As creatives who are starting a business, or wanting to start a business it is easy to feel overwhelmed when you think about all the things that have to be done to sustain your brand. From finances, to marketing, to branding the DIY list can go on and on.
As overwhelming as that is, there is another hidden task that can suck our energy dry.
- It’s fighting comparison.
- It’s trying to maintain direction with your business.
- It’s struggling to stay aligned and happy in what you are doing.
- It’s constantly struggling to hold on to some confidence while you pursue your passion.
For me it feels like I’m constantly fighting to keep my compass pointed north.
The north that has been defined for me and no one else.
When I was a teenager I read this interview with Jennifer Lopez and I will never forget something she said in that article. She was encouraging young girls to remember that there was only one of them and that no one can do that better than them. That stuck with me as a young woman trying to find herself in a sea of girls who were all trying to be the same.
Although this interview was done years ago she had come to the point that she realized her own uniqueness and had embraced it. It gave me great comfort to know that who I was naturally was unique enough. I didn't have to try to be someone else - in fact, I couldn't be anyone else if I wanted to achieve my dreams of working in entertainment. I love this quote from the playwright Oscar Wilde.
Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken. -Oscar Wilde
In high school I had this natural ability to just not fit in. I didn’t think like anyone else, look like anyone else, dress like anyone else. And it was never something I consciously did, it just happened - and I didn't like it one bit.
It frustrated the heck out of me because I just wanted to fit in like any other teenage girl. Thankfully I lacked the skill level to do so. But even then in the 80’s when neon color coordination was the thing, I always preferred my outfit to be a little off. I liked having one thing not matching everything else perfectly. Matching was boring. A little different was fun.
Unfortunately I wasn’t confident in fully expressing that.
Now we have the almighty social media where we can see what other people are doing so well. The places they are traveling, the clothes they are dressing in the business moves that they are making. We can see what resonates with people, what goes viral, and what drives the masses.
And it can be tempting to try and become that thing that is admired all for the sake of “success”.
Ever since I’ve been Youtubing and Blogging I’ve had times where I’ve loved every minute of it and times when I found it draining and wanted to quit. Times when I didn’t understand why things were not taking off and times when things I didn’t think were a big deal took off.
When your eyes are always looking at what other people are doing it can start to cloud the direction you set out to travel towards in the first place. Just the act of having to come back to center can cause burnout.
This past year I’ve been wanting to take the leap from being a blogger to a business and so the stakes have gotten higher, and the focus has gotten sharper.
But I still have to catch myself when I start to see someone else’s success and think that I have to do what they did to reach my goals.
The truth is that our path to success will look different because we are all different.
So when we are starting out and we are trying to forge our path it is necessary to understand that there is not a set path to success. Yes we can take the advice from other successful people but we have to learn to apply them to our own unique situations.
As I’ve tried to buckle down and be more consistent with blogging and getting back into making videos I realized that I was losing focus on the thing that I really want to do with my life.
I want to create things, tell stories and inspire those who want to make a difference in the world to pursue their passion with confidence. I know the vehicle in which I want to create, I know who I want to create for and I know why I want to create it.
And I have to keep reminding myself that every time I see someone else become successful or do something amazing or just come off of a book tour. I literally have to tell myself what my goals are so that I can step back and rejoice for the person who achieved their goals.
It is easy to get sidetracked, intimidated, or get cloudy vision when you are always looking around at others instead of creating from your heart.
And that’s what I have to come back to.
Creating from my heart, from my place of passion and light. I have to go back to God who is the source of all creation and check in to make sure I’m using my gifts and talents instead of trying to be something or someone I’m not.
And that is the nitty gritty, little sneaky place that our energy gets zapped.
- Trying to be something we’re not
- Failing to embrace who we are
- Forgetting our own dreams to embrace what we THINK we should be dreaming about
- Losing balance in our lives
I want to encourage you to go back to the beginning. Take some time to pray and write down what your dreams and goals are for your life.
3 Questions to ask yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed.
- What are your dreams and goals in life?
- What is important to you as you pursue your goals?
- What do you want your life to look like one day?
Don't worry about how to answer these questions the "right way". Just answer them in a way that seems aligned with yourself. There are no right goals in life - just the goals that are right for you. There is nothing that is "supposed" to be important to you - just want is important to you to live an aligned life. There is no "one way" that your life is supposed to look like according to society - only the way that you want your life to look that will cause you to live as your best self.
I hope that you fined yourself encouraged and more aligned after revisiting these questions.
Let me know…what kinds of things make it hard to focus on your goals?