A couple of days ago I found myself procrastinating. I kept on going back to my phone, compulsively scrolling through the stream of tweets and news about COVID-19.
It was particularly frustrating because my mind was super clear that day. But instead of spending it productively. I squandered it just like that. I was able to ship some things earlier that day but I knew I could have done so much more.
I kept thinking “OK I still have 4 hours, let’s work on that draft. I could finish editing podcast episode too”, but I kept on going back to my phone, switching from app to app, checking Slack, email, seeking distractions.
It’s this repeating pattern of self sabotage. It’s The Resistance.
I Googled “overcoming Resistance” (yes, still procrastinating) and found this interview Steven Pressfield did with Marie Forleo.
Up till that point I was only vaguely familiar with the term “Turning Pro”. The only thing I know is that it’s the title of one of his books aside from “The War or Art” and “Do the Work” but I never looked into it any further.
From that interview I realised that “Turning Pro” is the term Pressfield created to describe the idea of overcoming The Resistance.
One line stood out for me from that interview (bolded below; transcript downloaded from Youtube)
When a pro hits adversity, they just simply rally in the face of it and kind of use it in their own way.
If a pro is hurt, they play hurt. It’s a whole different mindset.
So to me that was what really helped me overcome Resistance.
It was just to start to flip that switch in my mind and say, “I’m a pro. I’m not an amateur, I’m a pro.”
When I want to quit or I want to back off something, I just say to myself, “Would Kobe Bryant do this? Would Tom Brady do this?”
That doesn’t sit right with me.
I am most probably being pedantic here but I wish he elaborated what he meant by “play hurt”, or at least used a more precise words. Pain could be danger or discomfort. I hope he means the latter. I have not read the book so I’m interpreting it fully based on the context of this interview.
Somehow I can’t stop thinking about that line and only now I realised why: I am currently recovering from two “injuries” sustained while “overcoming Resistance” in 1) advancing my career and 2) working towards my fitness goal.
“Playing hurt” could really hurt you.
I think a better frame is: Pros don’t ignore pain. They see pain accurately.
How to be a real Pro:
- Part 1: Pros don’t play hurt.
- Part 2: What is The Resistance and why we can overcome it by Turning Pro
- Part 3: How I managed to self-sabotage in the process of managing my self-sabotaging self
- Part 4: How to see pain accurately? How to tell the signals from the noise?
- Part 5: What if there is a better way to overcome The Resistance?
I am writing this to:
- practice my writing (one of the MO’s I start holding recently is to develop skill of self expression)
- give me an excuse to procrastinate productively (yes, I am procrastinating writing by writing about procrastination).
Sorry I just love recursion.