Envision your dream and don´t let resistance stop you
How I finally turned Pro and why it´s still hard to maintain it
I recently realized that I feel less productive and also had a tendency to distract myself from writing with other things. Things, which seem similar important, but wouldn´t help me to fulfill my dream to publish a book (e.g., emailing, household stuff, re-arranging furniture). It is the creepy calling of resistance crawling through my veins to stop me from doing the work. My dream seemed far away and the way rough and stony. I just couldn’t bring myself in front of the screen to pursue my writing. But where had I started? How did I finally turn pro and why is it suddenly so hard to maintain it?
I bet you can relate: you had planned to write 2000 words or rework the Canva, compose this song, but then something else came up and you ended up with unfinished work. It´s the pull of resistance, which keeps us from fulfilling our dreams, and its resistances, which keeps us busy with other tasks not supporting our calling.
Don´t let resistance stop you!
In my post “Books, priceless source of inspiration”, I introduced three books, which had helped me to tap deeper into my creativity. One of those books was Steven Pressfield’s “Turning Pro”, a guide to “Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life´s Work”. In this book, Steven talks in-depth about the disguise of resistance and the manifold ways in which resistance shows up in our lives.
It´s a tough time right now. Kids had been home for weeks, engaged in distance learning, only to be back on campus shortly before the Easter vacation. After two weeks off they went back to school for two weeks merely to be home in distance learning by now. They have to adjust; we have to adjust. Three kids, three different school schedules, different types of support from our site, and different needs from their side. We are not the only ones facing those challenges, but still, it´s hard for us as a family to constantly re-arrange the working and eating schedules. (Organizing and preparing food consumes quite a bit of time for five persons).
It´s time for me to take a closer look at my habits
I knew I had been there before. I had been so occupied with the tasks of everyday life, with organizing the household and my kids schedule, that I just couldn´t find the time to do something for myself. However, there was this tiny voice inside of me, whispering that life has more for me in store and I shouldn’t wait. Not waiting for the kids to finish school, not wasting precious time. According to “Turning Pro” it´s all a matter of organization. Kill the distractions and go to work:
“The amateur tweets. The pro works.”
The moment you realize that it all depends on your own actions, the decision has already been made. Early in his book, Steven realizes that he is ambitious, only because he starts to organize his belongings. I had the same kind of epiphany. For me, it was the start of a regular morning Yoga practice, which made me realize that, if I am able to get up earlier to do my morning practice, I can also set up a regular writing routine, if I clear time for it.
Putting things away, which distracts me, carefully planning, which school meetings or gatherings I need to attend and how much time I am willing to spend on household tasks. The problem with being self-employed and the greater problem with not being paid (so far) is, that first YOU have to take yourself seriously before the others will too. You have to treat yourself as a Pro and set the routines accordingly.
Treat yourself as a Pro – and practice
Steven Pressfield had saved money and hidden in a small living container for a year to write his first book. As part of a family, this is not possible. During COVID times it´s even worse. I can´t change the fact that we are all home now, neither can I change the fact that everyone needs to eat at a certain time. What I can is setting time apart for writing and don´t let me distract during this period. The inspiration won’t hit me like a thunderstruck – but eventually, it will show up, rewarding my endurance with one beautiful sentence. Maybe not today, but the day after or the day after.
We have to stop focusing on the outcome. Doing the work for the work itself and fully enjoying it. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says to Arjuna, “You have the right to work, but for the work’s sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working. Never give way to laziness, either.“
The more I practice, the more my mind is trained to do the work. Not complaining about the circumstances but tapping into the realm of imagination and creation. This is not easy, and it´s definitely nothing for amateurs. It can be scary and daunting. Daemons sitting on our back telling us how poor and ludicrous our attempts are. Don´t look at them, stop listening to them. Just sit in front of your desk, canvas or computer and write, paint or program. Whatever it is you wish to do, just do the work. Envision your dream and don´t let resistance stop you.
„When we turn pro, we stop running from our fears. We turn around and face them.”