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Resistance, Fear, and Art

February 8, 2012

As I read through The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, I’m occasionally compelled to share some of his wisdom.  The latest entry I read was titled “Resistance and Fear.”  I’ve written about fear a few times (20 Seconds & Not and Option & Lizard Brain) on this blog, so it’s nice to know I’m in good company about how fear affects artists/writers/creators.  As a little side track, I believe we are all artists.  Every single human on this planet.  The problem is that we’ve let a select group define what “true art” is and what a “true artist” is.

I like how Seth Godin defines art:

  1. Art is made by a human being.
  2. Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
  3. Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording… but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.

With that being said, the aspect of fear in your life can be used for both good and evil in whatever “art” it is you are called to create.  Steven Pressfield writes, “Fear tells us what we have to do… The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

What are you afraid of?  Is fear holding you back from your work or calling?  If you’re afraid, it’s probably because that is what you are being called to do.

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