Feeling all at sea, especially around your creative business? Got a creative block and a lack of direction and motivation?
It’s no surprise if you’re feeling out of sorts right now. So if you’re feeling like you’re on a rudderless boat in the middle of a particularly choppy storm, in shark-infested waters…then that’s absolutely normal.
At the time of writing this, I’ve just come back from a holiday, Which is always a tricky time. It can take a while to get back into things at the best of times. So I’m definitely feeling a bit unsettled. But even then, it’s been harder than usual to get back into the swing of things. And I’m hearing other people say the same.
So, I pondered, why is it that so many of us are feeling unsettled at the moment. So many of us are lacking motivation…we’ve simply lost our mojo!
And when I stopped and thought about it, there is absolutely good reason that you might be feeling unsettled right now.
Just think about it:
- You’ve got through probably one of the toughest and strangest years of your life.
- You’re still not sure what’s going on with the pandemic (as no-one really knows).
- Everyone’s shifted (our daily routines have changed and will probably not go back to exactly how they were) during the pandemic and the dust hasn’t settled yet.
- We’re just going into summer when everything seems to go on hold as people take holidays (even if they’re only staycations this year).
So just give yourself a break and know that you’re not alone! This has been a tough year, and you may just have to sit and reflect for a while, be kind to yourself and allow yourself to truly take a rest.
But if you’re up to it and want to get your mojo back on, well I have some suggestions of things that might help:
1. Understand why you feel like this:
Very often, there’s a jumble of thoughts going on in our minds, in our sub-conscious, and we’re not even aware of them. If you’re struggling to know why you feel a certain way, I recommend a great exercise I call ‘free writing’. It’s sounds bonkers – but it really does work! Set a timer for 10 mins and write a letter to yourself about how you’re feeling right now. Just let the words flow, and don’t go back and read them or second guess yourself, or even think about what you’re writing. Just let the words flow and don’t stop until the 10 mins are up.
Give it an hour or so before you go back and read your letter. And I bet you’ll be surprised at some of the things that have come out. It’s a great way to get insight on what’s going on beneath the surface in your mind!
2. Forgive yourself:
So important, but so overlooked. We’ve all been through a tough time. But you may feel your tough time was not as tough as someone else’s. PUT THAT THOUGHT OUT OF YOUR HEAD RIGHT NOW! That doesn’t matter. Allow yourself to feel your feelings of hurt, tiredness or sadness (whatever they may be) and don’t compare yourself with others. Forgive yourself for feeling down and accept those feelings.
3. Clear your mind:
I find it helps to clear my brain from my jumbled thoughts when I’ve been off my game, or spent time away from my work. So how do I do this? A good old-fashioned brain dump or mind map! I love to get an A3 piece of paper and a pen and just throw all my ideas and plans down. Very often I find that lethargic feeling in my brain is due to a clogging up of all the ideas in my mind.
By putting them down on paper, they’re released from my brain, giving me clarity. And if I decide to do a mind map, I can also see how my ideas interlink, and it allows me to see the bigger picture. Knowing this makes my next steps much clearer and then I get excited and motivated once more. It’s so simple – just a piece of paper and a pen! But it really is effective.
4. Make a plan of action:
When you know what you want to achieve from your brain dump/mind map above, it’s time to break it down into tiny manageable chunks. If you’ve only got 10 mins a day, that’s fine. But break your plan into actions that only take 10 mins. Progress is progress, no matter how small. And usually, once you start making progress and you see it, you start to be much more motivated again. But how do you know if you’ve made progress, or not….
5. You make goals (think small):
By making a goal (with some sort of measurement attached) you’ll know whether or not you’re making progress, or standing still. So when you create that plan, make sure you attach a goal to it that you can measure. It may be simply a certain number of sales, it may be to write emails to your customers once a week. Whatever it is needs to link into those things you really want to achieve. And get this…you don’t need to think big! Usually I’d encourage you to think big, but if you’re feeling delicate and have lost your mojo, those big goals may be overwhelming. So think small and achievable right now, and that will give you a huge confidence boost.
So there are just a few things that I have to do sometimes, to help me get back on track. I hope you find them useful. They’re not always easy (especially the one about forgiving yourself) but they are powerful.