Have You Lost Your Creative Joy?

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Picture this: You have a thing that fills you with creative joy. In fact, you love your thing so much that you harbour dreams of making it your full-time gig. You start exploring what it would take, start putting the puzzle pieces in place, until one day: shazam!You are officially self-employed and spending all day every day doing your thing.And that's when it happens.Your thing stops feeling so fun. Suddenly, it feels pressured and overwhelming. You have deadlines to meet, bills to pay, people aren't buying your thing, and, in the meantime, it seems like everyone else around you is super duper successful (and not at all going through what you're going through).You start to dread your thing. What once got you out of bed in the morning now makes you want to stay hidden under the covers. Most days, you still drag yourself out and force yourself to keep working at your thing. But those initial sparks of passion and deep-rooted feelings of excitement and possibility are long gone.

You've lost your creative joy.

Well, not lost. Buried is a more accurate way of describing it. Your creative joy is still in there; it's just covered by layers of worry, fear, doubt, anxiety, pressure, and overwhelm. The tricky thing is, until you can uncover it, your business is biscuits.Coach Steve Chandler talks about what he calls The Spirit Ladder.Here's one I made earlier:

Spirit Ladder.jpgThe gist of The Spirit Ladder is that we do our best creative work when we're at the top of the ladder. This is the work that allows us to express ourselves, to enter our zone of genius, to best serve the people who are impacted by our work, and, through that, to earn a good living (whatever that looks like to us).

We all get this on an intellectual level, yet when it comes to the day-to-day running of our business, the highs and lows, the one step forward two steps back cha-cha, it's easy to find ourselves slipping down and down, further towards the bottom. When we're at the bottom, we feel more pressure to do our best work and bring in the cash, yet we're in the worst place emotionally to make that happen.This is why self-care is so important.It's usually one of the first things to go out of the window when times are crunchy, but self-care is the key to moving up that ladder and approaching our businesses from a place of creative ease, rather than creative squeeze.This is the same for life. If we go through our daily lives at the bottom of the ladder, we're short-changing ourselves. We're denying ourselves the chance to experience those qualities that lie at the top of the ladder, the qualities that make life beautiful.This doesn't require big transitions, life-changing decisions, or anything scary. It starts with the questions we ask ourselves and the moment-to-moment decisions we make.

Reclaim Your Creative Joy

If this post is resonating with you, you might be interested in a brand new course I'm offering for creative entrepreneurs. It's called Reclaim Your Creative Joy and it draws on five years' experience working for myself as a freelancer and entrepreneur, and dealing with this issue time and time again. Starting on May 2nd, we'll spend 30 days focusing on how to deal with boundaries, fear, uncertainty, scarcity, comparison, time and energy management, and more. The daily emails are short and sweet (after all, I know you have a few other things to be getting on with...) and will help you reconnect with those sparks of passion, bursts of inspiration, and waves of unbounded joy that you envisaged when you started your gig.This is the first time I've run a course like this, so I'm offering it for just $25. To find out more and register, click here.

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 Photo Credit: Nina Matthews Photography