Quick note: Stay Unstuck will launch in two weeks! This post has nothing to do with that; we’ll talk more about being stuck the week of May 15. Just a heads up!
I have come to accept that I’ll probably always be in a state of feeling like I’m finding my way.
At any point in the entire life of my business, I could have truthfully said I’m in transition. And I usually feel guilty about that.
But why the guilt over that true statement? I mean if we zoom back far enough, we know that our very bodies are always in transition—growing, creating new cells, shedding old ones, and so on.
And the same is true for our work. Even as we redesign our websites and change our social media bios and create new offerings—even as we add the finishing touches and think, There! That’ll do it—we’re changing.
Each new client project or offering we create brings learning and growth with it—to say nothing of the learning we happily undergo intentionally through classes and coaching and books—and it’s only natural that we’ll continue to add all that knowledge into what we do.
So why, for so many of us, is the excitement of new ideas tinged with fear? Because change takes work and experimentation and uncertainty, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming.
As creatives, we live in two places at once—the present and the future.
Even as we do the client work we’ve already booked and sell the things we’ve already created, we’re working on booking new clients and creating new things.
Even as we carry out the plans we’ve already made, we’re working on a plan for what’s to come.
Plus we have to do the bigger work of finding our place within the online creative world, which in itself can feel like a big feat.
So we feel like we’re always finding our way because it’s true. And instead of struggling against that, I think we should find ways to embrace it—and set up our businesses and lives to make the best use of it.
Here are some of the things that have helped me:
- Seeking and remembering information about my true nature, which includes more change than that of many others. (I recently found Tara Gentile’s growth styles work, and I found so much relief and permission in recognizing my style as one of—you guessed it—Exploration: constantly growth and exploration. I’d love to hear your growth path!)
- Having a set place where I’ve written down all that’s true about my work and life right now, so I both have a current touchstone as well as a place to add in new elements when the time is right.
- Having dedicated holding tanks for ideas I'm not ready for (or don't have the capacity for) yet, so I don’t feel like I have to chase down every idea right away.
- Following people online who embrace their ever-shifting nature, and truly listening to and absorbing the truth they share.
- Having honest conversations with other creatives about where I am, listening as they talk about where they are, and remembering that we’re all always shifting and changing.
- Embracing practices like intentional writing* and meditation and Stronger Month by Month* that help me stay grounded in myself and access my inner wisdom, which already knows how important change is to my wellbeing.
- Having what I think of as a flexible framework: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual processes in place for planning and reviewing and updating and carrying out the things I want to do. (That includes checking in pretty much all the ideas mentioned above!)
That’s a big list, but it was easy to write—because, both knowingly and unknowingly, I’ve been working on this for a long time.
Now this doesn't mean I don't get flustered by the constant state of flux that comes from being a creative.
On the contrary—I sometimes feel like I get more flustered because I'm the kind of person who's constantly, actively seeking growth and change. But having those tools in place truly does help me stay grounded, and get unflustered with less stress.
* I offer free guides to help you start an intentional writing practice (Explore Day to Day) as well as set a monthly intention and see it through with free accountability (Stronger Month by Month). You can find both in the library!
Now it's time to take action.
Take five minutes (set a timer on your phone!) to write down these two things:
- The things you already have in place that support this constant state of growth and change
- The things you wish you had in place to support this constant state of growth and change
You can use my list as a starting point, but make sure you really think about what works for you!
Once you’re done, consider saving the first list (the things that are already in place) somewhere you can refer to it often. Sometimes you need a reminder of all that’s going well.
Then consider creating projects or action steps out of the second list. You don’t have to complete it all right now—maybe spread things out, one small step a week, over the next few weeks or months.
It doesn’t necessarily matter how quickly you take action; just knowing you have a plan can often make a huge difference!
It's your turn to share.
What showed up on your lists? How did writing them make you feel?
I would love to hear! You can comment below, send me an email, or head over to this Instagram post and let me know. I’m always interested in where you are and what you’re working toward.
And if you're struggling with either list, please reach out. I'm happy to give whatever guidance and resources I can (and sometimes I have spots open for email coaching if you feel you need a little more help).
I want to end by sharing something you may have missed over on Instagram.
Over the past few months, you may have noticed waves of people sharing their imperfection confessions over the last few months using the hashtag #theimperfectboss. This time around, Ashley (the founder of this movement) has asked us to share something I found almost harder to write about—what we’re good at!
I shared my “awesome confession” right here, and I’d love to hear yours—and maybe add a few notes of my own. ;)
Until next time,
With much love,