There are some truths that you can’t just remember. When you hear them, they make sense…but after a time, your brain goes back to trying to convince you of something different.
I was reminded of this recently when I was doing a springtime purge of all of the things I’ve accumulated over the past year and came across my copies of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and Turning Pro.
If you’re facing some frustration about your copywriting career, if you’re battling some inner demons, if you’re finding it tough sometimes to sit down and do the work you want to do, if you sometimes doubt that you have it in you to succeed…well, keep reading. (And pick up these books.)
Pressfield’s first book The War of Art introduces us to the demon we already know, but likely haven’t named. He calls it Resistance. Resistance is the force that appears whenever we attempt “any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.”
Resistance is what comes up whenever we try something outside of our comfort zone, something that challenges us.
Something like, oh, say, building a brand-new copywriting career.
What’s worse—and I think you’ll know what he’s talking about—“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work.” It’s the voice that tells you it can’t be done, or maybe you’re not good enough to do it, or it’s not worth putting in so much effort for, or you’re not one of the lucky ones who are successful.
One last quote from Pressfield about Resistance: “Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
The first half of the book reminds us that not only is Resistance common, it’s actually a sign that we’re in the right direction. <Phew>. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less challenging.
The second half of The War of Art and all of his next book, Turning Pro, are about getting serious enough about your plans, serious enough about your dreams, and serious about yourself to sit your butt down and work, even when Resistance comes up.
Pressfield calls this “turning pro.” As he puts it, “When we turn pro, we stop running from our fears. We turn around and face them.”
Turning pro—making the commitment to be serious in the pursuit of what you want, even in spite of Resistance—is a decision.
And it’s a decision that you have to make every day.
But is it worth it? Hell yes! Pros are the people who get stuff done. Pros are the people who achieve their dreams. Pros are the people who feel the fear, do it anyway—and achieve success.
You are not, by any means, unique or alone if you’re feeling frustration, fear, doubt, or disillusionment. Those will always, 100% of the time come up when you’re pursuing something worthwhile.
But you are special and exceptional if you feel those feelings and fight through them. And then you have the pride of knowing that you faced Resistance head on…plus you’ve built one hell of a copywriting career.
(P.S. I know this was a bit more of a book report than our usual posts, but I felt compelled to share this message. Pressfield’s books are quick reads, but deeply profound—I highly suggest you pick them up.)
Your turn! How have you been battling Resistance? What have been your wins or temporary setbacks? Let us know in the comments below!