Creative Barriers: Continuing (Part 4)

So you’ve started something new. You’ve broken down doors that were keeping you from starting. Now you have to navigate the world of Continuing.

The three main barriers in this stage are:

1. How to stay motivated

2. How to stay focused

3. What to do when you get derailed

But what’s my motivation?

My motivation on any given day looks like a rollercoaster. One day I’m super tired, the next my neck is hurting worse than usual, another day and loved ones seem to be particularly hangry. It’s up and down and ultimately unreliable.

Luckily I don’t rely on motivation to keep me going. I lean on habits and daily practices.

When you start the day knowing you’ve got something to do, no matter what, it’s much easier to get it done—even if you don’t feel like it. Once you get a habit up and running, you expect it.

It’s helpful to expect and plan for rainy days too. Most days won’t be perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend time on your creative pursuits. Even if you occasionally have to get up super early, or stay up a little later, it’s much better than the alternative—not following your dreams. Feeling stuck. Wishing you would do something.

Focus

Staying focused is similar to staying motivated. If you’re not staying focused, then there’s probably a good reason for it. Remember your goals. Visualize why you are doing what you are doing.

I notice I start getting more distracted when I try to do too many things at the same time. When I’m reading 40 books, taking 15 online courses, working on 5 business ideas and 10 creative projects, I’ve obviously taken on too much at once.

Trying to do everything at once is the same as doing nothing.

0One thing at a time.

The key to continuing is **consistency**.

When you look at the work of people you admire, no matter the discipline, one thing that stands out most is their continuous dedication to their craft. You can see it in their output. It’s easy to mistake someone’s huge library of work as instantaneous—as if they pulled a couple of all nighter’s over the weekend and made everything you see. But really what you’re seeing when you’re looking at someone’s successes is little pieces and individual projects added up over time.

It’s like this plus symbol: +

For each creative project we do, we start to accumulate another +

+

++

++

++

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Before you know it, you’ve got years of work behind you. Sure some of it you’d rather set on fire than showcase them, but even the flubs and bad work helped push you to a more meaningful and experienced place.

Success stems from consistency. Often we fail because we don’t stick to it long enough to succeed. Not that we have to permanently stick to every habit we try—just the ones we love and find valuable.

Even when we fail and get derailed, as long as we get back up in the saddle we have a chance of success.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1126

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