The inspiration behind this post all started back when I was having a conversation with one of my dear mentoring clients. We started working together during an exciting season in her business full of so many possibilities, but with a lot of confusion, self-doubt, and uncertainty on how to move forward with actionable steps.
The thing is, she was not alone in this feeling. I hear this from other creatives so often! We all walk through seasons of uncertainty just like this. And as a result, we don’t always know what steps to take next in order to move forward.
Friend, that’s okay!
We need to open up an honest conversation about the fact that it’s unrealistic to know the exact steps you should be taking every single season of your entire life and business.
Quite honestly, I think that uncertainty, openness and possibilities are a part of life. And as a byproduct, those aspects of life are also part of business. We have to embrace that in order to navigate through these seasons filled with question marks, we need to be kinder to ourselves along the way.
So today, I want to share four ways to create the mental and emotional space you need in order to have clarity in where to start and how to move forward confidently.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOU ARE IN A CREATIVE RUT
First, we need to acknowledge where you are and how you feel. Acknowledge that you are in a creative rut. And recognize that is completely normal.
When you are in seasons where you are working really hard and you have a lot on your plate in both life and business, it’s normal to feel this way.
If you aren’t intentionally and purposefully pouring back into yourself as a person and creative business owner, then it’s going to be easy to find yourself in a season of uncertainty.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t know one person who hasn’t been in this exact season before. I am surrounded by so many incredibly talented friends every single day, but I don’t know any of them who haven’t walked through a season in their business where they haven’t hit burnout or uncertainty of what direction to take next.
So please, know you are not alone.
In order to move forward with clarity, you have to acknowledge where you are.
I don’t think realistically we can move forward from a space if we have not first called out that space for whatever it is. So if you are in a season of overwork, overwhelm, and complete burnout. Whatever it is, I think it’s so powerful to acknowledge it and say, right now at this point in my life and business I’m struggling with x, y, and z.
Once we do that, all of a sudden the season we are in becomes a little less powerful and intimidating. Instead of this season being this big unknown, it becomes a clearly defined obstacle that is standing in your way of moving forward.
So first and foremost, you have to acknowledge whatever is standing in your way. And you have to give yourself the grace to know it’s okay. You are not alone.
DON’T PUT PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
When you are in a season of uncertainty, the last thing you want to do is put pressure on yourself. You can’t put a time limit on getting through this season. And you most certainly can’t put yourself under this unrealistic pressure that by next week you are going to have this all figured out.
Take time to walk through this and learn through the process.
I don’t know about you, but if I put pressure on myself in an unrealistic situation, especially when it’s something as big as literally not knowing how to move forward. The pressure makes me want to implode and fills me with self-doubt. It never brings anything positive into my life and it definitely doesn’t lead to moments of clarity.
So what you need to do is be kind to yourself through that process
I know that it’s human nature, especially for all my Type-A creatives out there (I’m over here raising my hand too, friends!) to white-knuckle grip our life and business and want to control every aspect of our day.
But if we just step back, let go and release that grip on what’s in front of us, we give ourselves the space to find new ways to move forward.
Think of it this way: If you have ever been stuck in a rut on a certain project and you sat there forcing yourself to move forward with it anyway, you probably created work that you aren’t most proud of.
I would bet that the best way you found to move forward whenever you are in a creative block is when you literally chose to step away from that project and focus on something else.
The reason you are able to move forward and create a path through those creative blocks when you choose to switch gears. It’s because you are literally giving your brain the space to focus on taking that big problem and tackling it in the background.
Our brains are wired to creative problem solve all.the.time. So if you are focusing all your active mental and subconscious energy on this one project in front of you that you are stuck on, you are going to wear yourself out very quickly.
But let’s say, you are writing a blog post and having a hard time coming up with a topic. So you decide to step outside for a quick walk and fresh breath of air. Chances are your brain in the background is going to say, hey, here is an idea what if I write about this.
All of a sudden that roadblock in your way isn’t such a big problem anymore.
GIVE YOURSELF SPACE TO DREAM BIG
When we are taking the pressure off ourselves and not constantly trying to make everything fit neatly in this tiny little box we can put on our shelf. Then, by default, we give ourselves the space to think of ways to move forward in a season of uncertainty with a newfound sense of clarity.
I think a big part of that is giving yourself the space to dream big.
In seasons where I personally have felt like I was not clear on how I wanted to move forward in my business or what I wanted my future to look like, I took all the constraints off and said, hey if I could make anything happen in this season what would that look like?
Instead of focusing on the practical ideas and thinking about what life could look like in a specific way, I thought in big picture terms that were bold, beautiful and on a large scale that all of a sudden reignited a sense of excitement that I had been missing.
So instead of thinking about the little details or the day-to-day tasks, think big picture. What do you want for your work? Your life? What could this season of uncertainty look like if you took away all the must haves and should dos?
THINK THROUGH IDEAS THAT SPARK JOY
Instead of looking at what others are doing or even going through that subconscious checklist we as business owners think we need to follow in order to achieve success. Think about what your life or what your business could look like if you approached it differently.
Instead of the must haves and should do’s, think about what brings you joy and excitement. What sounds fun?
So often we look at building a business and a life that checks off all the boxes that we think everyone else is checking off. But what could life and business look to you if you focused instead on the things that brought you joy.
I think as business owners we have lost touch with the idea that our work can bring us joy and still be profitable.
If we are simply chasing after projects, services or products because we think it’s what we are supposed to be doing, then I think it’s a really easy way to put ourselves back on track to burnout.
Give yourself the space to dream big about your life and your business through a different lense. Think about ways you can create offerings that land in that sweet spot—where joy and profitability meet. Because who says you can’t make a living doing something you love?!
HOW TO CREATE CLARITY IN A SEASON OF UNCERTAINTY
These are the exact kinds of questions and situations that I walk alongside my own mentoring clients as we figure out the next steps for their life and business. At the end of it all, you would be amazed by all the beautiful new ideas we are able to generate simply because we are taking a different approach and creating the emotional and mental space to dream big.
And that is how actionable steps are created to navigate through seasons of uncertainty.
If you find yourself in this current season of uncertainty, I would love to work with you through my 1:1 mentoring approach. Branding mentorships are designed to create an ongoing relationship where we can truly invest in your life and business. And navigate through the season you are currently facing. You don’t need to feel uncertain or self-doubt friend. Instead I want you to walk with confidence and clarity to know that right where you are is the perfect place to be in taking the next steps towards your big dreams.
I’m currently accepting mentoring clients for the end of 2018 and would love to join you in your journey. You can schedule your free complimentary call here to see if mentoring is just what you are looking for.
If you are ready to make 2019 the year you take action on your biggest and brightest business goals, then I’d encourage you to join me and 9 other like-minded creatives inside the Heartfelt Brand Society. This is a six-week group coaching and mastermind program for creatives just like you.
Kicking off in January 2019, we will dive into an intentional approach that teaches you how to elevate your brand strategy, woo your ideal clients and transform your bottom line as we make your most heartfelt dreams a reality.
You can apply for the Heartfelt Brand Strategy here! Once you apply, we will jump on a 1:1 call to chat if this group coaching and mastermind program is a good fit for your life and business!