Turning Pro | Steven Pressfield

Summary of: Turning Pro
By: Steven Pressfield


Dive into the transformative journey from amateur to professional with Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro. This captivating summary offers valuable insights into turning your passions and talents into a rewarding, lifelong career. Explore the power of intention, the importance of having a practice, and the courage it takes to face your fears. Unravel the mystery behind the mindset of a pro and discover how perseverance and self-discipline can propel you towards success and fulfilment. Along the journey, you’ll learn how to resist addictions, overcome resistance, and reshape your life to be in line with your true calling.

Making the Choice to Turn Pro

Steven Pressfield’s journey to becoming a professional writer involved making a conscious decision to turn pro. He learnt that shadow careers, while similar to your true career, are risk-free and result in minimal consequences if you fail. Turning pro requires giving up things that make you feel comfortable, undertaking a grueling interior journey, and facing your demons every day. But the payoff is enormous as it allows you to embrace who you truly are and live the life you were meant to live. The key message is that turning pro is a conscious decision that requires facing your fears and getting on with your work.

Becoming a Pro

The key to becoming a pro is to resist addiction and avoid distractions. To turn pro, you must confront the resistance within you, which could be an unconscious fear of rejection and failure. Amateurs let their addictions hold them back and keep them trapped in shadow careers, whereas pros are committed to their work and avoid distractions. The difference between the pro and the amateur is minuscule but essential. It lies in how they respond to their material and manage their fears. Becoming a pro means denying your ego and addictions to direct all your energy into making your dreams a reality.

Turning Pro

In “Turning Pro,” the concept of being an amateur is compared to the soldiers who shot themselves in the foot during World War I. Amateurs have addictive habits that cause self-inflicted wounds and prevent them from fulfilling their calling in life. The greatest fear that holds amateurs back is the fear of being rejected by their tribe if they become their true selves. Rather than defining themselves, amateurs feel they must meet some preconceived notion of who they should be. However, the truth is that this tribe is nothing more than a group of individuals as confused and scared as they are. Turning pro means facing your fears and taking ownership of your life.

The Painful Truth

Hitting rock bottom can lead to a breakthrough, as demonstrated by the author’s own experience. As painful as it may be, epiphanies help remove delusion and reveal the truth of one’s life, forcing them to turn pro. However, this shift requires action, not just insight. The author’s moment of clarity led him to write, even if what he wrote was bad. Ultimately, the gift of shame provides the willpower necessary to make a transformation from amateur to pro.

Embracing Your True Identity

The book discusses how amateurs are afraid of silence and solitude, as it allows their inner voice to speak the truth, which they try to avoid. By turning pro, individuals can reshape their lives by focusing on their work and completing tasks. This will require changes in their everyday routines, including what they do and don’t do with their time. They also need to evaluate who they spend their time with as some people may try to sabotage their efforts to turn pro. Giving up old habits won’t be easy, but they can master their fears and stay committed to their new life every day. Turning pro means embracing your true identity and staying on your true path.

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