Clear the Dust Off of Your Passion

by Alli Polin on June 28, 2013

Are you tired of working on your business instead of in it?

Sound familiar?  One day you are working in your business and enjoying every moment.  It’s fun, energizing, exciting work that lights you up and brings out yourClea best.  Then, it seems like over night, you’re spending less and less time in the business and shifting to working on the business.  Not quite as much fun, you begin to question if you want to keep it up or just give up.  What do you do now?

Here are five ways to clear the thick layer of dust off of your passion for your work and make room for more fun in your life.   Consider one or more of them and the impact it could have not only on your day-to-day effectiveness but also your happiness.

Shift Your Perspective

If your current perspective is “this sucks” clearly you need to tap into a more powerful perspective.  How do you do that?  Start by getting playful. Close your eyes for a sec and imagine what it would feel like if this were easy?  Really picture it – What are you feeling? Seeing? Sensing?  What if that could be your reality today?  What’s one thing you can to today to move one-step closer to “easy”?

Identify a Touchstone

Remember why you started the work in the first place?  Identify a physical object that connects you to your “why”.  Is it a picture, a bracelet, wisdom from a fortune cookie you stick in your wallet?  Whatever the right thing is for you, keep it around and look at it as a reminder of who you are, your passion and why you are brining your message to the world.


Marketing and admin sucking your last ounce of passion?  If you’re a solo practitioner, there are many amazing Virtual Assistants out there.  If you’re on a team, ask for help!  Shift some work and discover more time to re-ignite your flame of passion for the business and for your life.

Take a Break

I know that it’s crazy to consider, but you can take a break.  Ask yourself: Do I need to attend every tweet chat, blog seven days a week and attend that networking event that makes me yawn just thinking about it?  No.  Dial back to reconnect with YOU.  Have fun, smile more, hang out with people you love, close the laptop and start living again.

Look Deeper

When we’re stuck, uninspired and ready to give up there is usually something deeper at play than “I just don’t like the work.”  Without a doubt, taking the time to journey within and identify your self-limiting beliefs, your fears, and your dreams will change your responsiveness and engagement with others and your business.  Instead of constantly pushing up against a wall and being met with incredible resistance, identify the source of your resistance to open new possibilities.

Don’t be afraid to truly look within.  You have the answers and you may discover:

  • You love what you’re  doing and need to make some changes to your approach
  • A new passion and direction that inspires you
  • You’re tired and need more time to journey within before you can take inspired action in your business
  • Your exhaustion is a gift pointing you towards what’s next

Most importantly, don’t suffer alone.  In fact, just don’t suffer!  Find a partner who you can be honest with about how your feeling.  Seek out a trusted friend,  spouse or coach and start to talk about your experience and what’s missing.  The first step to change is recognizing that something needs to shift!   Speaking honestly and vulnerably about what’s going on for you is a stepping-stone to transformation.

“Success is not one size fits all and neither is the path that you must take.”  ~ Alli Polin (Click to Tweet)

Deep breath.  You’ve got this.  If something’s not working for you it’s never too late to make a change.

How do you get back on track personally and professionally when you’re feeling lost?

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

John Thurlbeck June 28, 2013 at 7:06 am

Alli ~ excellent post and some great tips and suggestions! My passion has never been higher, although I’ve to thank some great friends, like you, in #LeadWithGiants for that! Glad to see that you are firing on all cylinders, despite a very long haul flight, and hope you are having a fabulous time back in the USA! Have a brilliant weekend! Kind regards John 🙂


Alli Polin June 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

I agree, John! Connecting with others that share my passion makes mine soar too! Feels great to be home and reflect on life and leadership from the warmth and love of my family home. Appreciate you, John!


Gitty June 28, 2013 at 7:44 am

Great Read, and so true, i say Perfection is in Perception,
Notes on “identify the source of your resistance to open new possibilities.”
Thanks for the Great Thoughts


Alli Polin June 28, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thanks, Gitty! I love that: “Perfection is in Perception.” That definitely hits home for me. Appreciate your comment and sharing!


Jon Mertz June 28, 2013 at 8:35 am

Important points, Alli. It is really about attentive to ourselves and how we are becoming perceived by others. When we begin to recognize the negative changes, we can begin to figure out that we need to change and then find a new path to engage. Attentiveness leads to self-awareness, and we need to be sure we are both. We all need to be “dusted off” at times….. Jon


Alli Polin June 28, 2013 at 8:53 am


Great point on attentiveness. Change starts with self-awareness. We can go a looonnnnggg time in a rut and not even realize that’s what it is as we assume that is just what happens in work and life over time. Always appreciate your comments and your additions to the post!


Ali R. Rodriguez June 28, 2013 at 9:55 am

Spot-on, Alli, and hey, welcome home!


Alli Polin June 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Thanks so much, Ali! It’s great to be home. Had LOTS of time to think on the plane too – what a gift! 😉


Dan Oestreich June 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Hi Alli

You are bringing up such an important topic. I love it. For me, I often find that the slump is actually the beginning of a creative period. It’s there for a reason, an indication that a reset button needs to be punched.

There’s a great short business film by National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones, Everyday Creativity. In part of the film he makes the point that sometimes we’re simply using the wrong lens. He shows the difference between two pictures of a waterfall at Yosemite — the first one is boring, a postcard that’s not very interesting taken from much too far away. But then he redirects his attention toward what first caught his eye, a tree silhouetted against the falls, so he uses another lens, a telephoto to zero in on just the part of the scene that inspired him — and he creates a much stronger, more compelling photograph.

In the slump, it helps me to remember that example. I’m distracted and standing too far back. But there’s still something there. Something I truly want to work on. When I find that, and zero in, the slump seems to come to an end, and even the routine stuff becomes more sustainable.

Thanks for a wonderful — and energizing — post!



Alli Polin June 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm


What a great story to share. Thank you! Not only am I going to get my hands on Everyday Creativity but also call on the example that you have shared here as a reminder that I just need to change the lens I’m using – what I need to see is likely already in front of me.

Also, I love that you’ve pointed out that creativity and inspiration often comes in waves and that a slump can be the beginning of a creative period. So true that when we zero in on what inspires us, even the mundane isn’t so mundane anymore.

Sincerely appreciate your comment and the depth that your insights add to this post.


Lalita Raman June 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Look deeper is where I have been the past 2 days. And I don’t have all answers but yes has revealed some interesting reiterative insights. Some of these insights are not necessarily a different way of doing things but just a furter revelation of why one may be meeting with so much resistance

Possibly because you are not run of the mill and hold on to values and make that conscious choice in that moment.

Question I have is can you every time detach yourself from results even when you know that it has worked in areas but not sure how you have done that.

Thank you Alli

Somehow this post so resonates me with this moment and through some deep thinking that I have done in the past two days.

Thank you


Alli Polin June 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Lalita, I have been there too and like you, I don’t have all of the answers either. I think you’re right – It’s about seeing where we are in new ways that gives great insight into the resistance.

Definitely a journey. Glad to know people like you that are looking within for the answers too.

Appreciate you!


Lolly Daskal June 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Great post Alli

Look within you say, yes I believe that is important. it is the essence of our wisdom and the power of our intelligence.

Thanks for sharing your INsights with us.

I appreciate you greatly.
Lead From Within


Alli Polin June 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Lolly – I agree, we all have infinitely more power and wisdom that we realize… we just need to tap into it.

I appreciate YOU greatly!


Terri Klass June 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Hey Alli! I just returned from my inspirational France adventure and saw your wonderful post! Although I am not totally functional yet, I agree with shifting your perspectives to shake up things a bit. We get so stuck sometimes that we can’t see any new light filtering in. When that happens, I start exploring by reading or learning some new skill or technique. Leaders truly need to be lifelong learners and be willing to step out of their comfort zones to acquire new ways of doing things. Even picking up a book about a topic I have always wanted to learn about can get me motivated and over the hurdle. Looking forward to connecting!


Alli Polin June 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Great addition, Terri! Leaders are lifelong learners – right on! Learning consistently sparks new thinking for me. I love going to conferences too and applying new ideas to my current and rising challenges.

I’m THRILLED to be in NJ and can’t wait to connect with you!


Luke Roland June 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Hi Alli – I really like “identifying a touchstone.” I try to keep things around me that will remind me of my “why.” I find that when discouragement comes or when my passion is drained that having pictures around me as a reminder help to inspire me. Thanks for sharing!


Alli Polin June 29, 2013 at 10:15 am

Luke, That’s exactly what i’m talking about! Pictures can be incredibly powerful touchstones. I always wear a bracelet with words on it that connect me as well.

Really appreciate your sharing what you do – I think it will give others food for thought too.

Many thanks, Luke!


David Tumbarello June 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

It is strange that in leadership cirlces we talk so much about setting goals and being goal oriented. But I also agree with your words, Alli, that sometimes we just need a break so we can see with new eyes. So how do I resolve these two seemingly oppositional pieces of advice? Well, you mention one – being playful. But I would add that a goal should serve us, not us the goal. And also, when we shift perspective or take a break or identify the touchstone, we are being responsible to ourselves first, and then to the goal. Nurturing may be a better word (rather than responsible), but you get the point. I’m just thinking out-loud & thanks for the food for thought.


Alli Polin June 29, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Dave, I always appreciate your insights and perspectives. What you’ve added really rings true for me – our goals should serve us – it’s not just about having a goal. We always need to be responsible (and responsive) to ourselves. There is a huge difference to me between achieving a goal that we just “get through” to accomplish and one that lights us up, fuels our fire and makes us want to do even more.

Thanks Dave for getting me thinking too!


alyssa mendes July 4, 2013 at 1:12 am

Great article. I find the “take a break” aspect to be the most crucial and hardest part of a person’s passion. I definitely get caught up with the day to day things that take over my thoughts. I will try to continue to find time for myself and take the break. Thanks for bringing this point to light.


Alli Polin July 4, 2013 at 10:05 am

Alyssa – I find it really, really hard too! I’m always pushing and feel like if I back off, somehow all of my work will slip away. Still, without time to re-energize, I’m not giving or doing my best anyway. So glad you stopped here and I greatly appreciate your comment!


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