When you show up for your passion, your passion shows up for you. Not just in creative pursuits and projects, but across all areas of life.
So why do we find it so damn hard to devote time to our true passions?
Here are the top 3 reasons I’ve observed in my clients over the years, along with a prescription for overcoming each one so you can start showing up for your passion and giving your authentic gifts, just as you were designed to.
1. You’ve judged it as unimportant
How often does practicing your passion make it onto your to-do list? And when it does, is it right up at the top, or does it get kicked to the bottom of your list of priorities, buried under the mountains of “shoulds” you’ve collected?
When you find yourself blessed with unexpected free time, do you spend it on what matters most to you? Or do you try to get ahead of the next batch of “shoulds” before it overwhelms you once again?
The truth is, you’ll never make real progress at a pursuit you’ve deemed unworthy of your time in advance. There will always be something more pressing, you will never get to that magical space of “free time” beyond all the Shoulds. There is only now, and what you choose to prioritize.
Checking “shoulds” off your list may feel productive in the short term, but in the long-term, prioritizing busy work over the projects and pursuits that matter most to you is a recipe for burnout. And burnout is the polar opposite of true productivity: the spark of natural creative flow.
Prescription: Embrace your desire!
To nip this productivity-killer and enjoyment-sucker in the bud and start showing up for your passion with all the energy and enthusiasm it deserves, the solution is simple. Stop judging your authentic desires as unworthy of your time and energy, and start embracing them as powerful guides in helping you prioritize what matters most.
If you find this challenging, I recommend reading Release Your Masterpiece and signing up for the core course. By the end, you’ll be so aligned to your authentic desire you won’t be able to stop yourself from showing up for it!
2. You've judged yourself as not worthy of it
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’ll never be good enough to ‘make it’ in this biz, so why bother spending time & energy on it?”
Do you have trouble finding the “perfect time,” the “perfect space,” or the “right mood” in which to create?
Do you often find yourself trying to edit your work as you are creating it, trying to create a final draft on the first try, rather than pouring out a “worst draft” and revising from there?
Are you your own worst critic, judging your output harshly and talking others out of the compliments they attempt to give you?
If so, you may have judged yourself as unworthy of your passion. In other words, you hold the thing you’re most passionate about--be it an art, a sport, a business, a science, etc.--in such high esteem, you believe your meager efforts will never do it justice, that you have nothing new or unique to contribute, and/or that you will never manage to compete against the existing talent in the field, and can therefore never “make a living” at it.
To this, I say: you are already living. You are not required to make one, and have nothing to prove in this regard.
Yes, money is an essential elemental to attract into your life, and you can do that in any number of ways, leveraging any number of your authentic gifts.
But there is absolutely no shame in remaining a passionate amateur, giving your gifts as a devotional practice, simply because they are yours to give.
In fact, “going pro,” turning your passion into your day job or side-hustle, often results in creative burnout, since your creation cycle can so easily become unmoored from your natural rhythm now that there are clients to please, deadlines to hit, and expectations to live up to.
In other words: judging your worthiness by what others are (or are not) willing to pay you in order to do what you love is a losing proposition.
Prescription: Give your gifts as a devotional practice
You are worthy. Your gifts are worthy. Invest your time and energy into giving them at every opportunity, just because you can.
Show up for your passion as a devotional practice, just to show your gratitude to Source for endowing you with it.
Start by committing just one hour a week to this practice in the Co-Create to Innovate Co-Working Club! Not only will it help you stay accountable to showing up for your passion, it will help you create the habit of giving your gifts as a devotional practice, and keep you from feeling isolated and alone in your pursuits.
3. You don't know where to start
How often do you ask yourself, “What should I be doing right now?”
Do you have notebooks full of brilliant ideas, shelves full of half-read books, and a veritable graveyard of half-finished projects, but very little in the way of actual results?
Are there so many things you’re interested in pursuing and practicing that you could live 1,000 years and never become an expert at all of them?
There’s nothing wrong with having plenty of passions and working on multiple passion projects at once, but when you can’t decide which one to prioritize, you end up prioritizing none.
The key to overcoming headless chicken syndrome is two-fold.
First, decide what you want to become an authority on. What do you want to be so good at and knowledgeable about that people come to you first as the go-to expert in the field?
There may be all kinds of things you want to know about, but the real question is, what do you want to be known for?
Once you decide what you want to be known for, it gets much easier to prioritize. Whenever you get a new idea or have a bit of time to pursue an existing project, ask yourself if it’s going to help establish you as an authority in your chosen area, or not. If not, that doesn’t mean you can’t devote time or energy to it if that’s what you’re inspired to do. It just means, when in doubt, go for the projects and practices that get you closer to what you really want to be known for.
Second, re-align to your natural creative rhythm, the DOER cycle, so that the question of “what should I be doing right now” always has a clear answer.
To learn more about the DOER cycle, and get a sample of our cyclical organizer to keep your creative juices flowing with ease and enjoyment, go here.