Not so long ago, I lived by strict standards of resource management. I had three jobs, besides my business, and was exhausted all the time. I knew I only had so much time and energy to give so I guarded my creative efforts like Gollum guarded his precious ring. I was one of those rare people who found it easy to say no – because if I said yes, I feared there would be nothing left for me.
This creative hoarding manifested in a number of ways. I stopped writing guest posts, for instance. I feared that writing for other blogs would not only drain me, but that it would waste the good material I *should* be featuring on my own blog. Collaboration with colleagues got a big no, as well. I felt I could not afford to split my energy or focus any more than it already was.
One day, I looked at my editorial calendar and saw gaping holes. I had one or two blog post ideas written down for each month and everything else was blank. My goal sheets were similarly (and discouragingly) empty. I had no ideas for creating other business projects that would enrich my clients’ lives. My mind was a dry well.
Clearly, resource management was failing me. I could see the pattern of creative drought and where it was leading – and it wasn’t pretty.
I realized that the only way to combat this issue was to do something drastic. The path I was on, I could see clearly, would lead to the death of my business, as well as my entrepreneurial dreams. Course correction would not be a simple side step, I knew – it would require doing a full 180.
Here are the steps I took to revive my creativity, my business and my life:
1. I realigned myself with my true priorities.
I realized that my life wouldn’t be worth living without pursuing my dreams with as much time and energy as I could give to them. To that end, I whittled my side jobs down so I could put more of my focus on what mattered the most to me. It required a great leap of faith and is not easy – but this step, alone, has allowed me to make huge creative leaps.
2. I reexamined my mindset.
At one time, it seemed like guarding my time and energy was the smart thing to do. But when I looked at my calendar that day, and saw how dried up my creative well had become, I realized it was because I was operating on a system of lack. I had to hoard everything I created because who knew when I’d have the time or creativity to do/write/make something else? If, however, I wanted abundant ideas and a more expansive outlook on time, I’d have to start thinking abundantly and expansively.
3. I created new intentions.
My former intentions were all about me: protecting my time, rationing out my creativity, serving my business. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with those intentions, I realized that they were not congruent with what I actually wanted. I wanted to help others. I wanted to use my business to serve and share. And more than anything, I wanted to set a glowing example for my clients, readers and fans. As I shifted my focus, I began to create new intentions that centered on creativity, generosity and faith. Protecting my time became creating focused time for service. Rationing my creativity became practicing abundant creativity daily and sharing it with others. Serving my business became serving the world.
4. I allowed my new intentions to instruct my goals.
What I want is very clear to me now. I want to serve, so I set a goal of helping 50 women get their glow back in 2014. I want to share, so I set a goal of securing a publishing contract for my first book and starting work on the second. I want to write more, so I set a goal of writing every day and submitting pieces to blogs and magazines. Goal-setting has become…dare I say it…easy. I know what I want and I know what I have to do to get it. The tasks that don’t align with my goals and intentions simply end up in my mental recycle bin.
5. I committed myself to abundant, limitless, generous creativity.
My greatest passion and most joyful creative outlet is sharing what I know through the written word. And there I was, a writer struggling to come up with even two blog posts a month! But as I discovered, limiting what I wrote, how often I wrote and where I published had only dug me deeper into the hole.
My way out was a solution I never expected: Write every day and share it. I thought I would become tired again. I thought I would run out of ideas again. Yet, I experienced exactly the opposite. The more I wrote, the more ideas I had. The more I committed to writing guest posts, the more energy I had.
Ideas, I discovered, are infinite and the more we allow them to manifest through us, the more we will be given.
How do you rev up your limitless creativity?