What I had to learn about consistency - 6 points
My experience with consistency and hoping it'll help you in your journey.
When it comes to the consistency it’s a very simple analogy that’s thrown around, just show up. Every day, show up and do the work that’s required of you. But often times that just doesn’t happen. Even if we do want to show up, there are those days when we just want to shut down and that fatigue and creative exhaustion then go on for a long time. Sometimes for days at a stretch.
I work with a lot of creatives, freelancers, and business owners and I’ve noticed the kind of creative burnout that they experience so often. It’s not only discouraging but bouncing back then requires a lot of effort.
When I had just started my career as a therapist and coach, especially when I started consulting and coaching business, I felt that simply knowing what I wanted would do the trick. All I would need to do was know what kind of work I wanted to do and things would just happen. To me, that’s what showing up really meant. In all honesty, I felt that just passion was more than enough to get going and it was certainly going to be easy to then show up.
Of course, that bubble burst really soon.
My experience with consistency has been tough. Each day has been a learning experience. In this article, I want to share some of my experiences with consistency and I hope it helps you in your journey as well.
Failure is natural and normal – No one likes failure. It’s a bitter experience. But I experienced failure many times during my journey personally and professionally. Initially, I took it very personally. There were a lot of self-doubts and I was getting impatient when things didn’t go the way I’d expected. Over the course of time, I realized that failure is natural and, in a way, it helps to take a step back and re-evaluate things. It gave me the space I needed to grow. When it comes to consistency, failure turned out to be one of the biggest motivating factors for me. Each failure was a reminder that I needed to pause and take a hard look at things. Of course, it came with a lot of practice and compassion. What really helped me was making a list of my failures and doing a reality check or a fact check. That always helped me bounce back sooner. Sometimes the fact check made me realize that I wasn’t failing per se but I needed to give it some more time.
Strive for competence instead of confidence – This was easily one of the biggest mindsets shifts that allowed me to show up each day. It’s quite common and natural to assume that confidence is key and enough to show up each day. However, I sooner realized that it’s actually competence that does the trick. In fact, what I learned was that it’s totally okay if one didn’t necessarily feel confident however competence can help build confidence over time. Practicing and learning were essential. It reduced the need for perfection and slowly with time I started feeling confident about what I was doing and showing up became easier.
Success is seasonal – I think once I understood that overnight success is a myth, my journey became a lot more fun and a lot less pressurizing. The concept or the notion that success needs to be instant has always really baffled me. Somehow, I’ve never been able to grasp this illusion that as soon as you get started, you’re going to be successful. To me, success has always been a very irregular phase. Sometimes success is fast and most times it has been tough and slow. It’s a gradual process and to reach where you’d like to reach is usually not linear. I feel I’m a lot more confident when success is slow and therefore consistent.
Comparison happens but is unnecessary – I’ve never really been competitive as a person and thankfully that has really helped me in my journey. I’ve always been comfortable with my pace. Having said that, I have fallen into the trap of comparison. Anytime I would come across people from my field doing the work I’m still trying to understand and do, I would feel a little left behind and feel saddened. I would almost unconsciously start to scrutinize my work and pace for a while. I would experience days of stagnation and eventually stop showing up. It would take me some time to go back and refocus and pay attention to the intention that got me started and re-evaluate my goals. Even today, when I experience a tingle of comparison creep in, I look at it as a sign of pausing and revisiting my intentions. It helps a great deal to then show up and do the work.
Rely on your intuition – In my experience, when you stay in alignment with your intuition, you make the right decisions and those decisions tend to catapult your journey. It’s not always easy to listen to your intuition when you’re scared and your limiting beliefs start to speak for yourself but it’s necessary to fade all that noise and rely on your intuition. I’ve made decisions where I ignored my intuition for whatever reason and that has always resulted in unfavourable outcomes that set me back in my journey. These outcomes naturally had a huge impact on my consistency and I would stop showing up. What always helps me is to go back to what my intuition feels and try to realign my mind and body.
Discipline over excuses – It’s a really traditional tip but discipline is very important when we’re speaking of consistency. I’ve noticed that procrastination happens when we’re too focused on perfection and outcome-oriented. When we tend to base our success on the outcome we potentially wish to achieve and in failing so, we start coming up with excuses which lead to procrastination and therefore there’s no consistency. In such moments, I think discipline really needs to take over. When we’re procrastinating, we’re thinking from our emotions instead of logic. And emotions have a tendency to pamper us. When we allow ourselves to use discipline compassionately over emotions we slowly start to rebuild and somehow find that motivation to keep at it.
These are some of the points that I learned about consistency. They’ve usually helped me. Of course, I tend to go through days when I need a minute to refocus. Sometimes I give in to the idea of procrastination and just laziness.
Consistency is an art that requires a lot of practice and intentional and mindful work. Fear and worry are normal and natural emotions when we’re trying to be consistent. But I’ve always believed that it’s better to take a mindful, albeit slow, action rather than ruminate.
I hope these points help you stay a bit more consistent when it comes to your journey.
I’d also like to gently remind you that if you’re interested in joining my coaching program so you don’t have to go at it all alone, please apply today. I work with creatives, business owners, and introverted and highly sensitive women to stay more productive, and confident, and manage difficult emotions, so they can feel more comfortable in their skin and attract the life they truly have been dreaming of living.
Thank you for reading!