Sometimes we get stuck. Stuck in negative thoughts, behaviours or choices. The past couple of months, I’ve been stuck. After a crazy year full of productivity and creativity, I retreated into a passive place. I went back to my old familiar job, I quit trying to pursue my freelance business and I stopped writing. Instead, I relied on the happiness from my new relationship and counted down the days until I could escape on my vacation.
I love writing - but it’s still a challenge for me. Sometimes I can’t find the right words for my messy thoughts. Other times I feel defeated from knowing my work will never be perfect. I know that my writing needs to be edited by someone else which is a vulnerable process for me. It takes countless hours to create something worth reading.
So basically I gave up for awhile. I convinced myself nobody really cared anyways besides my mom of course - my most loyal fan.
I used to have this false sense that once you find something you are good at that adds value to your life, things just flow – that you will feel continuously inspired and excited about your work. People rarely talk about how even doing the things you love become exhausting. Following your passion doesn’t suddenly mean everything is easy. It requires just as much effort to maintain dedication to something you are doing all the time - even if it is your passion.
When I started my blog I thought I had it. However, once the excitement wore off and the expectations set in, it felt like it wasn’t enough for me. I got stuck in self-doubt, lack of motivation, and self-sabotage.
It’s a pattern I think many of us are familiar with. It can happen in work, relationships, and personal pursuits. We start a new endeavour and shortly after starting to chase it, our ambition fizzles out and we either let it go or sabotage it somehow.
We convince ourselves that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be; maybe that person wasn’t right for us; maybe that business idea wouldn’t have worked anyways.
The ugly truth is - it’s our fault.
We just didn’t try hard enough for what we believed in. We let our fears and doubts control our thoughts and we used excuses to get in the way of doing the real work.
I used many excuses to avoid the fact that I was afraid of not being good enough to share my words with the world. I have all these books with amazing ideas by brilliant people and I started to judge myself for trying to be like them. Instead of creating discipline to overcome the challenge, I created distractions to forget about it.
The problem is eventually it catches up with us. Our distractions become boring or even toxic, our excuses become piled up after many failed attempts at new opportunities. We start to feel less capable of doing anything because we’ve cheated ourselves out of knowing how capable we truly are.
As I stalled on writing, the more it started to affect all areas of my life. Before my graduation I had been extremely enthusiastic about starting my own business over the next year, writing a book, looking at grad school - but as the weeks went by the more I just wanted to run away from it all.
We can always find reasons not to do something and ways to fill our time in comfortable ways. However, I urge anyone feeling like they might be stuck in their own life to push harder. People say follow your passion, but that is really a passive approach - we need to run, climb, leap, fall and get up again for our passion.
Be honest with yourself about your deepest insecurities and the real reason you are not giving yourself a chance at what you really love. Then do something - anything that opposes settling for an okay job, an okay relationship, an okay future.
For me, writing this article is the first step of action towards getting better at what I love. It can be scary but it’s worth it to know that I am sharing my voice with others and creating a sense of connection even from afar.
Do it before you overthink it too much because we are our own biggest fans and own biggest enemies. Choose freedom from your own negative thoughts by creating action in your reality. You may be surprised at how unstuck you become.