Performing When You Don’t Feel Like It

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I’m starting to hit that wall where enthusiasm runs out and you have a choice to either continue on the path or decide it’s just not worth it. It happens so often in my life, and my usual choice is to set aside what I’m doing and look for something else to do. As a person who grew up in an instant gratification world, it’s so hard to stick with anything when you aren’t getting what you want, let alone something that by definition isn’t likely to turn into something big enough to be sustaining as a career. Where do you draw the line between patience and delusion?

Of course, my rational side knows I haven’t been doing this nearly long enough to assume it won’t go anywhere. I know it’s my impatient side trying to get the better of me. I want amazing results right now, and unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way. You have to put in the time and effort and only after you do both of those things can you find out if something is going to succeed or fail. There are no shortcuts in life. Well, except maybe winning the lottery or something like that.

So what do I do with this knowledge? This is where the perseverance part comes in. I have to decide to get on this blog and write another post. Do I have other things I could talk about? Absolutely. There are a million different things going on in the world I could write about. But the biggest thing on my mind today is the fact that I knew I needed to write something and a part of me thought “why bother? You only have a few followers and your voice isn’t really heard. You’re wasting your time with this.” That hopelessness from the previous article is rearing its ugly head yet again.

The problem with that attitude is that several of you have chosen to follow this blog because it apparently has some kind of meaning to you. We tend to get focused on what we don’t have without valuing what we do. I think it’s probably the content creators who truly value the people who follow them that find success in this kind of business. They aren’t really focused on making lots of money, but creating a relationship with the people they are creating content for. I know I’m not like that yet, but I also know that I need to move myself to that place if I want to have even a chance of turning this blog into a writing career.

I appreciate those of you who have chosen to follow this blog and read these articles. I know that as this blog slowly continues to grow, it will start to become easier to motivate myself to keep writing, especially when it gets to the point where I start getting consistently positive interactions from the community. I have to keep in mind that it doesn’t all come at once; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have to exercise these things I’ve been posting, all of which I wrote mostly as a reminder to myself that I shared with all of you.

The title of this post says it all. I don’t feel like writing, and that’s exactly the time when I need to force myself to sit here and write the best article I possibly can. I need to sit here and put down honest words with careful thought and continue imparting whatever meaningful information I have to share. I don’t have to be an inspiration that sets the internet on fire; I just have to show up and practice what I preach. Most of us want to follow someone who is dynamic and powerful and charismatic, but what we really need is someone who tells us what we need to hear and is consistent about it. The best leadership is by example. We respect it more.

One of the encouraging things for me is that I sit down with no particular layout for an article in mind, just a vague idea, yet I’m able to put together several paragraphs that clearly lay out what the idea is and how I think you should approach it. This is not to brag about my writing skills, because I certainly don’t think I’m a great writer, but to remind myself that it is a type of validation that maybe this is something I’m good enough at to turn into the meaningful career I’ve been searching for my entire life. The lesson I hope we all take from it is that if we can find that silver lining that everyone talks about, it can really make a difference in sticking to the things we choose to pursue. The fact that these words are here at all show that this is the truth.

So today’s post is partly about me, but also about you, reader. What do you have in your life that you’ve started, or would like to start, that you want to give up on because it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen? What parts of that have caused you to become apathetic about your goal? Have you found the strength to force yourself into performing, even when you don’t want to? I think today’s post is an example of how just forcing yourself to get started can have much more of an impact than we think. I started with “why bother” and ended with eight paragraphs of self-motivational text. If we can find the ability to do this consistently, I think this is where we have a real chance to pass from part time hobby to full time success.

Like many things in life, it’s all in the attitude.

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