“There is a difference between interest and commitment.
When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient.
When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”
~ Kenneth Blanchard
This concept of interest vs commitment, hobby vs career, amateur vs professional presents important dichotomies to consider when you reflect on what gives meaning and purpose to your life. They encourage you to consider where you are spending your most precious resource: your time.
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks to Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield talks about the battle with resistance – the key archenemy that prevents you from moving forward in your life.
Resistance flairs up when we are hesitant, uncertain, and scared. It seeps into your mind when you tell yourself: “I don’t feel like doing this right now,” or “this is really boring.” Resistance knocks on your door when you attempt to do something outside of your comfort zone.
How do you overcome resistance?
According to Pressfield you need to become a professional and not be an amateur.
When you start thinking of yourself as a professional marketer, teacher, filmmaker, artist, writer, ………… ( you fill in the blank), your commitment, mindset, and focus causes an internal shift that allows you to navigate through resistance and get more done.
The Amateur vs The Professional:
The amateur mindset believes that you must overcome all the fear before you can move forward.
The professional mindset embraces the fear but doesn’t stop you from moving forward. Henry Fonda, one of the most accomplished actors threw up right before he performed up into his seventies. But that fear he felt didn’t stop him from going on stage and doing the work that needed to get done. It didn’t stop him from acting. He didn’t succumb to feeling afraid.
- When you feel afraid, what are you doing or saying to yourself that stops you from doing the work and attaining your goal? (You might be interested in reading 7 Ways to Combat Your Inner Critic )
The amateur is focused on the end result. What is the product that will result from your work?
The professional is in love with the process; the art of mastering the craft. This love and passion help fight the daily threat of resistance that distracts you from moving forward with your plan.
- Are you doing something for the end result? Or are you doing something because you would do it anyway even if no one was around?
3. The Practice
The amateur is distracted by internal self-doubt, by excuses to avoid starting or working, by doing something other than what really needs to get done. The amateur doesn’t set up a ritual to trigger the practice.
The professional sets up a routine, a habit, to trigger the practice. Whether you are starting a business, writing a blog, or any other creative endeavor, you need a systematic discipline to carry you forward and achieve success. (Think of rituals Olympic athletes have before competitions or musicians might have right before they give a live performance. )
American dancer, choreographer, and author Twyla Tharp in her book, The Creative Habit, writes:
“I begin each day of my life with a ritual: I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street and First Avenue, where I work out for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.”
- What are your rituals? How do you trigger your practice? ( You might be interested in reading Reach Your Full Potential with GRIT )
The amateur is hesitant, not fully committed, easily distracted by excuses to not start or continue with your creative endeavor.
The professional is fully committed and that commitment provides the courage and extra effort to overcome the resistance that shows up daily. This is what allows the professional to move forward in life.
- What is your level of commitment? And are you an amateur or a pro?
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