I enjoy writing. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog – I get the opportunity to write and share my ideas along with my personal story. And yet, today, the words aren’t flowing. My creativity has stalled out.
But that’s a lot like how real life works, isn’t it? Sometimes when we really need to create an amazing presentation or report or piece of software, the ideas don’t come. We wait… and hope… and wait some more. And so you try to make it work, even if it’s not your best idea, because you need something (anything!!) for the deadline.
If you’re like most people, that’s also how you approach your career development – waiting until something else forces you to take action in the form of updating your resume, applying for a job, editing your LinkedIn profile – and then the panic sets in and the ideas don’t come.
Stress has a funny (strange, not haha) way of reducing the quality of our work by hijacking our brains. When we are stressed, the fight-or-flight response is triggered and our body reacts to the perceived threat. This was helpful in bygone days when we needed that response to stay alive. Now it just makes the stressful task at hand all the more challenging because you don’t have all your wits about you.
So what should we do? How do we get back into creativity mode so we can do our best work, whether on a resume, an important presentation, or a blog post?
Wait a minute! I thought we were going to talk about how to generate brilliant ideas that make billions of dollars?!? Nope. It’s about putting in the work so that you can keep moving forward when the stress happens and the creativity slows down, since it happens to everyone.
Successful writers write everyday. Successful painters paint everyday. If you want to be successful in your career, you need to be taking action daily on those things that will make you successful. Make sure you’re communicating your value to your current and potential employers with your personal brand. Make updates to your resume and LinkedIn profile quarterly. Develop an impactful elevator pitch for when you get your shot to talk with your CEO or other leader.
As for me, I carry around a notebook and am daily jotting down ideas for my coaching clients, speaking gigs, and yes, even blog posts. Then, when inspiration refuses to strike, I still have a whole bunch of options to choose from.
Is this blog post a make or break moment for me? Probably not. But we can’t always predict which moments will be course altering until after they happen. Wouldn’t you rather be ready for whatever the future might bring? I know I would!