The War of Art

What is the biggest challenge we all face every day, that is responsible for holding us back from accomplishing anything we really want to do, or have in our lives?? In one word: Fear.

I’m often referred to by friends and family as “fearless”. The funny thing is, nothing could be further from the truth! I face fear every day, just like everyone else. What I do with that fear is what makes me seem fearless.

I’ve learned to let my fear fuel me, rather than hold me back. Am I always successful at doing that? Heck no! But if it is regarding something that is really important to me, there will inevitably come a moment in my inner dialogue where I tell myself to put my big girl pants on, and march in the face of that fear to get to the prize that awaits beyond it.

I’ve deliberately put myself in scary positions just to prove to myself that I can overcome the fear – or in some cases just to get the job done. Whether it was doing stand-up comedy because I was so petrified of doing that, or going out in a huge lightning storm – when I was pathologically scared of thunderstorms – to rescue a mob of horses that had broken out of their pen, or starting up my own business in order to help provide for my family while freeing up my time to be with my son. There was fear at every step in each situation, but what I saw at the end of each tunnel, made it well worth me diving in.

When I was clearing out some bookshelves, I came across a book I’ve read that helped me to see what the fear inside really is – it is our own inner enemy, a form of self-sabotage that often prevents us from achieving what we’re truly capable of. “The War of Art”, by Steven Pressfield, is a fairly quick read, that helped me to recognize that the voice in my head that tells me to be scared, is not always the voice I should be listening to. In the excerpt below, he talks about fear as a form of “Resistance”. Resistance has many forms; self-doubt, procrastination, excuses, drama, etc – everything that gets in your way when you’re taking on a challenge:

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.  Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that the enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”

One of my son’s favorite books is “Scarface Claw”, by Lynley Dodd. Scarface Claw is the boldest and bravest of cats, and the ONLY thing he is afraid of…. is himself.

Scarface-Looks-Into-The-MirrorSo the next time fear – or any form of Resistance – raises its ugly head within you, recognize it, realize it is holding you back, and act in the face of it. You never know – your wildest dreams may come true!


Pageburn Properties, LLC is a Residential Redevelopment company that helps improve local neighborhood home values by buying, renovating and reselling homes in San Luis Obispo County, California. If you or someone you know needs to sell a house that needs a little – or a lot of – love, please head to our website to contact us, and get some free information!


One thought on “The War of Art

  1. Wonderful article Annie!
    We try to impart this wisdom to our daughter and the people around us all the time that doing what seem like scary things to others doesn’t make us brave. Being scared to do something, but doing it anyway makes us brave! You are brave!
    Overcoming fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) is one of, if not the toughest things we as humans face.


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