Below is a snippet from an email I sent to my list a week ago:
I have a confession to make. I’m very tired.
I’m tired of trying to be “put together.” I’m tired of doing “good work.” I’m tired of doing things the “right way.”
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been experimenting with finding a creative outlet that works for me.
I started a blog, a personal youtube channel, and a podcast.
And with each one, I went from super excited and psyched up … to freezing up about it … to burnout.
I realize that I was trying to turn my “fun” projects into “work.”
I end up putting goals with stakes on what started out as “just for fun.”
Which would put me in fight, flight, or freeze mode (Note: usually my body picks Freeze) and stop wanting to do the thing.
If I keep pushing myself past Freeze, I hit Burnout.
And as long as I keep doing this, I’ll never be able to truly allow myself to fully express myself and have that creative outlet I’ve been yearning for.
Because here’s the thing: You can’t be fully creative if your body/brain thinks you’re in survival mode!
You can’t be fully creative if your brain thinks you’re in survival mode!
Creativity requires relaxing into diffuse awareness. Survival mode is all about focused awareness and at the extreme, tunnel vision.
This is why I’m beginning a 6-month committed journey to heal my relationship with work & rest. (I share what led me to this, what my hypotheses are for what’s holding me back, and why it’s “now or never” for me in this video.)
And I decided to break all the rules of YouTube when I filmed it this time. I don’t have a catchy thumbnail, I didn’t think hard about tags or SEO, I didn’t script anything and just let myself ramble at the camera.
I understand I can’t efficiently grow an audience this way, but I had to ask myself:
Why did you want to start this in the first place?
Oh yeah, to have a creative outlet. To have fun. To express and like myself more.
Huh, interesting. None of those are growing an audience!
Why did you start this?
That’s probably the most important question we can ask ourselves when engaged with work of any kind.
Otherwise, we end up resenting what we started.
And over time, if we keep repeating this pattern, we lose trust in ourselves that we even know what we really want.
I also made a video talking about this topic if you prefer to watch it instead: