The Whole Person Blog: Week Six, Day Six, Part 1/2 - Amateur vs. Professional
The War of Art and Self Sabotage here
Overcoming Resistance and Why Talent Doesn't Matter here
Lessons from the Original Spartans here
Friday, February 7th, 2020
"Aspiring artists defeated by Resistance share one trait, they all think like amateurs. They have not yet turned pro. The moment an artist turns pro is as epochal as the birth of his first child. I can state absolutely that the term of my life can be divided into two parts: before turning pro, and after. To be clear, when I say professional, I mean Professional as an ideal. Consider the differences between amateurs and professionals.
Plays for fun Plays for keeps
It's her avocation It's her vocation
Plays part-time Plays full-time
Weekend warrior Committed 7 days/week
Awaits inspiration Dedicates his life
Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. "I write only when inspiration strikes," he replied. Fortunately, it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp." That's a pro."
When I first read this, I was stoked to start acting like a pro. I started showing up for myself in entirely new ways for about three and a half days before I found myself falling back into familiar patterns of protective behavior. That's because we always default back to who we think we are, and why wouldn't we. It feels safe, it's rather predictable, and we love the comfort and control related to certainty. An amateur is a perfect reflection of someone who has a limited identity, unable to see themselves in a positive light, while a professional is an accurate projection of someone who has an unlimited identity, producing a positive self-image. Remember this sticky statement: Reality reflects identity. Until there is a foundational shift from a negative to positive self-identification, Resistance remains, regardless of how much you want to be a pro.
"We either step forward into growth or back into safety." Abraham Maslow