It happens to all of us when we are pursuing our dreams, trying to be engaged in and passionate about our lives. The excitement and novelty wears off, you hit a roadblock, you’re tired. You start questioning if this is the right path. Doubts creep in. You procrastinate and start using avoidance tactics (this is when cleaning out the fridge seems appealing…) It can show up in a million different ways.
I know because it happened to me recently. It isn’t always obvious either, sometimes it just sneaks up on us.
This is normal. It’s all part of the journey and how you handle it can make or break you (or slow you down). Here are some guidelines for this tricky period.
1. Keep your vision in sight.
It is inevitable that we will hit a road block on the path to our dreams. This is when we need to remember why we’re doing this in the first place. Make a vision board, write down in detail what your end result will look like, feel like, smell like, taste like…whatever. Who will you become at the end of this process? Remember the compelling reasons why you started the journey.
2. Seek balance.
If you’re anything like me, when you are pursuing a goal, you tend to focus on it to the extent of ignoring other aspects of your life. All work and no play makes us…cranky. Not good.
We need balance in our lives. Like a car, if we are constantly driving, we will eventually run out of gas. We need to stop and refuel, get our oil changed and batteries charged. Rest, spending time with friends and family, blowing off steam, pursuing a hobby or just getting goofy will fill our tanks. Anything but doing our “work” seems frivolous but it’s not. Perseverance and discipline are good but they can lead to a rut or burn out if we’re not careful.
This is a particularly hard concept for women. We are socialized to put others ahead of us. We nurture everyone but ourselves. Figure out what works for you. It may be something as simple as a good book and hot cup of tea. Or a pedicure. Or a walk. I had to think long and hard about what I needed and a class popped into my head. I love taking classes so I started looking for something creative and fun to do.
3.Try something different.
You’re working hard. You’re hustling. You’re giving it all you got. You’re doing everything by the book but you don’t seem to be getting anywhere…
Maybe it’s time to throw out the book.
Mix it up, switch gears, try something different. If nothing else, just to make things interesting. You never know what will produce results so keep trying.
4.Throw yourself a pity party.
Who says we have to be “up” all the time? Working on our dreams is hard! There are going to be times when you are in the flow and other times you feel like the universe has made you its punching bag. You’re frustrated, disappointed, scared and tired. The last thing you want to hear is another “Be positive, this too shall pass” platitude. Give in to those emotions (I prefer to do this in the privacy of my own room…). Let loose, throw a good old fashioned tantrum, have a hissy fit, shake your fists at the sky at the unfairness of it all, scream into your pillow, or stomp and pout around like a bratty five year old. Really exaggerate it and blow off some steam. Get it out of your system and let it go. You’ll find yourself refreshed and ready to go.
5. Make it fun.
We are pursuing our dreams because we want to come alive, feel energized, engaged and excited about out life. It is serious business but who said you can’t have any fun?
I had a seasonal position in a tax office. I don’t know about you, but ‘filing tax returns” and “fun” aren’t two things I’d associate with each other. However, that was one of the funnest jobs I ever had. It wasn’t the job so much as it was the people I worked with and the atmosphere in the office.
There are always way that you can inject some humor into your day, even if it’s during a break. Can you make a friendly competition? Crank up some music? Turn parts of it into a game? Don’t turn your passion into something that you dread. Make it fun.
What ways do you stay motivated?