A couple of weeks ago, I was home in Hawaii when a local friend said to me, "Ugh, I made plans for tonight but I just don't want to go. It sounded like fun when I agreed to it but now...traffic! Putting on a bra! It feels like so much work." But then when I later asked how it went, she replied, "Oh, it was great once I got there!"
These stories always give me a bit of relief, because I fall into this cycle all the time. And, in fact, it turns out that it also happens to people who seem to have all their shit together, too.
Our dear friend Lisa Congdon just wrote about how bad the timing was for her recent trip to judge a quilting competition in Los Angeles--and how, in the end, the experience opened up new artistic pathways for her, like a gallery show all her own in NYC. (Congrats, Lisa!!!)
Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser says that there were many nights leading up to the launch of the site in which she found herself questioning everything. But then, in the morning, she found the power within herself to keep on going. (Today, Food52 is worth $6 million, by the way.)
So how do you change your energy in order to gain momentum? It can be hard, we know. But here are a few suggestions that can help to scoop you out of any sense of malaise to give you a push in the right direction:
Do the easiest, smallest thing first. As they say, getting started is the hardest part. By easing into things, you can gently slip into a new project, a social engagement, or even just that difficult Monday morning without feeling like you're fighting an uphill battle. Oftentimes, taking action--any action--is enough to charge your energy.
Turn on the tunes. And dance! Nothing will snap you out of that funk faster than an impromptu dance party. Might we suggest some Missy Elliot?
Break it down. List out all the little steps you need to take to accomplish your goal, and realize that that's all that's standing between you and something great. A list! Look at the list and decide on what scares you. Think about why. Then find solutions. (Don't know how to talk to investors? New list items: take a course on that; talk to experienced entrepreneurs; read books on it.)
Think of the benefits. Why did you agree to do this in the first place? Will this project free you from your job? Did you agree to go to that networking event because there's a chance you'll bump into your blogging idol? Remember why you said yes, and what you stand to gain.
Do something else. When all else fails, turn your focus elsewhere. When we were working on the conference last year, it was easy to get so deep into it that we couldn't see where to go next. That's when it's time to cook dinner, read a book, take a walk, listen to your favorite podcast, or chat with someone you love. You'll come back refreshed and ready for what comes next.