Sustaining Enthusiasm

“You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks jump over hurdles, and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don’t have that kind of feeling for what you’re doing, you’ll stop at the first giant hurdle.”
George Lukas

“Success is the ability to go from defeat to defeat without
losing your enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill

I treasure both these comments, but Winnie’s is especially dear to my heart, mainly because going from “defeat to defeat without losing your enthusiasm” is so crucial, yet so challenging. How exactly do we keep our energy and passion for a project from flagging when things aren’t gong well — when we’re battered from all the roadblocks we’ve hit?

Frankly, I’m a natural retreater: one who tends to shy away from obstacles. I’ve struggled with this mightily, and I think I’m getting better. Here are a few techniques I’ve come across that you may find helpful in sustaining your enthusiasm during “valley” moments when things aren’t going well:

“Act in accordance with your vision, not your feelings:” This advice from my friend Coach Mike Tully has been a constant inspiration to me. When I hit rough spots and have to make tough choices, I work hard to reconnect with my vision: my overarching goal and the wellspring of my enthusiasm.

Tell yourself,”you win some and learn some:” Think in terms of learning, not losing. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions,” Coach Tully says and I believe him. Encourage yourself to substitute the word “feedback” for “failure.” Reframing setbacks in this way and makes it easier to reignite enthusiasm.

Remember “Don’t quit, can’t fail:” Even if you feel like throwing in the towel, just keep going. Sheer tenacity often rekindles enthusiasm. Problems are only temporary, but quitting is permanent.

Any approaches that work for you when you hit a rough roadblock? Would love to hear about them! Write on.

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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