Even I tend to focus on inspiration rather than the feeling of being un-inspired. It is a tough feeling to sit with, especially as a creative in a very visual and so-called “inspiring” world. It is easy to worry that you’ll never find your inspiration again or doubt that you ever really had it. What inspires you when you feel most un-inspired?
“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.”Banksy
It is all too consuming when we feel un-inspired. And the more we focus on how un-inspired we feel, the worse it gets – the start of a very vicious and self-deprecating circle. To add to that heavy load, we see feelings of self-doubt, unworthiness, diminishing self-belief and lack of self-love start to creep in. Before we know it, we can really get so much inside our own heads that we cannot see past this stumbling block.
Now is when we need to heed Banksy’s advice, and simply stop what we’re doing, take it easy for a while and not give up on our dreams.
Whether we work in the creative fields of food, photography, fitness or art or we work in finance, accounts or marketing… inspiration is key each day to keep us going. When we take into account social media and our ability to “influence” and “inspire” others, the pressure can feel too much:
“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.”Anonymous
We worry that without inspiration for ourselves, how can we possibly inspire others? How can we make our work as motivational and as inspirational as possible? The online world can be fierce, and competition is strong. But therein lies one of the problems. It is easy to see the social space or the workplace as an ongoing and relentless competition that we put ourselves up for each and every time we post, or we share ideas. What if we stopped seeing these spaces and platforms as competition but as ways to connect, to share our passions and to work on ourselves, for ourselves?
We may even be inspiring others, when we least expect it.
That doesn’t quite answer the question of what to do when we’re feeling un-inspired. By work, by life, by relationships, by hobbies… when we think about it, inspiration comes into our lives at every angle. Rather than letting the un-inspiration fester and increase within us, we must learn to:
“feel what you neeed to feel and then let it go. Do not let it consume you.”Dhiman
This month, I am going to learn to “feel the feels” and not let them take over me and let me get into a state of “lacking” …
Simple things we can all do when we feel un-inspired:
- Take a step back from whatever is getting us down: this may not always be possible if it’s your job, but plan in some time off when you can and give your brain a rest. Use the physical and mental space to gain clarity on what you want, what you enjoy and just stop thinking about it!
- Do something new and unfamiliar: it needn’t be anything exciting, something as simple as going for a walk somewhere new or working in a different room in your house. Being in a new environment may just provide that spark!
- Write down all of your past achievements: even the littlest things like getting up before your alarm, getting great feedback on a recent piece of work. Write down all the things that you’ve done well, and you’ll soon realise that you’re better than you think. This is a great exercise in general for a confidence boost (that I need to do more often, myself).
- Have a look at the smaller details in life: sometimes it is great to see the bigger picture and other times the big picture can seem all too overwhelming and scary. So, why not focus on the little things? The small things you can do every day to make yourself feel accomplished. Or literally look at the smaller things every day to make you appreciate the wonders of life. Take a closer look at nature. Really appreciate the food on your plate with all your senses. I suppose it comes back to living a bit more mindfully…
- Do something just for you: outside of work and of everything that is un-inspiring for you at this time and do something fun. Read a book, have a bath, listen to some music, catch up on Netflix. Switch off your brain and value the time off. Don’t tell yourself being lazy is a bad thing, we need these moments, too!
How do you find ways to break through your moments of un-inspiration? I’d love to know as we can all learn great things from one another, even when we don’t realise it!
I think this quote sums it all up pretty perfectly, so I’ll leave you with the gorgeous words from Beau Taplin, Creative Block:
“We all have slow days, off days, days we feel tired or uninspired, but they are nothing to concern yourself with. Like the ocean, the stillness is just another of our natural states. Soon, the winds will return, the waves will rise, and your imagination will flow freely again.”
P.S. find the recipe for these Lemon and Coconut Sugar Cookies here (they’re vegan, easy to make and delicious with a cup of tea!).