How To Restore Your Enthusiasm

You’ve found your passion and you’re lucky enough to try and make it into a career. But how can you ensure you don’t lose that adrenaline fuelled excitement and drive that you had at the beginning?

Working from home sounds like the dream gig right? Well, to be honest, I can’t really complain. The FREEDOM I’ve always craved to design my own life, I’ve now got (lack of earning a wage being a bit of a barrier of course). But like with everything, making your passion into ‘work’, can have its drawbacks and you may find that:

  • You lose sight of why it is you’re doing what you’re doing
  • You become isolated which alters your perspective in a negative way
  • You start to doubt yourself and if you will succeed

But how can you turn this around?

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Why Other’s Project Their Fears On To Us

When I started on this journey to become self-employed I knew that one the hardest things to deal with would be other people’s opinions on what I was doing. I knew that the road I was about to embark on would strike a chord of fear amongst many because I was doing the opposite of everything we’ve been taught that would lead to a ‘successful’ life.  Fighting against a lifetime of education aimed to do one thing, is not easy.

I knew that to realise my dream I would need to surround myself with people who were a positive influence. People who encouraged and believed in my dream rather than those who would project their own fears on to me in an attempt to be down to earth. To be rational. But why does this fear exist?

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Marie Forleo – Free Video Guides

Making money by making difference is something we all want, but I really struggle with because my perception of money is so negative. So I’ve signed up to this free video guide about The 6 Pillars To Growing Your Online Business by Marie Forleo, the founder of B-School, and thought I’d share it with my readers. She’s an inspiration to me because her life is helping other people find out and do what they really love.

I would love to one day be able to help people realise their dreams, but I also want to be able help people who struggle with anxiety and other mental health issues at the same time. I’m not quite sure how to do that just yet but I’m sure my journey will become clearer in time.

One thing is clear to me. If I want to continue to help people full-time, I will need to resolve and change my perception of earning money in a way that doesn’t corrupt the integrity of my objectives.

Not Feeling Motivated?

One of the hardest things about being self-employed is to feel motivated. In the past few weeks I’ve put all my attention on the blog because it’s what I enjoy and love doing – it doesn’t feel like work.

But no matter how perfect the job, there will always be aspects that aren’t as enjoyable as others, but that are just as important to do (like cleaning my office ugh).

To combat this I do this guided mediation on motivation and thought I’d share it as I found it particularly helpful.

The most important thing to remember is that you should not wait to feel motivated, motivation will come when you take action. Visualise the end result, how it will feel and let that be your driving force.

Have a great day 🙂

Vlog Diary Entry #2 – Becoming Self-Employed. Where To Start?

A much better effort from the first video! My vow is to give an authentic and real experience into myself and my journey so I don’t re-shoot my vlogs, so please bear with me while I get this thing sussed!

For more detailed information on the things mentioned in this vlog, please go to the Design Your Life section of my site.

How To Start Working From Home

When I made the decision to not return to conventional employment, but instead start a journey of living my soul purpose, the question of ‘Where do I start?’ was extremely prevalent in my mind, and actually the night before my first Monday, I didn’t sleep.

I often find that the best way to get motivated when feeling overwhelmed is to start with something practical. For me, 99% of the time, this will result in a snowball effect; as in once I start something, everything else seems more manageable. It’s that feeling of accomplishment (such as dragging up a book case twice my weight up the stairs on my own…woops) that increases your confidence to maybe try that other thing you’ve been thinking about.

If you try and do just one thing every day, even if it seems insignificant to the ultimate objective, in 3 months you will be over 90 tasks closer to the desired end result!

So, in my first week as officially ‘unemployed’, I kept it simple and focused on practical preparation:

  1. Create a work space/home office
  2. Meditate daily
  3. Make lists
  4. Build a routine
  5. Take one day at a time!
1. HOME OFFICe/Work Space

Whether you are planning on working full time or part-time at home, it is important to have a space in which to work that is separate from the rest of your house. We have a small spare room that I used as my dressing room, and decided this would be a prefect place to start my awesome new life! I turned my dressing table into a desk, cleared all my make-up and products away (great opportunity to throw away that hair volumising, sparkling, root lifting thing you never use), and looked up on Google the best way to feng shui a work space at home. Now I don’t know if I totally believe in the powers of feng shui, but it couldn’t hurt! I needed everything to be on my side, even potential energy flows! I found a site on Feng Shui Office Space and proceeded to arrange my office according to ‘the rules’. Here is a pic of my new desk space!

Feng Shui Office

I have changed the stool for one of the dining room chairs for back support, but all in all I was happy with not having to spend any money in getting my set up (plus you can just about see in the right hand corner that I’ve still got a bit of a dressing room – win!)

2. MEDITATE

One of the things I started practicing 6 months ago was meditation. I was sceptical, of course, but I think if you haven’t got anything to lose, then surely it’s worth a go. Plus articles such as How Meditation Can Benefit The Brain, as featured on Lifehacker, (I was especially intrigued by the anxiety aspect), persuaded me it was something I couldn’t afford not to try! I initially started with just 5 minutes every morning – I believed I didn’t have time for any more being that my love affair with my bed was so strong! Yet even that small amount (and I didn’t do it every day) made such a big difference I started making more and more time for it. If I couldn’t sleep at night I would YouTube binaural meditation.

My anxiety became noticeably less severe as I learned to let go of destructive emotions, and I started having faith in myself, in my instincts. I truly believe without meditation I would not have had the courage to do what I am doing now.

I like doing guided meditations as there is literally one for everything you could think of, be it for depression, insecurity, anger, stress and so on. This guided Meditation For Clarity, Guidance & Inspiration on YouTube, is a favourite and one I go back to at least once a week as I always find the answers I need afterwards. I find that meditating has given me a great sense of who I am, who I want to be and where I should be heading. It was therefore important to me to set up a space in my office for me to sit and meditate. Here’s pic of my space…a spare king sized duvet folded over 3 times and a sarong over the top is surprisingly comfy!

Meditation Spot

There is definitely not only one way to meditate. I tried a few, and different situations call for different methods. For me even walking in the beautiful countryside brings similar results, so if you do want to give it a go, don’t put loads of pressure on yourself. You will find the best way for you. But I do challenge everyone to truly give it a go for 2 weeks. After all, what have you got to lose?

3. MAKE LISTS

I keep mentioning how I get overwhelmed easily, and one of the things that helps alleviate this is to make a list of everything I need to do. It is almost like I take the stress out of my head and tip it onto the paper. And I will list EVERYTHING, including ‘buy food for smoothies’ (an actual entry on yesterday’s list). Because the more I list, the more I can cross off! And the more I cross off the more I’m tricking my brain into thinking I have achieved LOADS, and that in turn gives me a sense of accomplishment which helps to motivate me. See how it can positively snowball from just a few simple routines?

4. BUILD A ROUTINE

I would say that to have a routine will make a huge difference between success and ‘failure’ (hate that word but I really don’t think ‘misfiring’ or ‘abortion’ are a suitable alternatives – thanks anyway mac thesaurus!). I get up every morning at the same time as my fiancé for when he goes off to work. I get dressed, brush my teeth, I make myself a cup of coffee, a smoothie or some other breakfast (if I’m hungry, which often I’m not until mid-day), I then go to my office to do a meditation and then I am at work. And it’s funny how much I don’t feel like I’m in the same house. When I go to make a cup of tea, the living room and kitchen feel really different and I actually love being in my office! It’s for this reason that it is so important to make your work space a pleasant place to be.

If you don’t have somewhere separate to do your work (it doesn’t have to be a separate room), you muddle home and work life and it can lead to being unproductive through sheer distraction.

I must confess, I do find it difficult to switch off. I wouldn’t trade my situation, but when I used to work for someone else, 5 o’clock would come and I’d be firmly in ‘home mode’, ready to think about anything BUT work. Now I can’t stop looking at my emails, my Facebook page, replying to people, watching if Facebook is messing up my views simply because I won’t pay for advertising… Because it’s something I love, am passionate about and am more anxious to be successful at than anything else I’ve ever done, because I am bleeding out my heart and soul onto these pages, it’s hard to stop. Because ultimately, this is me, not a job. What you are reading and seeing isn’t what I do. It’s who I am. And you can’t switch that off.

One chapter in my book covers ‘How To Wind Down’, but it’s one of those things where I really need to practice what I preach. At this point all I can say is do as I say not as a do!

5. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME

As human beings, living in a world where everything is instantaneous, we put a great deal of pressure on ourselves to achieve things quickly, else we see ourselves as being unsuccessful in our efforts. We often give up before having really tried because it either seems too hard or too unrealistic. A great way of not letting the fear of failure get the better of you is by taking things day at a time. To do this, try not to look at your goal in it’s entirety in terms of EVERYTHING you have to achieve to get your dream come true. It’s the journey that counts, remember. While it is important to think about what your ultimate goal is, especially through visualisation (more on that on a different post), if you look at the every single task that needs doing, you’ll invariably either scare yourself off, miss all the little things that create your success and a feeling of  fulfilment, or both. If you are able to concentrate simply on small manageable ‘bite-size’ pieces (remember those GCSE books!) you’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish.

I stripped my first week down to the above points. Easily achievable and not too scary!

By the end of my first week, not only had I completed all the tasks on my list, I had nearly written the first half of my first book…the one I never thought I’d write!

Had I set myself the task of writing a book at the beginning of the week, I would never have got out of bed on the Monday morning…

Lastly remember that success isn’t linear. You will have good days/weeks/months and you will had bad ones. Just because you aren’t achieving something every single day or aren’t hitting targets week on week, doesn’t mean you aren’t successful or won’t be in the future. Give yourself a break; the world won’t stop simply because you take a day or two for yourself. Remember all you have achieved, don’t focus on all you haven’t, and never forget to appreciate the things you have already accomplished, both on a personal and professional level.