As I sat down to write this, I encountered a feeling that I’ve had before. It’s never welcome, despite it’s familiarity.
Feeling stuck. Also known as resistance.
I wanted to just say “forget it” for today.
I wanted to go take a nap.
I wanted to give up.
But then I realized that feeling of wanting was my ego -- that wasn’t the desire of my heart.
My heart wants to create. It wants to follow commitments.
I decide to write Sunday - Thursday every day for the next 3 months. I was inspired after re-reading The Art of War the importance of showing up as a professional. Only 20 days in and I already wanted to quit. And then I reminded myself of a few important things and I want to share those reminders with you....
1. ALL THE CREATIVITY YOU WILL EVER NEED IS INSIDE YOU
This isn’t to say all the creativity you will ever have is already there, but it all comes from within.
Of course we can find inspiration outside of ourselves. But the creativity isn’t coming from outside of ourselves.Humans are infinitely creative beings. It may be the thing that most separates us from other animals.
People sometimes experience a fear around their creativity. A fear that if they create and produce eventually it will just dry up, but it’s not the way of creativity works. As we experience flow and creativity and inspiration we create. Once that has been created we expand. More creativity then flows. It’s continuous and there’s no need to fear or worry that it will cease.
2. RESISTANCE IS UNIVERSAL
Reminding myself that I’m not the only one grappling with resistance is comforting.
In creative online work it’s easy to feel isolated.
As if you're the only one…
...not being as productive as you want
...not creating as much as you want
...not making as much money
Remembering that others, even people who seems like content machines, get stuck. This knowledge is reassuring. People who are great have also had moments of self doubt and questioning themselves.
The difference between those people and others is that they don’t allow it to define them. They recognize it for what it is -- an insidious, real, but passing sensation, and move through it.
They show up anyway.
They create anyway.
3. FEAR IS UNIVERSAL
Like resistance, fear is universal.
We all experience it.
It’s the same for all of us.
It varies little.
It doesn’t serve us.
However, it does allow us to develop what is sure to serve us regardless of what we do -- courage.
Courage is one of the most valuable traits anyone can possess because it allows us to stretch beyond ourselves. Developing courage allows us not only to overcome circumstances we didn’t necessarily think we could, but allows us to see ourselves differently.
When we define ourselves by lack, we see more lack. We contract. We play small and that doesn’t serve us or the world.
When we are willing to practice courage, it expands how we see ourselves. A shift in perspective about yourself can jolt you out of your stuckness and into a dimension where so much more is possible. Where grace, ease, flow, and fun are the norm.
Fear is universal, but also learned. The only two fears we’re born with are of loud noises and falling. The myriad other fears we develop along the way: fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of being seen, fear of being invisible...
We learn them along our path, but we can unlearn them if we’re willing.
4. FEELINGS ARE MEANT TO BE FELT
Fear and resistance and all the other negative feelings around our creation are just that -- feelings. Not to say feelings are insignificant, because they’re not. But they’re just meant to be felt.
We resist our negative emotions.
It feels uncomfortable.
We don’t think we should be feeling them.
In the resistance they become stronger and more real.
When we’re willing to feel our emotions they dissipate.
When we feel something we try to push it down. Deny it. Hide from it. Keep ourselves so busy that we can’t really feel it.
If we slow down. Allow it. Welcome it. Accept it and all other parts of ourselves, the discomfort starts to melt away.
You have to try it to understand the power of this.
5. THIN SLICE
Thin slice the actions you need to take into the smallest possible step. Make it such a tiny step that you’re easily able to take the action.
That counts as progress.
Then take the next teeny tiny step.
This is the way to create whatever you want. We have huge beautiful visions of what we want, but we’re so far away that we don’t even want to try. But that’s like wanting to be in California when you’re in New York and being so mad that you’re not in California that you won’t book a flight. Or rent a car. Or arrange whatever other transportation you fancy to take the trip.
You can get wherever you desire in life. But you have to start where you are with what you have.
6. TAKE ACTION BASED ON HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL, NOT HOW YOU CURRENTLY FEEL
If you don’t ever feel like doing anything.
And you only act when you feel like it.
Then you’re not going to get in motion.
Its physics - an object at rest stays at rest.
If you can thin slice and then be willing to take that teeny tiny action based on how you want to feel -- not based on how you’re feeling now, you can eventually move mountains.
7. CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES
Celebrate your successes. No matter how small
Our desires are constantly expanding. They’ll always expand so long as we’re alive. That is a beautiful thing about being a soul in a human body. But take the time to celebrate the wins you experience.
Without acknowledging your successes, celebrating your successes, and feeling gratitude for your successes, joy and happiness will constantly elude you. Regardless of the material success you achieve.
Slowing down. Celebrating. Recognizing yourself and what you’ve done is the key to enjoying your progress.
8. REST, DON’T QUIT
And when you get tired -- learn to rest, not quit.
We’re all tired sometimes. It’s part of the human state.
The natural inclination is to give up.
We think we’re doing something wrong.
That we’re not on the right path.
But you’re always on the right path. You’re doing the right thing at this moment. And if in the next moment you want something different, you’re allowed to do that.
I believe in you. I know magic is available for you.
Go do the work you’re meant to do. I’ll be over here cheering for you!