You have that big project. The one that you constantly revisit in your dreams, but that sometimes gets relegated beneath piles of laundry and school permission slips or tucked at the back of the office cabinet.
You know that thing is calling you and after you read ‘Big Magic,’ by Liz Gilbert you fully meant to get started on it. You were going to commit, you were finally going to make it happen.
Yet somehow here you are two months, three months later and it is still not happening.
You promise yourself that tomorrow will be the day where you give yourself half an hour to do that thing that you really want to be doing.
Yet you deny yourself that time as there is a part of you that thinks that the odds of it really coming to fruition are so small. Maybe then there’s no point in beginning…
So are you going to …
write the book?
apply for the job?
take the training?
do the audition?
learn the language?
play the piano?
sing the warm ups?
run the race?
What is the work that you really want to do that you have been dancing around? What work is the handbag on the dance floor? (Do people still dance round handbags?)
It’s time to pick up your handbag.
- Ask yourself if you really do want to do the thing you want to do or whether you just like how the possibility of it makes you feel as an individual. Maybe being a one day in the future linguist makes you feel more connected to the world, maybe it makes you feel wiser. If it’s only about how you want to see yourself then find other easier ways to feel connected or wiser. Maybe you don’t need to learn a whole language to feel the way you want to feel. If however you do really want to do the thing that you say that you want to do then decide that you do and commit to yourself that you are going to do it.
- Make time for it. Make time for it daily, even if those pockets of time are small. Make a habit of it. Read Gretchen Rubin’s book ‘Better that Before,’ and learn about your own habit-forming tendencies so that you can more easily support this new habit.
- Allow your work to be really bad. Martha Beck calls this the ‘shitty first draft.’ You can switch from your creative mind to your editorial mind at a future time and place. Just not now.
- Allow yourself tiny steps. What is your next tiny step? Do that.
- Reward yourself along the way. Keep yourself motivated by acknowledging the work you are doing as you go along as well as when you reach the finish line.
- Don’t tell the naysayers. Keep your project from those who would deride it. Protect it as though it is a puppy that has not yet had its vaccinations.
- One day that doesn’t work doesn’t mean you need to quit. This is not a perfect art. Allow the fact that you spent a day doing something completely different influence your work rather than thinking that you were wasting your time. Your time is your life. What if you could allow every experience to help your work in its own way? What if the thing that you felt was holding you back was actually the thing that was driving you forward to your greatest work?
- Have a team. You know when they interview the Olympic swimmers after the race? They always thank the team. At the back of the book? A dedications page full of people who were ‘on the team.’ Who is going to be on your team? Where will you find them? What will they help to bring out in you?
- Process not product – focus on the process of what you are creating and find ways to enhance and nurture the process. For example if you are a writer where will you write? When will you write? What will you write with? Whenever you get stuck begin again by putting your focus back on the process and not on the product.
- Allow the dream – step into it in your imagination. What does it look like? What is your day-to-day like when you have followed through? Where are you three months / three years from now?
You could also get help from a coach. I’m here if you need me.
Have a beautiful week.