I’m having a hard time focusing today (this week).
I think there are a lot of reasons, but one major one? The excitement of starting the semester is over and reality of taking three classes, working part time, doing clinical, participating in two research groups, and trying to maintain some sort of practice(s) in my life has come crashing down (along with hormones, but that’s another story).
Overwhelm, of a slightly different flavor than I’ve previously talked about, abounds. But, the same sort of emotions come up. If I’m honest? It comes down to truly doubting what I have to offer this world and if I can do all (any) of this, because I’m letting the overwhelm elbow out the energy of Beginning. At the start of things (including a new year), I tend to feel a huge surge of I CAN DO ANYTHING! I dream big. I dream and make a whole list of what I want to do.
In my experience, it can be anywhere between a few hours, days, weeks, or months later, but evening, reality and the realization that expectations I have are super high. It’s not that I can’t do it – but I can’t do it all at once and get where I want immediately. The dreaming big settles into questioning, doubt, fear. The reality of getting the work done hits me, and I am frozen with uncertainty.
I have to laugh in that knowing way, because if you’ve ever participated in National Novel Writing Month, you know how hard week 2 is. The freshness and excitement of week 1’s start is over, and you are stuck in the middle slog of Why am I doing this, again?
So what I find myself asking in the middle of this all – how do I keep going? How do I hold on to that fire while plodding along? How do I keep myself from freezing out of uncertainty and fear? And I think, sometimes, it’s a different answer for each project, for each person. Acknowledging that this is part of the process is helpful. That I go through this, a lot.
And the recognition that when I let fear stop me, fear wins. And that?
That is not what I want. Fear never gets to win, in the long run.
How do you keep yourself going during long-term projects? How do you keep fire for what you are doing?