Sometimes you feel it coming. You sense the danger but still can’t quite keep the Titanic better known as your life, your psyche, that ship you call home, from hitting the iceberg. This happened to me recently, and I hit the rocks hard.
I slogged through days of being (supremely) unmotivated and disheartened about my life and my business. I felt despondent and resentful…about a life I had created. About choices I had purposefully made. And that’s when I decided I had to take the bull by horns and do something completely different.
The only person who was responsible for my funk and my missing mojo was me, and so it was up to me to strike a balance between going out and finding it and letting it come home on its own.
Here I what I did:
I Let Go of Major Structure
I am a person who likes a decent amount of structure in my day. I am a morning person and I sometimes (sadly) use my to-do lists as badges of honor. In other words, knowing that there are things I’d like to do and yet looking at a calendar with nothing on it makes me really squirmy.
But because I’d hit the rocks, I decided to let go some of my dearly beloved structure, just to see what would happen. I decided to be OK with being stuck and lost and more importantly, be OK with not having something on my calendar. Instead, I decided to see what materialized. I decided to start each day with no preconceived notions and see what happened.
Understand, this didn’t mean abdicating all responsibility. I still had things that needed to be done I just didn’t schedule them or try and “force” anything into a time slot. I went with the flow just to see if it would give me mental and emotional breathing space, help spark my creativity, and kick start some enthusiasm.
Did it work? We’ll get to that in a bit.
I Changed Up My Location
As an introvert, working at home is a godsend but sometimes you really just have to get out of the house and into the world.
I commend people who can work in coffee shops because the background noise would make me crazy. But I have found that certain corners of my local library and a certain bookstore lend themselves to high quality (good) rumination. Taking myself out for a light lunch and then off to the library for an afternoon of creative noodling on several projects not only boosted my mood but also my awareness of things around me in the world.
I Chased Passion
One of the reasons I think I ended up down the well of doom and gloom was that I let structure and what I thought I was “supposed” to be doing smother what was really trying to surface. And as a creative person I’ve discovered I have to be really vigilant about this.
It’s a fine balance as a creative to push through and do the work you need to do to complete projects and also to let yourself get intrigued (but not carried away) by bright shiny objects which can derail progress and distract you.
Amidst this “smothering” and shiny object derailment, a new networking contact gave me a great piece of advice:
“I think you should chase passion for the next six months. The worst that can happen is that you stay where you are.”
And so to go along with letting go of structure and changing up my location, I decided to let passion take the lead and see if that wouldn’t help with the mojo rejuvenation. What would happen if I just chased passion? What was I even passionate about anymore? What was trying to work its way out of my heart, soul, and psyche but was instead getting squashed because I’d inadvertently ignored it in my rush to “get things done” and “stay on track?”
It didn’t happen overnight, but my mojo has returned for the most part. Like everyone else, there are days that aren’t so inspired but overall the magic is back, and I have myself (and my wise new networking contact) to thank.
Those big blank spaces on my calendar still freak me out a little sometimes (I think it’s guilt, a whole other topic) but without having so much structure, I find I can quickly follow my passion and accomplish way more than struggling with a schedule of “shoulds.”
Changing up my location isn’t something I’ll do all the time, but I now feel free to do it on a spur of the moment basis (see, less structure again) and know I’ll be just as effective as if I were at home, and maybe even more so.
By giving myself permission to let go of structure, change up where I worked, and following my passion, things are looking up. It’s now up to me to keep listening to my creative self and making progress in a whole new way.
So now it’s your turn:
1. If you’ve lost your mojo, what do you need to let go of to help you get some relief?
2. What curious inklings or passion are you ignoring/denying/ trying to avoid and why?
3. Allow yourself 10 minutes a day to jot down any notes on what you can do to start bringing at least one of your curious inklings or passion into your life.