Shiny Object Syndrome

A major issue I’ve been struggling with lately is resistance.. Resistance to doing what I know will serve me in the long run, resistance around going to the doctor to get that niggling health issue checked, resistance to getting into a regular rhythm with my writing.. you get my point.

Resistance is a tricky one. It is the most common and pervasive forms of self sabotage for the majority of us two legged beasts. We all want certain things in our lives, depending on our personal circumstances and where we are geographically located. Though generally speaking, the things that most people want include a fulfilling career or life purpose, a loving relationship and/or family life, and to feel part of a supportive community.

In order to get these things there are often challenges and/or hard work involved. This is where our sneaky friend resistance swoops in to make a cameo appearance, if not a major starring role in the daily soap opera of our lives. Resistance takes many forms from distractions like TV, excessive sleeping or messing around on facebook to addictions like sex, alcohol or impulsive online shopping.

In my case, resistance takes the form of Shiny Object Syndrome, which is basically a fancy term for impulsive Gemini types who are prone to one distraction after the next. Whenever I am super stressed or facing one of my core wounds and/or shadows, I struggle with the impulse to distract myself by signing up for a fancy yoga membership I never use, or a photography course which I know I probably won’t be able to attend or can’t even really afford. Ah resistance, you feathered beast!

In The Art of War, Steven Pressfield lists the activities that most commonly evoke resistance which he refers to as ‘Resistance’s Greatest Hits.’ Among these include any entrepreneurial project or business, a healthy diet or exercise regiment, a program involving spiritual development, educational advancement or a program to help combat addictions. Basically anything that is beneficial to your ongoing soul advancement rather than activities that provide instant quick fix gratification.

He further notes that fear is our constant companion, so there is no point in, ‘I will do such and such when I get over the fear’ kind of thinking. Trust me, I’ve been there many times myself!

Fear doesn’t go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.


I experience resistance every time I sit down to write one of these articles. Suddenly everything else seems infinitely more important including dusting the family elephant, and no that’s not a sleazy euphemism! The one thing that keeps me going is knowing that I will feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, especially knowing it may assist someone struggling with a similar issue.

So there you have it, resistance is a vastly common experience and takes no prisoners. Even the likes of Barak Obama, Gina Rinehart and Oprah Winfrey are struck down by it’s forceful blow. The trick is to accept it’s presence and not let the fear stop you from doing what you were put on this great old round ball to do.

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