This may seem like a simple enough statement (not writing oneself off), a rudimentary idea, but it is one of the hardest things to overcome. I think it is partially due to the fact that push comes to shove a hell of a lot more than peace and tranquility come knocking. The moment you feel the universe quieting and flow forming in your life, a proverbial earthquake shakes you to your core, leaving you all topsy turvy and unsure about the direction from whence you came.
It is a strange thing to realize that there are a lot of gears turning, a lot of “irons in the fire”, good things are happening or at least there are good ideas starting to take shape. Why is it then that in the face of so much good, one can feel so much doubt? I am going to assume it is because, like in every self motivational book I have ever read, when you are doing the right thing you face more resistance, more struggle, more personal terror than ever before.
Steven Pressfield and Seth Godin, both geniuses in my book, write about this subject constantly. Pressfield speaks continuously in both The War of Art and Do the Work on resistance and all of the shady, mysterious forms it can take. Seth Godin talks about quieting the “lizard brain”, the part of the brain responsible for revenge, fear, and anger.
“The lizard brain is eternally vigilant, trying to keep people from noticing you (which is dangerous). The lizard brain hates failure, and thus hates creativity or the launch of anything that might make a fuss (which can lead to failure).”
As I consider the career changes I have made since moving to LA, the struggles and challenges Drew and I have faced, my “lizard brain” comes into full effect. I am encouraged, if by nothing else, by this Pressfield quote, “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” I’m shaking in my shoes, nocking at the knees, and ready to run like the wind… must be I am on the right path.
Take heart my fellow creatives. When the fear takes over, when the pressure puts you to the point of breaking, stay strong in knowing it is simply resistance, trying to push you from your true calling. As Pressfield says, “Do the Work”. I say trudge on, through the trenches, you are bound to find what you are looking for eventually… and then things will fall apart and you will do it all over again.