Why Pushing Pause is Necessary
Like most people, at the end of 2016, I set some goals for 2017. I set the goal of writing at least three posts per week, I created a content calendar for the year, it’s been 7 weeks strong and now - pause.
Last night, I sat down to write my second installment of Imaginary Travel - and though it was a fun idea initially, I just couldn’t do it. I went on Pinterest, saved images, pulled up my research articles and I looked at the semi-empty blog post window and just couldn’t write.
Was this writer’s block? Or something bigger?
In moments like these, doubt starts to creep in, maybe it does that for you as well. You’ve made your plans, you’ve set your goals, you’re working towards them, you’re making progress and then suddenly - road block.
But what does that road block mean? Is it just resistance you need to push through, or is it a sign you’re doing something wrong? Do you stop what you’re doing and reflect on the next step, or do you keep pushing through and ignore that something doesn’t feel right?
Wow! I don’t know about you - but I’ve definitely struggled with that question. [In fact, it was just last night.]
My first reaction to moments like these is to just stop. STOP. EVERYTHING. But then I hear Liz Gilbert whisper to me, “You just have to sit in the chair and write. You just have to show up and do the work anyway.” So I sit and I stare at the blank screen. I read a couple of posts on other people’s blogs, I catch up on my Instagram feed and still the cursor blinks.
I. Don’t. Want. To. Write. Then… a moment of clarity!
Wait - do I not want to WRITE? Or do I not want to write THIS?
That’s it! I don’t want to write THIS because I just don’t care about it - at least not in this moment.
But, why is that?
[If this seems a bit scattered, I’m just giving you a look into how my mind processes things, please excuse the jumbled mess that is my brain… Also, this is WHY I need Minimalism and Simple Living in my life, I’m not naturally bent this way, but using the tools of these lifestyles is what keeps me sane.]
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reassessing my brand and coming to huge moments of clarity in certain aspects of my business, while still fighting my way through others. Now that I’ve gotten into a blogging rhythm, it’s time to take it up a notch, it’s time to dive deeper into the brand, the mission statement, the WHY - everything.
It’s time to stretch.
This is important, because as a brand evolves, as your business grows, as you create content, something magical happens.
Clarity. Clarity. Clarity.
Maybe you’re like me and you’re interested in a wide variety of things, which makes consistency and clarity sometimes difficult to attain. When I start noticing doubt and confusion creeping up - I know I’ve taken a slightly wrong turn somewhere and that I need to go back to the basics. Fortunately, that’s what I’ve been working on these last few weeks, and it all boils down to Why. [Shocker.]
Why does [Your Business Name Here] exist?
Why did I start [Your Business Name Here]?
Who is [Your Business Name Here] for?
The Classy Hippie exists for three reasons.
Freedom // To inspire others to take control of their lives, get connected with their purpose and gain autonomy over every aspect of their lives.
Generosity // To empower others to take their newly found freedom and channel that into meaningful ways to help others, their community and this world.
Design // To aid individuals + brands that are already doing #1 & #2 through creating fresh, thoughtful visuals for their business // mission.
Reconnecting with the answers to these questions time and time again is what keeps me on track, and when I don’t, my own personal interests start to cloud my judgement.
Case in point - Imaginary Travel posts. [Insert sideways laugh-crying emoji here.]
My gut didn’t want to write that second post because I had subconsciously realized that my own love of travel and planning has nothing to do with the goals, mission or values of The Classy Hippie.
Yes, it’s very likely that a great percentage of my audience loves travel & adventure, but that’s not WHY they’re here. Those posts aren’t the ones that resonate with them - it’s the ones on slowing down, decluttering, gaining clarity, budgeting, connecting with their WHY, etc. that add value to others’ lives BECAUSE those posts align with my WHY and the WHY of The Classy Hippie.
In this case, utilizing and connecting with my WHY got me back on track with what kind of content I need to be creating, but the value in understanding your own WHY goes far beyond a simple content calendar.
Understanding your WHY can help you streamline every area of your life and keep you on track with living the kind of meaningful life you want.
I’m not going to lie, it’s SO easy to get distracted and derailed. It happens to me far more often than I’d like to admit - but that’s OKAY. It’s okay because it’s human nature. We get caught up in the busyness of life and then a chunk of time passes and we ask ourselves, “It’s November?! Where did the year go?!”
If you’re feeling discontent and you’re not sure why or how to get out of your rut, I encourage you to take some time and pause. If you can afford it, go away for the weekend or go on a hike. Do something to disrupt your rhythm, and ask yourself what is TRULY important to you.
Are you living in a way that gets you closer to the kind of life you want?
Are you creating content that’s relevant to the kind of people you want to serve?
Are you adding value?
Is there something you’re currently doing that doesn’t align with your WHY?
My answers to that first question are the WHY behind The Classy Hippie. If a post or any other content I create won’t achieve or start the process toward one or all of those goals, then I don’t need to be writing it and I don’t need to be creating it.
Coming to that realization takes time and it’s hard, but saying No to the good leaves room for saying Yes to what’s best. That’s what I want and that’s what I want for the people I’m meant to serve.
If you’re just getting started with understanding your WHY or you need to revisit it, I’ve created a workbook to help you get those gears moving and to help you get closer to your own personal WHY.
Download it by clicking the button below.
Have you already started down the path of understanding your WHY? Share your personal insights below! I'd love to hear them!
Love & Blessings,