Breakdown to Breakthrough

A short while ago I heard someone say a line which I never really connected with, until recently, “Sometimes you have to break down to breakthrough”. If you’ve been keeping up with me on my social media recently you might notice one of 3 things. I’m either A. MIA, B. Posting relevant but semi-old content or C. Sharing that I’ve experienced my first creative breakdown. I decided to share more about this experience and some moments I recognised that really hit home, because it turns out they happen and you’ll probably never be prepared for your first time.  

 

HOW LONG CAN/WILL YOU GO

So, slumps happen - and to varying degrees, depending on whether you realise it’s happening and when you do recognise it - what you choose to do in making your next move. How long are you going to sit in that shit? For me the slump came from a good since months of big life changes and work life balance. As it goes for everything in life, everyone’s process is different - from how they got there to how they’ll get it. But the most important part for me was to let go of any stories and figure out how to get out.

 

SLOW IT DOWN

Ironically enough this could have been part of my slide into the creative slump but I have recently learnt that firstly it’s OK to slow down and secondly it’s actually beneficial. From someone who’s gone through the phase of work, study and creative pursuit - I was CONSTANTLY creating out of guilt, having in my head “I need to be creating to keep up with (social media/appearances) because of work (insert reason)”. All the way over to the other end of the scale of prioritising time for myself, and blocking it out on my calendar to just go to the beach and read. Once I realised my head was going further into a dark space I wasn’t fond of I realised how important it is to stop, check in and see what’s happening (and if so, why), take some time to take care of myself and get in a better headspace (ie. Stop, you’re putting too much pressure on yourself) and then look at your options - for me, this was looking into working with a business coach again.

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DROP THE PRESSURE

My friends and I probably agree, I could confidently make myself the poster girl for putting pressure on yourself. The slump taught me that sometimes this can be something you pride yourself on, more so in terms of motivation levels but to not let it get to a dangerous level where if something doesn’t happen (or keeps not happening) to not beat yourself up, release control and remember why you started and what you’ve already achieved. A HUGE wake up call for me was when I’d hit my rock bottom - I was still receiving great opportunities, my I was so deep in my shit I wasn’t giving myself the opportunity to appreciate the amazing things properly. ALWAYS celebrate yourself.

 

WHAT NEXT?

I’m still in my what’s next process because I’m really taking care of this step and myself. What I’ve found most helpful is looking back at what my biggest achievements/projects/highlights have been and how I got there. For me - my highlight revolved around working with a business coach, I moved mountains and smashed ceilings like no bodies business and so early on. We’re capable of anything, literally, it’s just a matter of getting out of our own way or facing challenges (ie. slumps). Take some time and look at what keeps coming up, is there a pattern that you keep gravitating towards? What is going to get you inspired again?

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF REACHING OUT

I never saw myself as the kind of person to reach out or even feel the need to but after realising where I was (vs. where I wanted to be), I decided instead of showing face, to just be honest - and I wholeheartedly believe, it was not only reaching out, but the response I got that REALLY helped me start the next day as Day 1. So I wanted to share some of the most helpful things that came my way, and I’m sure you’ll see a running theme…

“Take the pressure off yourself a little. Sometimes the pressure to be creative, create meaningful things, create your best work yet can be debilitating. Start again small, creating for the sake of getting your hands dirty.”

“It’s just a pause button reminding you about life beyond the drawing table.”

“The best ideas and creative energy comes after a lul, just takes one spark.”

“It’s normal, you’re good, appreciate the downtime.”

Change a few things up, take a break, go explore

Show yourself some compassion

“Taking it one day at a time, recognising the triggers, be kind to yourself and surrounding yourself with good people is all you can do.”

“Sometimes some waves are bigger than others and last a little longer. Try not to let the worry set in as it won’t last for long. There’s nothing wrong with a reboot and looking after yourself. Schedule time in to look after you.”