You’ve read all the self-help books. The Secret says that you just have to imagine it and it is yours. Feel The Fear and do it anyway says you can handle it no matter how scary it is. Eat, Pray, Love says it is OK to eat lots of pasta and wear bigger jeans. If you could have run away to exotic places, written about it and sold ten million copies then your life would have been so much better too.
You’ve read all the books. You’re doing what they say and life is still tough and you haven’t got what you want yet. For you it’s still shit. It’s a struggle. You don’t know how much longer you can keep “working on your passion”, “improving your sense of self” or “turning your dreams into reality.”
The problem is that you’re screwed either way. Trying to do all this activity is killing you but if you give up and only have your day job then you might as well be dead anyway.
Yes – it’s hard. The self-help books don’t always tell you that
It is hard to change your life. It is so much easier to take the path of least resistance, stay in a job you hate and be too scared to try what’s in your heart. That is the easy path. The path that requires no effort.
To change and do something different, to develop your talents, to satisfy what your soul wants you to do – that is a much harder way of living. It means you have to overcome the obstacles rather than pretend that they don’t exist. And when you overcome them, there will be more along the way.
Living to your full potential means that you are going to have to break bad habits and create new ones. A life of learning new things is exciting but it is also hard to have to get better at the skills with which you struggle.
It can also be exposing to do the things which are your heart’s desire. Others will be critical of you and will be happy to tell you why you are crazy to even try. I once heard it described that showing a novel that you have written to the world is like walking down the street naked – everything that you are is out on display.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
It is hard to live an extraordinary life on your own. You need community and support. It helps to spend time with like-minded people, people who understand what you are trying to do and who are doing the same thing. They will help your courage when it is faltering and they will catch you and nurture you have a challenging moment.
Accept where you are at
When you are not where you want to be in life, despite working very hard on your goals, it can be very frustrating. This frustration can wear you down and take away your precious energy. Try to accept where you are at. Life is a constant work in progress and we rarely reach the levels of perfect attainment that we demand from ourselves.
Comparing yourself to others is definitely the road to ruin. Their life is not yours. Their challenges are not yours. So what if they appear to be overcoming them better than you? Turn your attention to your own journey and keep taking baby steps towards it.
Remember – when you compare yourself to others you are comparing the worst of yourself to the best of what you see in someone else. That’s hardly a fair comparison is it?
Nothing is wasted
In my previous life coaching business, Lead The Life, I tried so hard to make it work. I did have many successes but not the financial ones that would have made it my main source of income. I understood many of the principles of marketing and sales but I struggled to put them into action. Everything felt hard work. People rarely commented on my blogs so it often felt as though I was writing them to no-one. I was jealous of people who had lively online communities.
Even though I was a long way from getting things right with that business, some of what I learned I have now been able to put into action with Gentle Warrior. People regularly comment on my blogs. They retweet my stuff on Twitter. They like and share it on Facebook.
It seems easier with Gentle Warrior. There are several reasons for this:
- I kept learning.
- I kept being open to trying things out.
- I have never given up on my creative goals.
- With the help of a coach I got clearer about what I did and didn’t want. Towards the end of my Lead The Life time I had a coaching session where I said that I just wanted to be able to sit at my computer and create stuff. I felt that I wasn’t getting to do that. Roll forward three years – guess what. Now I spend a lot more time at my computer creating stuff.
- Maybe I’ve dropped some invisible resistance that I didn’t know had. Something has definitely shifted energy wise.
Overall I think I am doing better this time because I just kept going. I fall over, I get up, I take one more step. I take a rest when I need to and then I get writing again.
Take care of yourself and keep going
It isn’t easy to build a life where you are proud of your achievements and know that you are living to your fullest potential. It is frequently very challenging but I think it is worth it. It is much better than leading a life of regret.
Take care of your health, eat well, sleep well and do one activity at a time towards your goals. I like to “plod gently” these days. In the Aesop’s fable, the tortoise did better than the hare!
Over to you
What are your challenges at the moment? What are you experiencing that the books don’t tell you about?
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Every month I also share the ups and downs of my own creative journey – but only email subscribers get that insider view.