We’ve all experienced that roller coaster of project-related emotions at some point in life. While performing at the top of your game is initially empowering and motivating, the pressure to continually outperform yourself can be debilitating. An activity that once filled you with joy, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment now fills you with dread. Well, it’s time to ditch that dread and gain your confidence back! In her recent newsletter, Elizabeth describes the inspirational turnaround of a wonderful client. Try out some of the tools and strategies in the latest client success story below.
Starting a new project in an area where you have excelled but almost killed yourself in the process is terrifying …
- What if you can’t produce the same level of results?
- What if you lose yourself and quality relationships in the process?
- What if you end up feeling terrible the entire time you’re doing the work?
These are all valid feelings when your past experience tells you that the only way to get big projects done is to work at a frenzied pace.
Fortunately, there’s a better way.
Last winter, I worked with a successful, well-published writer who also taught in a university graduate school Masters of Fine Arts program. She was stuck.
“I am scattered and making erratic progress with this or that. I want to make solid steps forward. I want to reclaim my life and place in the literary firmament, get healthy and in shape, and have fun!”
She also had just been diagnosed with ADHD and was wondering how much of an impact ADHD had on her life-long frustrations with writing and other areas of her life. One of her most important goals was to move forward on her next big creative project–a collection of linked short stories. It had been a long time since her first book had been published, and she needed to regain professional momentum…
“My friends are mostly writers and successful. I have lots of ink in the New York Times that I have written and that has been written about me. So I have talent. I also need to know what I need to do, like a solid schedule? work impulsively? Okay I know the answer to that.”
She did know the answer, but turning the answer into practical action took time coaching… We came up with an initial plan of how she could get in a good, solid, writing time in the morning. Then each week, we worked on assessing the results and evaluating how to move forward based on what happened.
“I found the process very stabilizing because I tend to be all over the place with trying things. You were able to roll with the way I operate and yet be a strong force in your own right. It was helpful having you to run things off of, especially when I got stuck–which was about every week.”
We worked together on different morning writing routines. The first involved: drinking coffee, eating breakfast, taking the dog out, meditating, getting dressed, and then starting to write. The second involved just getting coffee and starting to write. The end result was a fusion of the two with pouring a cup of coffee, meditating a bit, taking out the dog and then writing.
The end goal wasn’t to have this creative writer crammed into a rigid schedule but to have something that turned writing (her top professional priority) from a dreaded activity to a peaceful part of her daily schedule.
Over the course of our work together, she found that if she followed her morning routine and put herself in her writing space for two hours (with a timer set), the inspiration came and the writing moved forward.
- Writing didn’t need to be something that she dreaded.
- Writing didn’t need to be something that took over her life.
- Writing could be something she choose to move forward on each day.
At last! Freedom to do quality work without losing herself, her relationships or her sanity was possible!
“I’ve found that the actual schedule that I longed for would absolutely drive me around the bend so I have a flexitarian schedule and am getting things done.”
“Having and sticking with a schedule is the single most important thing I can do for myself as an artist, as a woman living a rather complex and exciting life, and as someone newly aware that many of my problems stem from having ADHD. Nothing, nothing, nothing will move me forward like following my schedule will. Period.”
The same could be true for you.
You can take away the fear surrounding moving forward on a big project by developing, practicing and adjusting your custom routines.
To your brilliance!