, Resistance is universal—we all deal with it—and it comes and goes as it pleases. Procrastination is only one way that it manifests, but it’s the easiest to see, especially when we name it.