You start with great enthusiasm. And then you meet realities. Rejection. Complexity. Risk. Fear. Often those around you want certainty. But the current way is both not-fit-for-the-future yet somehow unchangeable and the alternatives are not proven, understood or recognised. To keep moving forwards, often into the unknown and scary, requires faith.
When you have faith you feel you can move mountains. When it’s missing you might just want to give up. It happens. Give yourself permission to be human.
So what can you do if you lose faith in the big thing you are trying to make happen? Here are some thoughts:
- Take a moment: Find a quiet place. That could be at your normal place of work, though it’s unendingly surprising how few places welcome people actually thinking – valuing people taking time to look out of the window, stare at the ceiling or close their eyes for a few moments to reflect and imagine and come up with a ‘better way’. So maybe you need to take yourself somewhere. Perhaps somewhere that inspires you.
- Reconnect: Quieten your thoughts and…reconnect. With yourself. With what matters. Allow yourself space and time to bring to mind the moment when you knew this work you do is so important. Reconnect with those times, and those stories, that really touched your heart. And your soul. When it really set you alight. When you felt truly alive. Live it again. In colour and surround sound. Really feel that connection between ‘what really matters’ and yourself.
- Ask: With that sense of connection and with those thoughts and feelings present, bring to mind the current situation and challenges. No criticism. No judgement. Just observing. Noticing. And ask gently the powerful questions that arise for you, such as; What’s actually happening here? And what wants to happen? And what’s my part in this, my piece of the puzzle, my work or my learning? What is the gold I bring? What life asking me to do to do?Maybe new ideas appear. Maybe you realise it’s all working out just fine and it simply takes time or is waiting for things to align. Maybe you realise its time is not now – that this is something to let go of, at least for the moment, or is someone else’s work for now.
- Capture the moment: Maybe write thoughts down as notes. It’s really interesting how words and ideas in our heads can feel very different when we see them on the page. Or draw a sketch, or connect your thinking to a metaphor or a story. Changing from the literal to the graphic and poetic deepens our connection.
- Keep going: Know that when driving on a long journey we need to use brakes as well as accelerators, neutral and reverse as well as forwards. And occasionally stop. These are all important in the short term, to enable what you are wanting in the long term. The way forwards for you may be direct, or may require a change in direction or pace for the moment. Allow yourself that flexibility. And it is unlikely that the thing you care about is just about you. Sometimes it’s about sharing your thoughts with others; maybe supporters and friends. Or maybe those who you feel challenged by. Either way, sing it back into life. And make the suggestions and process outlined above a regular habit. It’s good to build the helpful muscles steadily and gain strength and familiarity. The alternative is that these muscles are only found and exercised in a crisis.