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Life Lessons From The War of Art That Will Change Your Life

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Life is chock full of both good and bad experiences. But, when times are hard, it’s, unfortunately, a natural reaction to revert into yourself as you take on the blows that life has dealt you. However, with that said, there is one simple truth that I’ve tried to stand by over the years. Instead of hiding away from the world during the tough times, always take a second to reflect on what got you to that position in the first place. 

Whether you’ve made a mistake, or something has happened that you couldn’t control, you should try to be grateful all the same. When you experience these setbacks in life, it means you’ve actively made a decision to put yourself on the line – whether that’s emotionally, financially, or physically.

Believe me, you’ll sleep much better at night in the knowledge that you’ve made the decision to actively participate in life rather than watch from the sidelines as others achieve their calling. This is something that I learned early on in my entrepreneurial career from a little book called “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield. 

The author explains that the modern professional should never be under any illusion that achieving your potential is full of challenges, inequality, hardship, and lucky breaks (both good and bad). 

The book is divided into three sections; the first introduces and describes the force that keeps us from achieving our calling “Resistance”; the second teaches us how to combat this invisible foe, and the third teaches us how to move past Resistance. 

Here are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned from keeping this book close to hand.

1. Embrace Fear

Resistance feeds on fear. We all feel fear in the face of resistance, but so many of us just aren’t able to conquer it. Pressfield writes that fear is actually a pivotal moment in our journey; in other words, you either continue along the path you’re on, or you turn around and head for home. The more fearful you are of something, the more it means to you, and the more it has the potential to change your life. 

By conquering these fears, the better and stronger you become. For example, back in 2016, an interviewer for The Verge asked the actor Tom Hiddleston why he had taken on the role of legendary country music star Hank Williams, he replied: “because it scared me.” 

In most cases, the more significant a risk you take, the bigger the reward. In fact, the only real risk in life is being too afraid to take any at all. 

“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” ― Steven Pressfield

2. Live Your Best Life

Most of us lead two parallel lives: the one that we live now, and the one which we are too afraid to reach out and grasp for. 

This could apply to just about any walk of life; for example, perhaps are you a budding entrepreneur crippled by fear of failure? A novelist afraid of the blank sheet of paper, or an artist who can’t pick up the brush? If you can see a life on the other side of the tracks, which you’re too afraid to live then you’re suffering from the pushback of Resistance. 

Can you imagine how different our lives would be if Richard Branson hadn’t taken a leap of faith; if J.K Rowling had been too afraid to sit down and write, or if Picasso couldn’t bring himself to pick up his brushes?  

3. There’s No Room For Amateurs 

For one to be successful, you should approach your work in the way any professional would. This includes being punctual, dedicated, committed, and conscientious, while at the same time mastering your skills and humbly accepting the compensation received for the work. 

Professionals should always strive to maintain a healthy disconnect between themselves and their chosen vocation. This means not taking yourself too seriously and learning to work well with others. Whatever it is you choose to do, by embracing this perspective, you can transform yourself from amateur to professional in no time. 

4. Every Passing Second is a Missed Opportunity to Choose a Different Path

Each passing second that ticks by is another missed opportunity to make the changes you desire to create a happier and more satisfied lifestyle. 

It’s this moment where you must actively beat back Resistance as it holds you back from your important work. If left to run amok, Resistance can manifest itself in the form of negative behaviors, vices, time-wasting activity, and depression and anxiety.

The book aims to train you to recognise when Resistance it’s starting to rear its ugly head so that you can beat it down at the very first opportunity. 

5. Long-Term Activities Equals Resistance

In the book, the author has turned resistance into the antagonist, who’s only goal is to prevent us from experiencing the activities that feed curiosity and stir the soul. Resistance is at its most potent at the beginning of any long-term project that has the potential to change our lives. 

This is when our own fear is turned against us, and as we mentioned in a previous point, fear is the defining moment – will we sink under the weight or swim against the tide? 

As human beings, particularly in this day and age, we’re programmed to look for instant gratification. When we sit down to begin our long-term project, our fear that this gratification is a long way over the horizon is what sets Resistance against us.

Once you’re over that hump and you’re well on your way to your destination, that voice of Resistance begins to fade away.

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” ― Steven Pressfield

6. Avoiding Procrastination 

The most potent tool of resistance is procrastination. We are always faced with a decision when posed with a task that we are too afraid to do, but continually avoiding this task will only ever lead to complete evasion. 

When you fall into the trap of procrastinating, you’re reducing your productivity and your ability to achieve your goals promptly. The book teaches us to remind ourselves that procrastination is just another side of Resistance that must be combated at all costs.

Steven Pressfield deliberately takes a stern, direct tone during his teachings in this book. Not only does he pinpoint the real reason why we are not achieving our best life, but he also shows precisely what it is we’re afraid to do. By reading, studying, and applying these simple life lessons, we have all the tools available to turn our lives into that which is both deeply fulfilling and satisfying.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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Life

5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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