I have recently discovered Steven Pressfield.
His book, The War of Art, is brilliant and cuts to the heart of the matter. Becoming an entrepreneur or an artist will not be easy and the book doesn't present any quick formulas, nor any magical mantras. It does have brilliant insights though and I am beginning to appreciate the effort and dedication it takes to overcome the force of resistance. I highly recommend you get a hold of a copy today. Don't resist.
This is part one of two.
It's not easy to start a new business, write a novel, or become a new father for that matter. Steven Pressfield calls the powerful force that rises against us when we attempt to realize our dreams – the Resistance. We resist many things. We resist our great ideas and we hide from our higher nature. Every human mind is full of infinite dreams and an inexhaustible number of innovative ideas, but they are often strangled, buried and left unrealized. Sonny summarizes this beautifully when he tells Calegoro, in The Bronx Tale that, "the saddest thing in life is wasted talent".
Let's not waste our talents
The War of Art illustrates that we must first understand the forces that work against us. Prescott gives an example of three (Resistance. Rational Thought. Family and Friends).
Today, I want to briefly explore Resistance. Tomorrow, we'll touch on our Rational Thoughts, Family plus our Family and Friends.
Here are the most common examples of the Resistance.
Read the list again. Read it slowly. Which force are you wrestling with the most?
My struggle is right now is with Self-Doubt.
Self-Doubt is that intimidating voice in my head which forcefully demands to know who I think I am? The voice which demands to know who I am to try to do anything?
What do you know? What have you accomplished? What makes you think that you have anything to share? No one cares. No one will see. No one will hear or listen. You're a hack. A timid copycat. A plagiarist at best, and probably not a well edited one at that.
Self-Doubt has stopped me for years, but in truth it probably has probably harmed me for decades. Nobody likes to be yelled at, especially when you recognize the voice because it comes from within. The Trojan horse has crippling consequences.
Time is our friend though, and a great healer. With time, all the painful sentiments can grow a little less crippling, a little more worn, and a whole lot more predictable. Time makes self-doubt a little less pronounced and muted. As we grow older we slowly run out of options. There are only so many tomorrows.
The time to do something is now. The resistance will never change. It is always rested, relentless and tireless. There is much more at stake today, then yesterday. There are little eyes watching my every move, listening to everything I say, trying to learn how to properly navigate this world of ours. If I fail, I will fail them also..
I'm conquering self-doubt by digging ditches. I start at 4am and I dig. I dig until I can't dig any more.
At night, before bed, I reflect in my journal and allow myself a moment to marvel at what was accomplished. (The little things add up over time).
The next day, I dig again.