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Passion is a powerful emotion that inspires us to do wonderful things. Pursuing a passion or doing the things we are passionate about brings emotional fulfillment like nothing else.
It feels amazing to be doing something that you feel like you’re supposed to be doing; something that lights up your world and makes the hard work worthwhile.
But what do you do when you feel your passion waning? After all, passion is a peak in the emotional spectrum, and it’s difficult to stay on a peak without periodically falling off it. Bad days and hard times can really disrupt that passion.
It can also be much less pleasurable once the reality of that passion sinks in. Plenty of passions have a lot of tedious, hard work attached to them.
But there are some ways to reach that peak of fulfillment and regain your passion for something when you seem to have lost it.
1. Take a break.
Too much of anything is never good. You may be feeling less passionate about something because you are tired or burned out. No one can burn brightly all the time. Trying to will just consume your energy and wellness until you feel sluggish and unable.
Take a break from your passion. Set it down, don’t think about it, don’t worry about it, and put it completely out of mind for a while. Then pick it back up later. Once you pick it back up later, make sure to incorporate regular breaks in your schedule to not exhaust yourself again – that means breaks from everything in general, but also short breaks away from your passion.
You may also be too focused on your passion and neglecting other areas of your life. For example, maybe a person with a passion for gardening goes into the business of landscaping. They sometimes work twelve hours a day, five or six days a week to make a living from the business. They live, eat, sleep, and breathe landscaping because not only is it their passion, it’s also their job.
How long do you think it would take for that business owner to burn out? Sure, they love gardening and landscaping, but doing any one thing for thousands of hours is going to take a toll. It’s going to kill their love and passion for the thing that they’re doing. They’re going to need breaks. They will need other interests and passions to not burn up all the fuel they have for gardening.
2. Set different goals within your passion.
You may be suffering from a lack of passion because of monotony. It’s hard to stay bright and passionate about doing the same thing over and over and over again. Variety may help spark your creativity and get you back into the proper flow of things.
What kind of goals can you set that will help your passion? Is there anything adjacent that could help expand your horizons? For example, let’s say you’re a painter of watercolors. Watercolors are what you do. Maybe it’s time to take a class on oil painting and see what you can create in that medium!
Maybe you’ll find a new passion by supplementing your old passion.
3. Contemplate why you started.
A work of passion isn’t always about what you can get out of it. Sometimes passion is fueled because we simply feel strongly about a thing. It may not be artistic or profitable. It may not provide much in the way of extra bonuses or even feeling good.
For example, a person may be passionate about volunteering to help suicidal people, but chances are they will not be skipping happily out of a call center at the end of the day.
It’s also easy to get pulled in different directions when pursuing your passion alongside other people. There’s always various bits of work that need to be done, errands that need to be taken care of, things that are essential if you are to accomplish the main aim of your passion. And those other activities may not provide the same kind of emotional fulfillment as the core passion itself.
You may be able to get back in touch with that by going back to why you started in the first place.
For example, a person who feels inspired to help others may be driven by the times they had no one. They may need to go back to what originally sparked their passion. That might involve contemplating their own loneliness, the path they took to get where they are now, and the people that helped them. Or maybe they can get more hands-on by helping people more directly than they have been lately when their attention has been pulled elsewhere.
4. Tap into your sense of purpose.
A sense of purpose ties in with that feeling of motivation. Some people are lucky enough to have a strong “Why?” behind their passions and goals. They feel called or compelled to do a particular thing because it just fuels a fire that burns inside of them.
But, again, that is something that you can end up distancing yourself from. Other responsibilities pile up. Life happens. It’s easy to get pulled away from that sense of purpose if you don’t take care to work in tune with it. Staying in tune with it may require more contemplation and different goals than you’ve been pursuing.
And if you don’t have a sense of purpose, you can try to push your mind into that direction on your own. You can decide, “I want this to be my purpose,” and then start doing the work that is required for you to get there. You may find that your brain creates that passion and purpose as a side effect of doing the work.
5. Schedule time to focus on your passion.
Are you spending enough time with your passion? Life can get so busy at times. We have all of these responsibilities and worries bearing down on us. There are bills to pay, meals to cook, family to take care of, deadlines to meet, and that unending pile of laundry that never seems to exhaust itself.
All of these things and more will push in on your personal time and schedule. That’s why you need to make sure that you are creating time in your busy schedule to actually do the things that spark your passion. Write it directly into your schedule as self-care time if you need to. Nurturing your emotional and mental health by doing the things that bring you joy is important.
6. Focus on positives.
Sometimes we undermine our own pleasures in life by focusing too much on the negatives. Nothing is ever going to be perfect. Not your life, not your passions. There will always be some negative things popping up here and there to try to drag you down.
An optimistic attitude and focus on more positive aspects of your passion can help keep that light burning. Sure, problems will come and go, but you don’t need to ruminate on them. Instead, you can just let them go and keep moving forward toward the brighter things you want to experience about your passion.
7. Try something new.
Burnout is one thing. Maybe you’ve been doing something that brings you a lot of passion for a long time, you need a break from it, and can get back to it at a later point in time.
But what if that doesn’t work? Well, it may also be that your passion for a particular thing has just run its course.
Maybe it’s time for you to try something new and different altogether. Maybe it’s time to set that passion aside and look for new experiences. People get tired and bored of things, particularly if they’ve been doing them for a long time. There’s nothing wrong with that.
8. Look for a change of environment.
Perhaps it’s not so much that you’ve lost your passion, but maybe you’ve been drained of your passion. A toxic environment or people can do more to kill your enjoyment of an activity than just about anything else.
A common example is competitive online video gaming. If you’re an online gamer, you already know exactly what we’re talking about. If you’re not, let us explain. Any game with even a hint of a competitive nature will devolve into a toxic cesspool in no time.
It doesn’t matter if the game has been out for a decade or fifteen minutes, there will be people insulting you, your family, throwing racial slurs, claiming you’re a hacker, and just about anything else they can come up with.
Most people can’t have fun in that kind of environment. It drives away emotionally healthy, balanced people who don’t tolerate that kind of behavior or even people who are just looking to have a good time.
Consider the environment where you are practicing your passion. Is it an environmental issue? Is it the people that you’re around? You may be able to reignite your passion with a change of environment.
This goes for a job or career you are/were passionate about too. If your boss is not particularly uplifting, or outright negative about the company or the job you are doing, it can kill the passion you once had for what you do. Other toxic colleagues or an overly toxic environment in general can do the same. Finding a new place to work might be like night and day in terms of your experience – you may experience a sudden rejuvenation of your passion by virtue of being in a more positive environment.
9. Don’t get sucked into a competition if you don’t want to.
Speaking of competition, you may find your passion waning if this was just a fun thing for you that was pushed into more. We are constantly surrounded by messages of hustle culture. What are you doing as a side hustle? Turn your passion into a side hustle so you can make more money!
Well, maybe your passion isn’t mean to be a side hustle. Not everything you do needs to make money. You’re allowed to have passions and hobbies that don’t require you to compete or make money.
And some people are just terrible about turning everything into a competition, whether it needs to be or not. Let’s go back to that previous example of online video gaming. Some people turn group activities that aren’t competitive by nature into competitions for no other reason than their own ego or lack of self-esteem. They stand to gain literally nothing by competing. Instead, they use their performance as a reason to beat the other players over the head with how much they suck.
Is it competition that is hurting your passion? Are you comparing yourself to the performance of other people instead of finding fulfillment in your activity? Is competition something that you are imposing on yourself? Or are other people forcing it on you? You don’t have to play that game with anyone if you don’t want to. All you have to do is say, “I’m not interested in competing.” and back away from it.
You don’t have to be the best at anything or everything. Just participating can provide fulfillment, happiness, and fuel your passion.
10. Accept that your passion might not turn out how you envisioned.
Sometimes our dreams don’t align with reality. In fact, that’s probably true more often than not. Your passion may be something you had a clear picture of in your mind, but that picture didn’t necessarily line up with the reality of the passion. That disconnect can drain and kill passion pretty quickly.
Let’s give you a real-world example to better explain this.
Let’s say that Sally is passionate about animals. She absolutely loves animals in all forms, big and small, and wants to go into veterinary science to help animals. The unfortunate part of an animal lover going into veterinary science is that they need to deal with watching animals suffer all the time.
Furthermore, they may be called upon to do things like putting to rest abused animals that are beyond saving. They have to deal with people who don’t value their pets or animals as living creatures but as possessions to be used and discarded when they see fit.
That’s something that people don’t really consider when they have a passion or feel moved to go into some kind of helping career. To be a helper, you have to witness suffering regularly, and you have to find a way to be okay with that; otherwise, it will burn you out and snuff your passion. So for some people, they have to find a way to keep that flame blazing on their own because appreciation or thanks can be rare.
11. Avoid turning your passion into your identity.
Some people lose their passion by turning it into their identity. In doing so, they lose bigger pieces of themselves or fail to continue personally growing. Instead, they throw all of their energy into that passion and neglect nurturing the rest of their person.
Let’s say, for example, Valerie wants to be a scientist. She’s wanted to be a scientist since she was a little girl. She loves everything about the process of science, the knowledge, learning, and the nature of the field. She throws herself totally into it. She is constantly studying, devouring material, and striving to be recognized as an expert in her field.
She spends so much time working to be a scientist that other parts of her life and self get neglected. She’s not exercising or eating well – hard to find time for that when she has to meet these deadlines. She’s not nurturing her friends or building relationships – that takes time that she just doesn’t have with all of her work responsibilities.
And she focuses on her passion for years, which can take her professional life to great heights! Well, assuming everything goes as she hopes. But maybe it doesn’t. Maybe she gets burned out after a few years of dealing with academia. Maybe she hates the ‘publish or perish’ competition that is involved in securing funding, which may not always be the most ethical or honest thing to do. Or maybe she gets struck with a medical issue that heavily interferes with her ability to be Valerie the Scientist, and she can’t be a scientist anymore.
Passion is wonderful, but it can’t be the only thing. Passion won’t replace all of the other pieces of being human. That passion won’t be reliable for the rest of your life. It may wax and wane. It may decrease. External factors you can’t control may totally upset your ability to pursue your passion.
Well, then you have to find a new passion or try to reignite the old one, which is much easier said than done.
12. Talk to a mental health professional.
Do you find that you’ve just lost passion for one thing? Or is it many things? Because if it’s many things, it may be that you are dealing with stress or depression that is negatively impacting your ability to feel your emotions.
If that’s the case, then you should consider talking to a mental health professional about what you’re experiencing. These kinds of issues typically don’t fix themselves. You may need some additional help from a qualified professional.
Depression is a sneaky thing. It can creep up on you and slowly drain the color and joy out of your life until one day you look around and ask yourself, “What happened?”
Unfortunately, there are many stressful situations out there that people are dealing with. They can most certainly fuel depression and hamper your passion. Talking to a professional is a good path to take if you have a hard time feeling happy or passionate about anything.
Still not sure how to get that passion that you once had back? Speak to a life coach today who can walk you through the process. Simply click here to connect with one. Or if you think your lack of passion is down to a mental health issue such as stress or depression, click here to consult with a counselor.
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