This Roadblock Has Been Holding Me Back

Roy Furr here again with my final issue of The Writer's Life for the week.

You may not have guessed it by the positive tone of my previous articles this week, but I have something that's been holding me back. And I want to talk about it today because I think it's instructive.

I think it can help you accomplish more.

And I think that I, for one, often spend a lot of time in what I write teaching you based on success. When often what we learn from failure can be more instructive.

So about what's holding me back.

Recently, due to a number of factors, my work has slowed down … Dramatically. Not the volume of work I need to do. But what I'm actually doing.

I think a lot of things have contributed …

 … There have been a lot of unanswered questions on projects and contracts. I've convinced myself I can't move forward until someone else answers a question.

 … There've also been a lot of meetings. Waiting for meetings to move forward on a project can kill momentum.

 … And personal commitments – no matter how much we try, as freelancers it's almost impossible to draw a hard line between work life and home life.

 … To top it all off, there's simply been a lot of apathy I've let take a hold of me. I'm not quite sure where it came from … But I've let it build.

This all adds up to not getting much done.

Maybe you've been there.

It's easy to stew in it all. It's easy to let it all get to you. But because as freelancers and solo business owners we "eat what we kill," this can stymie our business.

We rely on productivity for our income. We need to be able to continue to produce, day in and day out. What we may get away with in a 9-to-5 simply doesn't cut it when we're our own boss.

If we slack off today, it may not be tomorrow we start to feel the pain. So it's easy to slack off again tomorrow. But then today and tomorrow become a week … Maybe a month … And our business starts to suffer.

Our checks for current projects fall off. Royalty streams can dry up. And then we're left wondering if we were ever cut out for this freelance thing to begin with.

Okay, so I may be taking it a little far. But that's what your mind does when you're in one of these slumps.

It becomes a huge roadblock getting ever harder to bust through.

But you know what?

I busted through it!

I realized that being stuck in one particular project, I'd focused all my time and energy on that subject. And it was a heavy subject – the national debt. Even the time I'd normally spend at the beginning of the day learning new marketing strategies or motivating myself was being dedicated to learning more about the debt and its effect on the economy.

It's no wonder I was in the dumps! I'd spent all this time I normally spend on very positive things focusing on a negative subject. It was bringing me down.

So even though I have to keep moving forward with this project, I decided to set aside my time again to focus on positive things. Learning more about marketing and copywriting. Motivating myself. Setting aside work in the evenings to have fun with my wife and son. And working out – because mental and physical fitness are so closely connected.

The results were amazing. Within a few days, I found it easier to get to work every morning on the tough subjects. Because I was also spending adequate time on easier, lighter subjects.

My productivity came back.

And my positive mood came back with it.

If you get in the dumps while working on a particular project or trying to break through a roadblock, think about where you have positive energy coming from and focus your attention there for the time being.

It worked for me – and now, looking back, I know it's worked for me in the past, too.

Just think about how it might work for you.

And try it next time you need it! Then feel free to share with me by commenting below.

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Published: June 17, 2011

5 Responses to “This Roadblock Has Been Holding Me Back”

  1. Great article Roy! I had this same thing a few month ago -- if only I'd had your insights then I could have saved myself a ton of lost time. But I too focused on the positive things - took up studying the AWAI programs again, focused my energy on the positive things by reading good writings and picked up the exercise thing again (although I'm still working on this - ha!).

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Shawn Maus

  2. The perfect words at the perfect time. Sitting here in my housecoat, at least 3 articles half done and thinking about exercise. Just not doing it. And I do know it works. Being active and remembering to bring gratitude and positive thinking into my life gets me back into that creative MoJo flow. Great stuff. I am off to get my caboose out into the sunshine.

    Thanks Roy.

    Guest (Vicky)

  3. Great coaching-fabulous perspective!
    I am in other training also, which requires heavy subject reading; and does it ever "weigh you down"! Focus on the life-giving peices of your life, and, yes, (same as the comment before), there is nothing like exercise to lighten your soul! Thank you for your article! :D

    Guest (Josie)

  4. Thanks, Roy, this was well-written and a good message for freelancers. I've been on my own for many years and it's good to share the challenges of keeping yourself going. As well as your solutions.

    Guest (Lucy)

  5. Thanks for the advice. Now I have a plan in place for next time I'm in the dumps.

    MaryAnna Rose

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