Engaging in a personal Practice is hard.

Engaging in a personal practice is really really hard.

If this has been your experience, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you’re a person. 

No matter how simple your practice might be, it’s exceedingly difficult to keep it up with any consistency, for any length of time. Because there are just so many things to do in a day. Or so your ego leads you to believe.

And it’s true – our lives are very busy. But why do we shunt personal work to the bottom of our list?

Because your ego likes things exactly the way they are. 

Practice 3

Your ego is clever, subtle, and knows all of your weak points.

Your ego knows what to whisper in your ear to get its way.

Chances are your intentions are good. But your ego’s termites have been eating away at the foundations of those intentions for a long time.

I’m not writing this with any sense of condemnation. My ego is as wily and relentless as Lex Luthor. He’s as clever as Walter White. He picks me up and slams me down and pins me to the mat with the force of Andre the Giant. Daily.

It helps to have someone to be accountable to – a therapist, a coach, a friend, a community that’s engaged in personal work. Check in regularly. Even if you’ve failed. Especially if you’ve failed. Be open and curious about why you’ve failed.

Practice 4It’s no sin to have failed. You’re up against a truly mighty obstacle: a lifetime’s entrenched habits.

Even the smallest step counts.

And if the smallest step is beyond your grasp, perhaps that’s worth spending five minutes a day contemplating instead. Marvel at the quiet but furious fight your ego is putting up. 
Because it’s terrified. It might seem omnipotent, but it’s trembling. It knows what can happen once someone takes that first tiny step. 

More tiny steps follow.

Practice 2

2 thoughts on “Engaging in a personal Practice is hard.

  1. Eleanor

    Thanks for the reminder. Just read The War of Art and it’s got some similar messages. Steven Pressfield names the ego Resistance, and the first third of the book is all the ways in which Resistance tries to take us down from following our soul’s calling. Super helpful.

    1. TJ Dawe Post author

      Thanks Eleanor. I LOOOOOOVE Steven Pressfield. I’ll be eternally grateful to my friend Justin Sudds for turning me on to his books. Unbelievably inspirational. In fact, writing a bunch of entries for this blog last week, I realized I was sort of writing in his style – in his non-fiction books, anyway. I’ve yet to crack his fiction.

      Anyway I highly recommend his books The War of Art, Do the Work and Going Pro, not just for anyone who wants to create art, but for anyone who wants to operate in the world as an adult.


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