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The War of Art

Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

By Steven Pressfield
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The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

In The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield helps you identify your inner creative battles against fear and self-doubt and offers advice on how to win those battles. An inspirational book for anyone who’s had trouble realizing their passion, it offers an examination of those negative forces that keep you from realizing your dreams, and shows how you can defeat your fears to achieve your creative goals.

Key idea 1 of 9

A mental force called resistance opposes all our endeavors, and affects everyone.

Have you ever had an ambitious dream but hesitated to act on it? Maybe you wanted to write a great novel or start an innovative new business, but a certain feeling held you back?

That feeling is called resistance – it's the force that forever keeps us from realizing our dreams and accomplishing what we were meant to do.

Anything new in our routine that takes us away from the habitual will be naturally accompanied by resistance. Resistance is negative, and it always opposes change or anything new. For example, if you feel a call to start a new business, resistance will be the voice that urges you to stay at your current job and not take a risk on a project that may fail. If you want to start a new diet, resistance will be the voice that tells you, “I can always start the diet tomorrow, even if I don’t today.”

This feeling of resistance is perfectly normal. It's impersonal and universal, and it affects anyone and everyone. Resistance also doesn't discriminate between interests – you'll feel resistance if you want to do something for yourself, like diet, or something to help others, like start a charity. We need to accept that resistance is natural and stop thinking that it targets us personally.

In fact, resistance even affects people who are experienced at what they do. For example, actor Henry Fonda, even in his late age, threw up before every theatrical performance. Being an accomplished actor didn't stop him from feeling fear each time he had to go on stage.

Resistance can manifest in many ways. Fear of failure, self-doubt or procrastination are different forms of resistance. We can learn how to defeat resistance by constantly refocusing on our dreams, committing to our craft and accepting that challenging resistance is a natural and necessary part of the journey.

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