Hello - it is so awesome to have you here. For the second audio coaching I want to talk about what to do when it starts to feel too hard in your creative work and life.
This audio coaching will hopefully be able to support you right now if you’re in a season of struggle in your creative work and life. Maybe you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and burned out. Maybe you’re having a season of financial stress. Maybe something is happening in your personal life that’s kicking your ass along the way. Today I want to share with you some ideas and encouragement for how to move forward and face this season head on.
First up is to understand what’s actually going on here. So carve out some time to reflect, or journal, or talk it out with a loved one or coach, mentor, or therapist. Ask yourself:
- Why does this season feel hard?
- What is causing things to feel hard and like a struggle right now?
- What is actually happening to contribute to all of this?
Having a clear picture of what’s actually going on can help you to face this season of struggle in a focused, wholehearted, and meaningful way.
Next up is to take a step back. When we’re struggling, it’s easy to just try and throw any solution possible in the hopes of fixing the situation, but sometimes what can serve us best is a little respite to refocus and recentre. Here is where you may be able to embrace a little rest or self-care if needed, or prioritise your energy and time on things happening in your personal life, or maybe if you’re in the middle of a business struggle it gives you some space to discover a purposeful and strategic way to move forward.
You can step back for an afternoon, a whole day, a week, a month - it’s about whatever you need in this moment and also, of course, what space you’re capable of carving out too as you may still have lots of other commitments and responsibilities to be mindful of.
Then I would encourage you to show yourself some patience and kindness. It’s so easy to start telling ourselves a negative story when we’re in a season of struggle. Maybe you’re telling yourself that you’re not good enough, or that you’re weak, or that everything’s going to fall apart and be this hard forever. One of the bravest things we can do is show ourselves unconditional patience and kindness - and we do this by just meeting ourselves exactly where we are. Ask yourself:
- What would it look like to show myself patience and kindness in this season?
- What stories am I telling myself that I need to question and let go of?
Showing yourself patience may look like forgiving yourself if you can’t work as hard as usual in this season, or if you need more space to rest and focus on other areas of your life. Showing yourself kindness may mean making more space for self-care, or not allowing negative self-talk to take over along the way.
And now I want to talk a little bit about embracing a mindset of grit and grace. This is a mindset that has served me so well in my own seasons of struggle in my creative journey, and one I’ve shared with my clients and encouraged them to find their own version of it too and I’ve seen how it’s been able to support them along the way also. For me, a mindset of grit and grace is when I dig deep and commit to showing up fully and wholeheartedly no matter the season I’m in. Especially in tough seasons when things feel hard, grit is the tool I use to keep on going and never give up. Grace, on the other hand, is how I continue to embrace a mindset of enough even when I’m pushing myself along the way. Grace helps me to show myself patience and kindness and unconditional support, and grit is how I push myself and continue to show up even when it’s hard. To discover how this could work for you, ask yourself:
- How can I show up fully with grit and a whole heart in this season of my life? What does that look like for me right now?
- How can I show myself unconditional grace every step of the way too? What does that look like for me?
Ultimately, I think that having both grit and grace at exactly the same time means making no excuses for ourselves while still showing ourselves compassion and understanding every step of the way. It’s showing up 100% without believing the lie that it has to be a struggle every step of the way - because sometimes part of showing up 100% is taking a step back and giving ourselves space to rest, and other times it’s pushing ourselves to keep on going even when it feels so much easier to give up instead.
Next, I think it’s always just so important to accept your season of struggle. So much of the time, seasons of struggle are out of our control. Maybe we’ve got sick, or a loved one has, or maybe there is a crisis in our personal life out of our control, or maybe we’ve had a tough financial season or are feeling completely and utterly burned out. Seasons never last forever, and when we’re in the thick of a season of struggle it’s easy to be angry and wish it away, but sometimes just surrendering to the fact that this is where you are and this is what’s happening can free you up from all that frustration as you navigate this season along the way. Accepting the season you’re in doesn’t mean you’re going to be passive, it just means you’re going to work alongside it and move through it, instead of fighting it every step of the way.
And finally, my biggest encouragement to you is to trust that you can do hard things. A wonderful client of mine was going through her own season of struggle recently and she shared with me that although she knew that no one would judge her if she needed to take a step back and stop working, she had decided that she wanted to keep on working until it became too hard to do so, and she knew that there were harder moments ahead to come so now wasn’t the time to take a step back. She reminded me that we are all capable of doing hard things, and to trust that we are is a big part of navigating seasons of struggle along the way. So if you’re struggling right now, my encouragement to you is: trust that you can do hard things. Keep going. Keep moving forward. Show yourself grace, take a step back when you need to, but never forget that you can handle and will survive whatever you’re going through right now.
To wrap up this audio coaching I have 5 questions for you:
- What is happening in this season of struggle for me?
- What do I need to do to support myself in this season?
- How can I show myself unconditional patience and kindness?
- How can I embrace a mindset of grit and grace?
- How can I accept the season that I’m in?
The next audio coaching is going to be all about what to do when your wholehearted year stops feeling good along the way...