For some time now, I’ve been juggling several life changes and their coinciding states of mind. Although I’ve experienced life changes already – divorce, solo travel, changing jobs – each new life change presents a whole new set of emotions and mindsets. The resulting mental chaos caused me to back away from life for a bit, hence backing away from this blog. Creativity had been waning and I had realized that I needed to back away and refocus.
The Importance of Stepping Back
When you force something, it rarely ends well. You become frustrated, cynical and eventually burn out. After all, there’s only so many times you can bang your head on a brick wall before you start bleeding.
So I backed away from most of life. I went back to a simpler state of mind – to simply live. When you’re a creative you can get caught up in the process and the pressure to create constantly. The blog that was once a source of joy, inspiration and sharing had turned into a dark abyss of pressure. There was the pressure to create something truly great every minute of every day. It caused perfectionism to grab hold again and paralyze me.
I didn’t like the place I was in. So I backed away.
Adding to the creativity confusion has been my state of unemployment and the requisite job search. I’ve spent copious amounts of time editing, updating, changing, and tweaking my search and resume. Between the resume edits, numerous cover letters and hours of networking, my mental energy began to wane. A lost feeling began to surface.
The feeling of being lost began to permeate through all areas of my life. I’ll simply say, you cannot write or create well when you’re experiencing feelings of being lost in life. It creates a state of confusion.
Strangely, there was an undercurrent of calm, of knowing that the universe had my back, that all would end well. That I was in a place of transition; a quick stop-off on the way to greater things.
Feelings of calm and being lost rarely go together, and I believe this is where the state of confusion came from. The universe was telling me to be calm but my mind felt lost. I realized I had to let the universe take over, let the calmness permeate, to cast out the lost feeling in my mind.
So I let go. I removed the pressure of having to write and create each day. I removed the pressure of comparison and doubt. I removed the pressure of applying to X number of jobs a day. There are no laws stating you have to create X blog posts per day or write X many words per day or apply to X number of jobs per day.
It worked wonders. I felt free. My mind expanded back out from the little box I had locked it in. I got back to the roots of this blog, was able to focus on why I was rebranding and the logical evolution it required.
I’ve taken time again for nature walks, artist dates and eventually when I was ready, reconnecting with friends. When I step back, I become a recluse. You need that sometimes, especially as an INFJ.
Micromanaging your Finances
In my quest to get out of debt and conquer my overspending on fashion, I realized I was sabotaging my own efforts. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? As I’ve mentioned throughout this post, sometimes when you focus too much energy on correcting something you either A) make it worse or B) get super frustrated. Micromanaging your finances is a big no-no for most of us. You become focused on the negative fact that you’re in debt and stop focusing on the abundance in your life. Lack becomes your new best friend and your mind spends time trying to correct that by, yep, you guessed it, buying shit.
For a while now, it has been customary for me to shop online as my first habit every morning. I rarely bought anything but it became habit I didn’t want. That’s been quickly corrected.
Digest your New Life Situation
By stepping back and letting go, it allowed me to fully comprehend my new life situation. I’ve never in my life been unemployed, much less let go from a job. There are feelings of failure and despair that go along with it. I believe that much of the confusion I’ve experienced was what to do with myself each day. So used to a work routine, being thrown into no routine created some of the confusion I’ve referred to. It’s important to stick to a daily routine as much as possible. I highly recommend creating a daily time log for yourself outlining your job search duties, learning activities, exercise and anything else that should be a part of your day.
Taking time to digest my new situation helped remind me of the reality of how much my spending needed to be cut, and how I needed to change my financial habits even more.
All of this opened the door to be ready to sell my stuff on eBay, sell my photos online and opened my mind to discover what I really should be doing in life.
When your head is bleeding and you’ve been bashed against the rocks, it’s okay to step back. It’s perfectly fine to shut yourself in and regain YOU.