This past fortnight I just wasn’t feeling it. I was worn out. With a lot of travel and family things to deal with, the boys getting colds and not giving me a lot of space. I felt out of sync with my usual everyday rhythm and it seemed to also make me doubt my path.
With so many other responsibilities and little time to dedicate to my own pursuits, I began to get those negative thoughts of ‘maybe I am wasting my time with all this’, ‘does anyone even care’, ‘am I really getting anywhere?’
This is normal.
When you are building a business or following a creative dream or passion, it won’t always be smooth sailing. Your passion for it won’t always be enough. Life will get in the way and bring you down sometimes. Things will go wrong or not work out, and you will question it all.
But it is in the moments, we often start focusing on the end result, our goal. It will suddenly seem so distant and impossible, and like everything is trying to trip you up and prevent you from ever getting there.
This is why it is vital to learn to enjoy the process. The journey.
Don’t just daydream about the end result or only chase the success, learn to and want to and let every fibre of your being enjoy the processes, or you will fail, you will lack the motivation and drive when things get hard you will give up. If you enjoy the process you have won before you have even started.
To be passionate about something, you do it no matter the outcome. And when passion wains, your ‘why’ reminds you to press on. If there is a purpose to what you are doing, and you enjoy the journey, the outcome is less important, because instead every step matters, and every small progress is an achievement. And even just the simple fact you have never given up is a big achievement in itself. The stats say, when it comes to small business, 20% fail in their first year, and about 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year. So it is no mean feat to see it through and not give up.
Even when you are passionate about something you will have moments you feel a lack of motivation. But this often is just because you need a break, and time to slow down and re-fuel. But when it is a passion, you will always feel that pull back to it, and you will find it hard to completely give up on it.
When you don’t give yourself those breaks, that’s when you break your passion. The rest is as important as the work. And the rest is just a part of the journey. It does not mean we have failed to maintain a constant momentum. We all need breaks, its natural. If we see it is part of the journey and enjoy those moments as much as the busy moments, and know it is all part of the process, every step is seen as a joy, not a chore.
What is the Process?
The process is every step of the journey. Including the process of growing our business, the process of working on projects (both client work and self-initiated projects) and the process of working toward specific goals.
We need to not only enjoy the fruits of our labour but the labour itself. Though this doesn’t mean there will never be tough times. But if we are not doing work we love, building the kind of business we love or working towards goals we love working away at, then you will never reach that end result you want, because when the tough times hit, you will give up rather then riding them out.
If we fail to savour and enjoy the process, we will never be satisfied and inevitably give up.
Fall in love with every step. The planning, the research, the experiments, ideas and concept development, the interaction with your audience, the marketing, the paperwork, the execution and creation, the milestones, the late night last minute scrambles, the emails, the writing, the feedback, the evaluation, the presentation.
What those feelings really mean
When you are worn out, lacking motivation and confidence in your work. ⠀
It’s not a sign to give up, it just means, it is…⠀
Time to rest.⠀
Time to refuel.⠀
Time to step away and get a fresh perspective.⠀
Time to celebrate how far you have come and feel the gratitude.⠀
Time to walk away from anything that could bring you down or be distracting you from your own path.⠀
So take those moments when you need them, rest is important and creativity needs fuel. Remember that rest is just as important as the work.
Take some time out, remind yourself why you are doing this. Maybe even journal it out. Or go out for a walk and when you are ready to think about why you started all this, and why it is important to you. Re-kindle that passion you had at the start.
If you have been going at it too hard, or too many other things in your life have been bringing you down, your mind may be crying out to take a breather.
Another thing that we can find ourselves focusing on in those times we are struggling or feeling less passionate is what everyone else is doing and achieving.
When you are already in a ‘is this even worth it’ thought pattern, comparison will only add fuel to that mental fire. You will go from ‘is this even worth it’ to ‘I am no good at this anyway, look at what they are doing.. achieving..can create’
Looking at were other people are, rather than focusing on your own path, will prevent you from sharing and growing. It is so easy to look at where someone else is right now. But we forget the path it took them to get there.
So it leads to a downward spiral. You feel worn out and a lack of self-confidence, and then you compare yourself with everyone else and end up wondering why you are bothering, and become tempting to pack it all in. You stop sharing, you over analysis and think nothing you have to share is worth sharing.
The only way to push through is to first take the break you need, put blinkers on and look away from everyone else, and when you feel refreshed then focus and get back to what you do best without looking at what everyone else is doing. Remind yourself of how far you have come, what you can do and how awesome you are. Then get out there and share. Even if you feel you could do better, start sharing anyway, because it gets you back into the journey, back into your process, and you can build from there. If you wait until everything feels perfect again, you will wait too long.
Everyone has something of value.
We all have unique and valuable gifts to share. We can help and inspire others at all stages of our journey, we don’t have to wait until we are at our goal.
If you are waiting until you are at some perfect stage or have reached a certain goal before making your move, you are missing out. No matter where you are in your journey and the process to get to where you want to be, you have something of value to share that can benefit or inspire someone else.
You can only reach your potential by doing. Get those messy experiments out, share the journey, share the process, take people on the journey with you. You’d be suprised how much people enjoy the raw behind the scenes things. That don’t just want the polished end result after years of behind the scenes practice. Bring them along for the ride.
You might inspire someone to try something they have always found interesting or you may inspire a beginner to keep at it. You might even inspire a seasoned pro to try a new technique or style. You may enchant customers and potential clients, as they get a glimpse into your process. You might spark a conversation or give someone an idea. You may not know what value what you are doing will end up giving someone, but that is the beauty of it.
Enjoy the process.