You may have been asked the question before “What would you do if you could not fail?”
Recent cultural shifts have inspired us to pursue passion projects and go after our wildest dreams. However, there is a practical dilemma to consider when it comes to living out our purpose: how do we nurture our passions when we have bills to pay?
How to Uncover Your Passions
One of the first questions you should ask yourself is what is the passion that you wish to nurture? Some of us have a clear idea of what ignites us, but many are left with a longing to connect to our true passion. Discovering what fuels us doesn’t have to be complicated. Your passion doesn’t need to be this grand, newsworthy statement and there doesn’t need to be one singular thing that you are passionate about. What is most important is focusing on the little things that bring you joy and excitement. You can begin to discover your passions by asking yourself these three questions (taken from our Dig Deeper Journal):
- What makes you lose track of time?
- What is something you are talented at?
- What is your favorite topic to talk about?
Look to your inner child
Our younger years were often the time when we were truest to ourselves. We were not concerned with what others thought of us, how we were going to make ends meet, or the complications that come with being an adult. Take a moment to reflect on your childhood. How were your favorite moments spent as a child? What did you want to be when you grew up?
We asked this question recently over on Instagram. Here’s what one follower replied:
Shanel: “I’ve always wanted to be an art teacher, now I own my jewelry and candle business”
Getting in touch with and healing your inner child serves as the foundation for an adult life well-lived. For many of us, connecting with our inner child can be a difficult thing to do. If you also find this relatable, our post on healing your inner child may be for you.
Ask yourself this question: If you had an all-paid two-week vacation, what would you do?
The answer to this question just may contain some hidden passions you were unaware of!
If you would relax on a beach, or lounge at an all-exclusive resort, your passions might include activities that bring about peace and tranquility. Using your creativity in a quiet manner or working with your hands may be something you find enjoyable. Passions you may enjoy nurturing are:
- Knitting or crocheting
- Making a cosmetic or wellness product
- Designing jewelry
If you opt for a getaway a bit more action-packed like sightseeing or skiing, you may have passions that get you to mobilize yourself or others such as:
- Volunteer work
- Creating content
- Joining an adult sports league
- Taking fitness classes
- Organizing meet-ups or social groups
How to Begin Nurturing Your Passions
Visualization is a crucial step in nurturing your passions. Envisioning what nurturing our passions looks like encompasses many aspects of our daily lives. Taking a holistic approach to setting and achieving personal goals starts from within. Visualization comes from a place of inspiration and devotion to self.
Assess where you’d like to start
Is nurturing your passion something that already fits into your routine, or is a game plan in order?
Grab a notebook and ask yourself the following questions:
- Where would I like my passions to take me?
- How much of my time would I like to dedicate to nurturing my passions?
- What time of the day am I working on my passions?
- What is an ideal daily routine that involves my passion project?
- How will I balance my 9-5 and my passions?
Remember that the possibilities truly are endless, there are no bounds to what you can achieve. That said, take your visualization a step ahead. Only focusing on the positive aspects of achieving your goals is one thing - but planning for obstacles is another. Visualize potential obstacles and setbacks, but also envision yourself overcoming them. This mental preparation can make you more resilient in the face of challenges.
Set realistic goals for yourself
Big dreams don’t become accomplished overnight. Realistic goal setting involves meeting yourself where you are. Start small with small, achievable goals and build up from there.
Make goals specific and attainable
The best goals are specific and easy to accomplish. Think of the 5 W’s:
Who: Who am I achieving this goal for? Is there anyone I may need to collaborate with to help reach this goal?
What: What is the goal exactly? How will I know, without doubt, that I’ve achieved it?
When: What day of the week, time of day, or how often am I setting this goal?
Where: Where will I complete this goal? Do I have to make special arrangements to complete it like setting a quiet, distraction-free space, or driving to a different location?
Why: Why am I setting this goal? What is my motivator here?
Specific and attainable goals may look like:
- I will spend 30 minutes each morning practicing yoga on my patio
- After six months of practicing yoga 30 minutes a day, I will sign up for a teacher certification course at my local studio
- Instead of spending one hour every night on social media, I will spend it networking on LinkedIn, leading me to my next mentor
- I will devote one hour each Wednesday morning before work to learning how to build a website so that I can promote my photography
- This month I will do one thing every day that gets me out of my comfort zone, I have a list of items in my journal to get me started
How to Turn Your Dreams Into Reality
Turning dreams into reality is made possible one step at a time. Dedicate time each day or week to make progress Remember that is a journey, and it may not always follow a linear path. Embrace the process, stay committed, and give yourself credit for going after what fuels you.
Meeting and maintaining your goals
Visualization is a powerful tool, but it should be combined with practical action and commitment to achieving your goals. Developing methods to keep you on track and encouraged will help you nurture your passion while maintaining a 9-5.
Invest in your passions
There’s no underestimating the benefits of investing in yourself. Investing in your passions is simply an extension of investing in yourself. While investments will look different for each person, some ways we can nurture our passions are:
- Trying a new class
- Starting a free trial for an online program
- Buying equipment related to our passion (like a camera or lighting)
- Joining a coaching program
- Investing time into our passion projects
Our time is a non-renewable resource, and how we spend is something to take seriously. Investing your time is just as important, if not more, than financial investments. Keeping track of your time will help you find the time to nurture your passions while you still have bills to pay.
Monthly Time Management
Over the course of the month, how would you like to see your passions nurtured? Mapping out your month is one way to set yourself up for success. Looking at the month ahead helps you plan week-by-week, and so forth. Start each month by planning out the big things.
- Monthly goals you want to meet
- Any classes, webinars, or meet-ups you wish to attend
- Any important dates to keep in mind
- Time set aside to relax
- Any potential schedule conflicts - catching this early will save you a headache later
Weekly Time Management
Be sure to check in with yourself on a weekly basis. Assess your state of mind, energy levels, and what you accomplished. Ask yourself:
- What benchmarks can you use to measure whether your weekly goals are met?
- How many days a week did I hit my daily goal?
- How do I feel at the end of the week? Do I feel stressed? Am I Wishing I did more?
- How am I managing with my other commitments? Am I still taking care of myself?
Daily Time Management
Shop Daily Focus Notepad
How are your daily 24 hours being used? Be sure to allot time each day for:
- Commute/working hours
- Time for your passion/goals
Keep Yourself Encouraged
Staying consistent takes effort. Sometimes we need a daily reminder of who we are and where we’d like to be. Using Sticky Notes is a great way to write yourself notes of encouragement. Remember: No one is like you, and no one can do exactly what you can.
Affirmations you can repeat daily are:
- I have the energy and passion to make my dreams a reality
- I am committed to living my life passionately
- It is easy for me to believe in myself
- I face challenges with a determined spirit
- I choose to use my disappointments to motivate me further
Turning Your Passion Into a Career
If one of your goals is to turn your passion into a career, we get you. Our Story began when CEO and founder Nya Jones found herself on a personal journey to become more intentional with her life. At Inside Then Out we want to encourage our community to believe in themselves and nurture their passions however they see fit.
Leaving your full-time job to completely nurture your passions may not feel feasible. Taking small steps towards turning your passion into your full-time profession is a way to ease into your ideal lifestyle. Here are some tips to get you started:
Start a side hustle
- Create a simple business plan outlining your side hustle's goals, target audience, pricing strategy, and marketing plan. Having a clear plan will help you stay focused and organized.
- Don't try to do everything at once. Begin with a small-scale version of your side hustle to test the waters and learn as you go. As you gain experience and confidence, you can expand.
- Develop a marketing strategy to reach your target audience. Use social media, email marketing, and word-of-mouth referrals to generate interest in your side hustle.
- Once you see consistent success and have the resources, consider scaling up your side hustle. This could involve hiring help, expanding your product or service offerings, or entering new markets.
Finding new work opportunities
If possible, adding a part-time job in addition to your current employment is a way to bring in more cash and learn about the field you are interested in. There are many part-time jobs that can fit into your schedule and nurture your passions. For example:
- If you love to dance, you can work as a receptionist in a dance studio
- If you wish to be a full-time artist, you can teach at your local art studio on weekends
- If you love gardening or plants, you can work part-time at a nursery
An avenue to consider is finding a career path you can switch over to completely that will help you nurture your passion such as:
- Working remotely so you can nurture your love of travel
- Taking a job in a different country or state to be closer to a location-specific dream of yours
- Taking a job that encourages you to build skills needed for your own passion project, like social media marketing or sales
Network and collaborate with others
Without an “in” paving your way in a new industry can seem daunting. What’s reassuring is that you can make a space for yourself in any industry, no matter who you are. When you really think about it, these people share the same passions as you, they are your community too. There are plenty of people out there who want to share their passions with others, waiting to be connected.
Did you know we have a Facebook group? Join our Insiders Community to connect with others, have meaningful discussions, and more!
Find your niche
Identify the individuals or groups you want to connect with. This could include professionals in your industry, peers with similar interests, mentors, or potential employers. Facebook groups and LinkedIn communities are both great ways to connect with people from anywhere in the world. Sending out a quick but friendly message to profiles that meet the criteria of your ideal connection can go a long way.
Get out of your comfort zone
Do not be afraid to put yourself out there. Getting out of your comfort zone is known to boost creativity, make you more adaptable, and strengthen your self-esteem. Attend social functions related to your interests. These events provide opportunities to meet like-minded people who can help with your new venture. Remember that a simple hello and handshake can go a long way. Networking is about building genuine relationships, not just collecting contacts. A relaxed attitude and genuine interest in what others have to say will set you apart from the crowd.
Be patient and persistent
Remember that overnight success is a myth. Have grace with yourself as you navigate pursuing your passion. Taking your life into your own hands is an act of bravery. Be proud of the work you do and the attempts you make towards a more purposeful way of living.
So, how do you nurture your passions when you have bills to pay? We’ve found that the answer can be broken down into four main points:
- Discovering your passion can be simple and innate. The first step to understanding what you are passionate about is taking the time to dig a little deeper with yourself.
- Visualize how you’ll approach the path to nurturing your passions. Assess where you are currently and where you’d like to be. Set goals accordingly.
- Turn your dreams into a reality. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. Use tools to manage your time and stay motivated.
- Making your passion your career is completely up to you. Start small and find your tribe along the way. The world is filled with passionate people just like you - but remember that there is no one who can offer what you have.