What to do when you lose your passion

Knowing what to do when you lose your passion can feel like a lonely task. Passion is what has driven your career up to this point. As creatives we feel that we are linked to our talents, so losing our passion can feel incredibly uncomfortable, and difficult to talk to our peers about. 

I have been in this position myself, and I wish that social media had been around at the time, as it would have linked me to supportive creatives going through the same thing. If you are feeling this way right now, know that there are steps you can take. I can’t promise that it is going to be easy, but there are ways that you can manage the situation and get back on track.

Start with how you are feeling

  1. What are the feelings you are experiencing right now?
  2. Are you feeling fear or exhaustion, or a mixture of both?
  3. Where are those feelings coming from?
  4. Are you frightened of success?
  5. Are you comparing yourself to someone else?
  6. Have you set goals that are too difficult to reach at the moment?

Acknowledging where the feelings are coming from is the first step to moving forward and bringing your passion back. When I lost my passion it was linked to a fear of success. This was incredibly hard to talk to my peers about- because, hey, who doesn’t want success? Well, me apparently! The fear of being in the spotlight or having to deal with much bigger clients on my own sent me into a blind panic. It was also linked to burnout and comparing myself to others. If this is you, reach out to someone or a group that can support you. You can reach out to the Creative Women International community.

I talk more about the strategies that you can use next in the podcast, that you can listen to below.

Save those butterflies

  1. What made you passionate in the first place?
  2. What did those feelings feel like?
  3. Can you remember a particular moment you had them?

Hold onto those feelings and close your eyes to picture that moment. Really think about those feelings you had, and try to feel them again. I want you to recall those feelings every morning when you wake up. We are chemical beings and you can actually start to trick your body into believing that it is happy, sad, confident or passionate. Smiling can make us feel happier and actually reduce the stress that we feel in our body. As you recall those feelings, smile and hold onto the excitement that you felt. 

The next part of the strategy can be a hard one to deal with, so I want you to be honest and kind to yourself. Is this the path that you actually want to be on? I’m not talking about this moment of not feeling passionate, as no-one wants to live with these feelings for long, I’m talking about the moment before you lost your passion- was it what you really wanted to continue to do?

The next steps

If the answer is yes– brilliant- keep working on recalling those first feelings of passion, connect with other creatives for support, and use the worksheet to get you back to your passion.

If the answer is no– don’t feel bad. I know that is easy to say when I’m not the person who has realised that the career they were working towards isn’t the one they want to keep doing. Please know that I have been there more than once. It is an awful feeling to have, and I can’t tell you that that feeling is going to go away quickly. What I can tell you is that this is an exciting moment. I’m sure it doesn’t feel like it right now, but you are back to that childhood moment of being able to decide that you can become what ever you want to be.

There is a workbook to accompany this podcast that you can download here. It takes you through actionable steps to help you find your passion again, and deal with the uncomfortable feelings you are coping with at the moment.

Maybe you chose this career to please someone, like your parents. Or maybe you were told that you were an amazing painter and suddenly it became your career, when you wish that you had kept it as your hobby. None of these are the end of the world. We are all influenced by the people and environment around us.

The key is to find your own path, and be proud to walk it, no matter how tough it can be at times. If you are someone who is fuelled by passion (as I am) then it can be tough to lose it over night. It can come back, but you need to take gentle steps, a creative break, and time to reignite it. Know that you are not alone.

You might be interested in these other articles to help get you back on track. 

Getting over fear to reach your potential 

Dealing with imposter syndrome

Comparing your career will kill it