It is all too easy for our newly discovered passions to consume us. You want to be involved with it all the time. You want to buy all the fancy new gadgets you never knew existed. You want to talk about it all the time. The key here is not let your passion control you.
Set time limits. If you find yourself spending too much time on your passion, set a timer before beginning a project and stop as soon as the bell tolls.
This works well for me when I go online to do research, or even just to surf. It is easy to get sucked down rabbit holes and wander down false, but interesting trails, and forget why you have come.
Pay attention to others. You cannot ignore the needs of others. Spend time with your family and friends on things that are absolutely unrelated to your passion.
Have a night out. Humans are social creatures. Do not become a hermit. Go out with friends and family to do the things that you all enjoy.
Maintain a life outside of your work. Your passion is important, but it cannot be the only thing in your life. You still need time for personal reflection, vacations, and family gatherings.
How Do I Get Through Discouragement?
People who do not understand your passion, will criticize you. They will try to pull you back to reality…their reality.
Knowing your ‘why’ will help keep you focused. The rest is managing yourself. Here are some strategies to help with that:
Get used to it. Anyone going through a change in career will eventually have to deal with setbacks and discouragement. Those who develop the thickest skin tend to last the longest, go the furthest, and shine the most.
Stay focused on your goals. There is no time for brooding. Always ask yourself “What’s next?” Take a break and a deep breath, and get started.
Get back on the horse. Every time you face rejection, take a deep breath and begin another project before despair knocks you down for good.
Look at someone else’s work. Sometimes looking at a great piece of work can inspire you. It can make you think, “I can do that, too!”
Become a mentor to someone else. One of the most inspiring things in life is seeing someone benefit from your knowledge. You will feel appreciated and gain the encouragement you need to build momentum.
Accept constructive criticism. If someone is telling you how to do something better, consider it a compliment that they think your work is worth the effort to correct.
If they offer only criticism, thank them, smile and move on.
Keep it fun. Always have an open project that you know you will have fun doing. Return to it when you feel down.
For me this is drawing. I have found a few methods that are more relaxing than taxing. So, when writing is stuck, and reading feels to tiring, I pull out my iPad and lose myself for a while.
Use a life coach. Coaches help keep you motivated so that you can continue to work toward your goals instead of spending time sitting around feeling sorry for yourself.
Stay healthy. Plenty of rest, exercise, and healthy foods help keep discouragement and stress from turning into depression and anxiety.
Whether you are trying to find your passion, develop it, or even turn it into a money-making venture, you are going to run into some difficulties along the way. During difficult times, the stress may feel so intense that you consider throwing your hands in the air and quitting. Do not worry. This is normal.
You may get discouraged and perhaps a little depressed. That is completely normal, too. Having an active passion can be like a roller-coaster ride. That is why you need to enjoy the good times and hang on tight during the bad.
Now you know what to do, and how to get the ball rolling.