How To Find Inspiration When You Need It

MonkeyI have been looking for clues as to what genuinely inspires me. And I found it when a colleague did not like a suggestion I made. There it was. The answer. Right in front of me. Now- does this hold true for you? Is this a key to your inspiration?

“You must get closer to the client work,” I encouraged my colleague, who spends most of his time ‘managing’ business issues. He looked uneasy. Silent. “What’s up? Is there a problem with that?” I asked, perplexed. “Well,“ he replied hesitantly. It’s just that…the client work thing… it’s kind of not what I do these days… I am just, well, not sure I am able to do it anymore.”

And there it was. The secret to inspiration. You see, it was clear what my colleague needed to do. It would absolutely revitalise and inspire the pants off him. Here it is. Hold true for you too? Sure does for me.

To truly thrive, learn what makes you uncomfortable- and then attack it- head on.

If we duck and weave away from what makes us uncomfortable, that feeling of inadequacy, of being a little second rate, not good enough, a pretender- it builds. It seeps under the skin. It puts doubts into your head. It becomes part of what the Buddhists call the ‘chattering monkey’ that is the mind, our thoughts.

There is another way.

It needs a little courage. But when you get started, it becomes addictive. Here it is.

  1. Write down the stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable. Write down the feeling. How does it make you feel? Why does it make you feel that way?
  2. Then make a plan to push yourself into that ‘discomfort zone.’ How can you expose yourself to those circumstances over the next few weeks?
  3. Take action- schedule them. Make it happen.

When you tackle discomfort, your heart races, the endorphins flow, you’re alert, right on the edge, and – here’s the rub- you feel alive! And when you walk away from that discomfort zone, having had the courage to go over its threshold, your head is held high, shoulders back, spirits soar. “Well done, my darling. Well done. It wasn’t all good- but you took the step forward- and I am so proud of you.” That’s the chattering monkey again, in our minds, but this time- it is giving us love.

Most of all, it’s just simply INSPIRING.

Don’t delay. Don’t miss out. Don’t allow yourself to feel second rate. Or end up, like me, with regrets.

Expand your comfort zone often, but not as much that you feel overwhelmed.

And remember- it is not easy. It will involve stumbles and setbacks. And that’s ok. Really it is. You see …… Struggle is the evidence of progress.

Little steps of progress- big licks of inspiration– all to be found in stepping into your discomfort zones. Give it a go! Back yourself. You won’t regret it.

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21 Responses to How To Find Inspiration When You Need It

  1. Deborah September 10, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Thanks Chris
    I think I need to read this blog each month to feel inspired to tackle things that are put to the bottom of the list.
    BTW – did you see your brother Greg’s comments about you – “… a long, boring monologue on the advertising industry” – one way of getting traffic to your blog!
    All the best

    • Chris Savage September 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

      Yes Deborah~ I did see his comments! In his defence he did show them to me prior to publication. He keeps stalking me for content ideas for his blog as he has very few himself. (Just joking!). Thanks for reading Possums!

  2. Sally Mlikota September 10, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    How true… I recently joined a local Toastmasters… been putting if off for years, but if you don’t make a commitment…. and don’t step out of your comfort zone, life gets stagnant and boring, and nothing changes… Oh and I hate running, but have have just signed up for a 10km run in November… it will be slow, but I will,

    • Chris Savage September 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

      Good for you, Sally. Good luck with the run. Chris

  3. Drue Castanelli September 10, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Great read Chris. Let’s all look to challenge the ‘chattering monkey’

    • Chris Savage September 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      Thanks Drue!

  4. Don Anderson September 10, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    The corollary of this is something I have been driving my daughters nuts with for years (just ask Danii) – “there is no growth in your comfort zone”.

    • Chris Savage September 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks Don! Great quote. Chris

    • Danii Ashton September 11, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Yes Dad.

      • Chris Savage September 11, 2014 at 10:49 am #

        Danii- always forgive your parents!

  5. Richard Sauerman September 10, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. That’s always been my modus operandi. Richard 🙂

    • Chris Savage September 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks Richard! Agree though do it very infrequently.

  6. Victoria Simpson September 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Your blogs are always seem to be timed to land in my inbox when I need them most. I’ve been trying to make a life decision recently – if I go one way it will definitely push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me more than ever (which has been scaring me!). And if I go the other way, I’ll stay in a particularly comfortable situation that rarely challenges me and thus leaves me pretty bored – I know what to do now. Thank you for your continual inspiration Chris!

    • Chris Savage September 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

      Thanks Victoria. Glad it helped. Chris

  7. Alida Robinson September 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    There is also that other saying which goes “If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space”. I like that one though I have to say that it does get scary when you lose your balance and look like falling into the abyss. However I’ve always wanted to fly so maybe we should all get some wings. Love the blog. Thanks Chris.

    • Chris Savage September 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      Alida- thanks for that. Wings indeed! Chris

  8. Lawrence September 11, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Great talk in Melbb yesterday. Can relate to your 7 yo boy from Camps Bay, being a 7yo from Wynberg 🙂 Great story

    • Chris Savage September 11, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Thanks Lawrence!

  9. Andrew Rogerson September 11, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    An interesting article. Perhaps an article I just wrote compliments yours. Perhaps sometimes we trying to do too much and need to focus more on what we enjoy and what brings us results as opposed to trying to do too much that others could do better than us, that is, we need to find and follow our genius –

  10. Clare Robinson September 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Excellent as always – love the thought of finding the ‘discomfort zone’, stepping in then reflecting on the experience. As they say this is where the growth happens. This provided me with some inspiration this week so thought I’d share
    Elizabeth Gilbert on ‘forget passion, find curiosity’, thanks again Chris

    • Chris Savage September 15, 2014 at 9:16 am #

      Thanks Clare. Like the Huff piece very much. Chris

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