Two and a half day of a clear schedule. No kids, no sessions, no workshops, but for me in my little refuge to work on creative new ideas I had. A rarity and I was looking forward to it a lot.
I made myself a cup of tea, grabbed all my colored pens and a large white sheet of paper, sat down, and nothing happened. Well, some things did happen: my body felt a bit tensed. My shoulders hunched, and my mind was both pushing me start ‘being productive’ as well as trying to find any possible distraction.
Automatically I grabbed my phone, as an almost unconscious voice in my head told me my friend might have sent me that message I was waiting for. She didn’t. But now I had my phone I might just as well check if there were any new likes to my last Facebook post or any new emails. An hour later I realized I was still holding my phone, that I was escaping what I was actually wanting to do.
Fear of Failing
Why would I not do what I actually want to do? When I dread doing something, there’s often a certain importance for me connected to whatever is the focus of my intention. Whether it’s making dinner, deciding what to wear or launching a new website. I know and deeply feel I have something to give, there is some real potential here. But with that potential comes a risk: what if it doesn’t work?
What if I show my bare naked soul to the world (I mean, that’s how it feels, right?) and the world doesn’t like it (=me)?
In these moments we are confronted with the risk of failing. And the idea of failing means being confronted with our own limiting beliefs of being not good enough, not perfect, not giving enough, etc. With those belief systems come deep engrained emotions like fear, sadness and anger – and our minds will go to great lengths to avoid those deep emotions. As a result, we lock down our potential.
Getting beyond feeling Stuck
So there I was, with my amazing ideas but sucked up by distractions, paralyzed by the contractedness of both my body and mind, adding layers of self-critique and judgment as hours ticked by and although I managed to get a whole lot of my to-do list done (if you productively use your procrastinationy you can get a lot done, actually), I didn’t get anywhere near the creative brainstorming that I longed for.
I had agreed before with myself that if I felt like I had done enough, I was allowed to take the evening off and go dancing. As I wasn’t anywhere near this point, my critical mind told me that I needed punishment in the form of putting away my phone and gluing myself to the table. Get sh*t done!
But can I move away from feeling stuck in this way?
A deeper voice, call it my inner mom, warmly suggested that, maybe, dancing was exactly what I needed. That if I nurtured myself deeply, moving from this hardened and contracted space into something else, the rest of my creative weekend might turn out much better than it would if I continued in this forcing way.
Do you know the 80/20 rule? We do 80% of the things in 20% of our time. We earn 80% of our money with 20% of the things that we do. And so on, and so on. What if I used at least part of that 80% of the time that I wouldn’t be productive anyway, to nurture myself and feel as good as I can? I decided to go dancing.
During the 30-minute bike ride to the venue, I realized that I longed for softness. Dropping into my yin, or feminine, qualities. Right now I was stuck in a yang shield. Like the fluid water of creativity and joy was frozen, and I tried to make it melt with an ax. As I moved along the dancefloor I practiced opening and softening my body with every breath I took. My body moved to the music without thinking. I shared intimate dances with men and women, each time returning back to myself, my body, my breath, my luscious energy.
On the way back, ideas started bubbling up in my mind. Solutions to challenges I couldn’t solve. Creative ideas popping out of nowhere, my head a hurricane of wild thoughts and ideas wanting to be seen. As soon as I entered my little house I grabbed that sheet of paper and filled it with my ideas and insights. In the morning it continued. I walked through the empty forest as rain lightly felt down. More ideas, more inspiration!
Finding Your Way
Moving from feeling stuck back to a juicy flow is a process that is different for everyone. What works for me, might not work for you at all. But something that works for many, is to physically move when the inner world feels stuck. It’s like giving the mind an imprint that movement is possible.
Being gentle with whatever process is coming up (even if you can’t stop swiping through Tinder – again). Underneath this locking down your potential is a real fear. Something that is very real for you. Gently bringing awareness to that, giving yourself the loving support that you need.
Give yourself some time to get to know these inner movements of fear, and also what brings you back to a softer state again. You will be way more productive after that; investing time into this now is totally worth it.
And if you still feel like you are unable to unlock your potential: find some support. There are wonderful people out there to help you.
Do you want to dive deep into your personal process of creativity, intimacy, love, and relationships? Book an (online or offline) individual session with me – also for business inspiration and finding where you feel stuck, and how to move beyond that.