The War of Art with Steven Pressfield
Hey everyone, welcome back! I figured today would be a good day for inspiration. I heard of Steven Pressfield when I was listening to an audio book by Seth Godin. Pressfield talks about the “Resistance” in his audio book “The War of Art” which is the thing in your head that tells you you’re not worthy enough to accomplish anything. It tells you that your art is worthless and you should just stop chasing your dreams and go get a job at Walmart. Seth Godin calls it the “Lizard Brain.” The fight or flight, prehistoric part of our brain that kept us from getting eaten by sabertooth tigers, but doesn’t do us much good these days. The Amygdala is what scientists call it…the part of our brain that processes emotions. Knowing how to listen for the resistance or lizard brain will allow you to zip it’s mouth shut and do what you want to do. To follow your dreams and realize you can achieve your goals in life if you stick with it, through thick and thin. Have some grit, and learn to dance through the successes and failures.
Imagine pulling on a rubberband. The further you stretch it, the tougher it gets. The closer you get to achieving your goals, the tougher it gets. This is the resistance. The lizard brain goes into overtime to make sure you procrastinate as much as possible and hold onto negative thoughts ensuring your failure. Use this resistance as a compass. If it’s pointing North, go South and you will be better off, getting closer to your goals without distracting obstacles.
Here’s a quote from his audio book “The War of Art.”
“A professional dedicates himself to mastering technique. The professional respects his craft. He does not consider himself superior to it. He recognizes the contribution of those that have gone before him. He apprentices himself to them. The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration, but because he wants to be in possession of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come. The professional is sly he knows that by toiling with the front door of technique, he leaves room for genius to enter by the back.” ~ Steven Pressfield
Here’s “The War of Art” audiobook by Steven Pressfield.
Here’s a presentation by Seth Godin about the Lizard Brain.
I truly hope this inspires some of you and gives you some reassurance about your artistic journey. I know sometimes you may doubt yourself, your art, your technique, your skills, and your future, but that’s just the lizard brain doing its job. Stick with it, have some grit, and see yourself accomplish your dreams!