So… You went to the recent Killer Tribes conference. And I didn’t.
I’m totally not jealous. Really.
Who am I kidding? 😉
It’s ok–I’m working through it. I’ll be alright.
Seriously: so you went to the conference, heard some excellent speakers, networked, and left pumped up–excited about growing your blog/tribe/platform.
That’s great. Really! You had a mountaintop experience. (By the way, I totally didn’t sit around at home, moping in my jammies, listening to Katie Herzig’s I Hurt, Too cranked to 11, as I followed your tweets. Did
n’t happen). 😉
But your mettle is soon to be tested, and the rubber of your new enthusiasm will shortly meet the road of life.
This is entirely normal. Don’t be discouraged. Steven Pressfield calls this the “resistance.” And it’s simply a part of the cycle of life. Perhaps as creative people we feel life more intensely, and are more prone to these dips?
I don’t know. What I do know is that it happened to no less a person than the prophet Elijah:
After this great victory:
“Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.” (1 Kings 18:38-40, ESV).
“Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow. Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.” (1 Kings 19:2-3, ESV).
So, as I said above, you–like Elijah–had a mountaintop experience. It was truly a high–perhaps one of the best experiences of your life. Also like Elijah, your inevitable “dip” is coming. You will wonder was it worth it–why am I killing myself to follow my dream?
Count on it, embrace it.
As they say: forewarned is forearmed.
It could be that this won’t be your experience at all, but somehow, someway, everyone eventually hits a wall.
Why is this?
(I could talk here about excitement, endorphins, adrenaline, etc.–but you know about that, and the simply cyclical nature of such things: what goes up, must come down).
The profoundly simple answer is: life rarely takes place on the mountaintops, but rather in the valleys. In the slog and grind of doing the work, of staying the course even (especially) when we’re tempted to check out, to give up.
The secret to not just surviving, but thriving, in the valleys is also profoundly simple: take enough of the mountaintop with you to see you through.
You were uniquely created, called, and gifted by God to be: you. No one else will do. It takes eyes of faith–in ourselves, in each other, in God–to see our way through this “vale of tears.”
I promise you: stay the course, and you will make it out the other side. Elijah did.
Did you go to Killer Tribes? Have you been to other conferences? What was your experience?