In my 20s I used to think there was something seriously wrong with the journey that I was on. How could Bill Nye the Science Guy be so passionate about what he did, and me not so much?
I spent many years looking for something to be passionate about only to fall in and out love with hobbies and jobs, massage being one of them.
Becoming Bill Nye
But during the past 5 years, things have been different with massage. In fact, I now feel like Bill Nye the Science Guy.
What has changed?
I stopped believing that passion was innate, something that just happened naturally. Instead, I started to work at being passionate and discovered that when I did, it stuck around.We can sustain passion if we work at it. Click To Tweet
Yo-Yo Passion Ride
When I first started massage, I was ignited by the feeling I got from helping people feel better. But after a few years of working at the same place, I felt trapped and thought I was underpaid—and out went the passion.
My passion for massage returned when I opened my first office in a fitness center, but only to leak out of me again because my hands started to ache.
Then I asked my dad to customize some massage tools for me. I started to experiment with the tools and my hands felt better. I got jacked about massage again!
This lasted for a while until I had a turf war with the chiropractor who also rented space in the fitness center and had MTs working for him. Ugh, I hated confrontation. Bye-bye passion.
More than One Payoff
Back then it seemed like every time I got my passion back, something was there to suck it out of me.
OR, could it have been that in order for me to sustain my passion, I needed to have multiple payoffs from massage—not just the good feeling I would get from making someone feel better?
Multiple payoffs eventually proved to be the right answer for me.
What I Need to Sustain Passion
In fact, when it comes to massage payoffs, I’m a little greedy. I need a lot of them to sustain my passion. Here’s my shortlist:
Evidence that I’m helping people; acknowledgment from my clients that they appreciate my work, to not be in pain after doing a massage; earned respect from my you, my colleagues; business autonomy; business competence; an income that supports my lifestyle choices; opportunities to start other businesses; and a massage business that reflects my values.
A problem arises when something gets in the way of me getting one of my payoffs.
For instance, I threw myself into helping people feel better because that was easy for me to do. But, back then, ask me to raise the price of my massage (so that I could support my lifestyle choices) and I would forget how to speak.
Here’s how I got around this:
Getting a Payoff
At one point in my massage career, I was getting resentful of the clients who I had given special deals to when I first opened my practice.
I knew that I had to raise their price, but if I did, I was afraid that they might walk. In reality, this was unlikely. And if I dug a little deeper into my psyche, my concern was more about how they would view me (as a money-grubber) if I raised the price on them.
Because I knew that I would crack under pressure, I had my talk therapist, at the time, hold me accountable for raising my price. Over the course of a couple months, I raised my clients’ rates. No one left (or hated me) and my passion for massage returned.
Massage Therapist Self-Help
The step-by-step of what I did looks like this:
- Pick one thing about massage that is not working for you.
This What Do YOU Want From Massage Quiz (0 downloads) may help you figure out what to focus on first.
- Write down how you can change this one thing and then make it a goal.
- Write down a due date to accomplish this goal.
- Give me permission (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a friend, family member or adviser to be your friendly auditor, to help you stay on track.
The Rest of Your Life
Maybe, ultimately, massage is not right for you. But if you think your loss of passion for massage is because you’re afraid to tackle the challenges that come with massage, here’s what I would do:
Identify the multiple payoffs that you need from massage to make you happy. Then pick one that hasn’t come to fruition. Write down what you’re going to do to change it and give yourself a due date. Ask someone to hold you accountable.
Then go for it. Seriously. Go for it.
It might be the nudge that pushes you in the right direction to sustain passion for massage–and other things in life, too:-)