When building your business or really, anything, most people will tell you, “Never let that passion die!” “Always remember why you started!” “Always make sure that your love for what you do is burning bright!”
People will remind you repeatedly to keep pushing forward and to stay as dedicated as you were on day one. Of course, when you’re on the first few days of your project, you’re wildly motivated, as if nothing could go wrong. You know you’re strong enough and you believe that you can do it. And you probably can.
But sometimes the reality is that you realize no matter how passionate you are, it doesn’t seem to be enough. When this realization hits you, what do you do?
1. Be honest with yourself.
Instead of running out the door and going on a hunt for more passion, stop, sit and talk to yourself about what’s going on. How willing are you to figure out how to make things work when they’re not? If you doubt your ability, no level of passion will help you succeed.
When things get shaky, don’t blame it on a lack of passion—try to see the bigger picture. Be honest with yourself and find what’s really lacking. Is it hard work? Dedication? A willingness to learn from others?
2. Make time for self-care.
Successful people often feel guilty for having free time. I get it. There are things to do and plans that need shaping. We need to hustle and work hard. But we also need to take care of ourselves. The wisest, richest people in the business rest, too.
If you feel overwhelmed, this might be what you need. If you’re passionate and love what you’re doing but things seem to be all over the place, that’s a glowing sign that you need to slow down. Pause. Take some downtime. Maybe your mind and body want to spend more time in solitude. Give that gift to yourself.
3. Remember your other strengths.
Passion isn’t the only thing that pushed you to start on your project. There is strength and love and dedication and wisdom and grit. So many other things got you where you are today. In times when it feels like your passion is withering, don’t let it overshadow everything else that makes you powerful. Draw strength from your grit and wisdom and dedication. You are filled with potential.
4. Divert your focus.
Diversion doesn’t equal distraction. Remember that. Rather, it helps keep the brain fresh and excited. When you only have one thing to focus on, you’ll find yourself stuck in rut, bored and tired. But focusing on too many things will lead you to be disorganized and confused about what to do first. So how do we find a balance?
Try focusing on three to five different projects at a time. Even just small ones. Not everything has to be big. Every day for five days a week, allot some time for all five projects. These are small steps, but it will help your creative gremlin stay active.
5. Let it go.
I know this is painful, especially if you’re working on your first big passion project. Nobody wants to leave that behind. But sometimes the universe has something bigger in store for us. This is when you need to listen to your inner self.
If you’ve been investing a lot of time and money into something and it’s not improving, and you’re finding yourself being less driven to work on it, maybe that’s a sign to stop and let it go. Remember, there are many other dreams within you that need action. Be kind to yourself.
This article was published in September 2017 and has been updated. Photo by @ayesirally/Twenty20