3: Pros act despite their fears; amateurs get paralyzed by fear
In Turning Pro, Steven Pressfield talks about Resistance, which is the feeling of fear, self-doubt, or laziness that leads people to procrastinate on their goals.
If you want to stop being at the mercy of Resistance, you’ll have to move from being an amateur to becoming a pro, as Pressfield calls it.
“What we get when we turn pro is, we find our power. When we’re living as amateurs, we’re running away from our calling — meaning our work, our destiny, the obligation to become our truest and highest selves,” writes Steven Pressfield.
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Pros Show Up Consistently
Where the amateur only works on their craft when they feel inspired, excited, or motivated, the pro schedules exactly when to work on their craft and shows up no matter how they feel.
Don’t feel motivated to go to the gym? Show up anyway.
Don’t feel inspired to write for your book? Show up anyway.
Don’t feel excited to work on your project? Show up anyway.
The pro realizes that it doesn’t matter if they feel inspired or motivated — they realize it’s about showing up consistently.
“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” — Steven Pressfield.
The funny thing is that simply by showing up, you generate feelings of motivation, energy, and inspiration. It’s the power of momentum.
As said in Turning Pro, “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
Build the habit of ‘showing up’ and you’ll outperform 90% of your competition.
Pros Are Patient
Amateurs are impatient and want results quickly. If they don’t see any results after a few attempts, they quit.
This is why many people fall for ‘lose 10 pounds in 10 days’ programs, get rich quick investment schemes, and trendy business models that promise to make you a lot of money with hardly any work (like dropshipping).
Most people are simply too impatient to achieve any kind of success.
Pros, on the other hand, understand that achieving anything meaningful in life requires time. They have a long-term mindset to success.
“The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like,” writes Steven Pressfield.
Success in any area usually comes down to doing relatively boring tasks for long enough until they compound into big results.
Go to the gym 4x per week for 12 months and you’ll be in better shape than 90% of society
Read 20 pages of a non-fiction book per day for 5 years and you’ll have more knowledge than 90% of society
Work on your business every single day for 2 years and you’ll make more money than 90% of society
If you want to be a pro, forget about quick fixes. Just focus on doing the work and keep a long-term perspective.
Pros Act In The Face of Fear
As said in Turning Pro, “The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”
Pros are equally terrified of failure, rejection, or criticism as amateurs.
The main difference is that pros act despite their fears, while amateurs get paralyzed by fear.
But remember, the most meaningful things in life are on the other side of fear. You can’t let fear take your dreams to the grave.
True courage is not the absence of fear, it’s deciding to act in spite of your fears.
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Pros Don’t Take Failure or Criticism Personally
Amateurs procrastinate on their work because they take failure and criticism personally. This paralyzes them.
But don’t forget, your work is not you. Your work is not your identity.
Your work can sometimes fail or be criticized, but this doesn’t mean you are a failure.
“The professional loves her work. She is invested in it wholeheartedly. But she does not forget that the work is not her.” — Steven Pressfield
Pros have learned to detach themselves from their work — which makes failure and criticism much less intimidating.
Being able to separate yourself from your work is essential if you want to produce at maximum capacity and not be held back by feelings of fear, self-doubt, or procrastination.
Contributed by Jari Roomer
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