We often feel like giving up. When you write a book or a blog, you wonder if anyone is reading your work. If you’re in a job, you wonder if your hard work will ever be recognised. What can you do when despair creeps in? Just keep showing up.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling novel Eat, Pray, Love, says this: As a writer, you cannot accept full responsibility for the success or failure of your work. The ancient Greeks believed in a muse that sometimes chose to visit a writer. When that happened, the work was an inspired success. If not, the worker just had to keep on working. Your muse may not show up, but YOU must.
When to keep showing up
Here are some possible situations when you don’t feel like showing up. Bear in mind that there’s nothing wrong with this, so guilt is not necessary if any or all apply to you. They certainly all apply to me:
When our livelihood is at stake, it’s easy to show up even when we don’t feel like it. When it comes to voluntary work, it’s all too easy not to. So just keep showing up to your projects or chosen charities. Remember why you do what you do.
It’s easy to plead out of spending time with the people we love. “I have to work” is usually accepted as a valid excuse, so that’s the one we use most often, even when we don’t really have to work.
There are so many excuses for this one – weather, fatigue, injury, lack of time, and of course, work.
Just keep showing up
So when your muse drops in to inspire you, go with the flow. But when she’s nowhere to be found, just keep showing up.
The novel Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia is a balm for the soul and also highly entertaining.