To this day, our brains respond to threat as if we were still living in the caveman age. A threat used to be a wild animal and our brains would respond by making our bodies fight, flight or freeze. Modern age is here and our brains evolved but not as fast, their main goal is for us to survive so they look out for any danger. Threats, however, have changed form. Wild animals are replaced by the fear of being seen. Modern day threat is an email you want to send or an article you want to express your opinion in like this one I’m writing where people can see into you.
Your precious brain is still protecting you. It plays the resistance card by coming up with all excuses to avoid the pain of potential future criticism or failure. When you want to hit “submit” on that application, it either plays stories in your head that “this might not work” (fight) or you casually check some other fun social media platform (flight) or you stare at the form reading it over and over (freeze). The resistance symptoms you experience fueled by the old small almond-shaped part of your brain called amygdala will kick in whenever you want to do something out of your comfort zone. Because, with no immediate physical threats like the ones faced by our ancestors, the brain mistakes sharing your work with the world as the new threat and tries to convince you to stay where you will survive, as going out there is not safe.
Does resistance go away, you may ask? Well, it doesn’t. But the masters of resistance like Steven Pressfield and Seth Godin recommend acknowledging it and dancing with it. They say if you notice it waking up from its slumber when you consider a new idea it means you are on to something, follow the lead.