When was the last time you had one of those “blah” days?
You know the ones I’m talking about, right? When you wake up and don’t feel like doing any of the things on your to do list. When everything seems to take more effort than you care to give it and you struggle to accomplish anything productive.
If you’re like me or many of my clients, those days roll around more frequently than you’d like. Often, the cause is a loss of motivation.
Motivation. It’s central to our success, and yet it seems like we all struggle maintain it. We’ll come out of the gate charging hard, but then we get derailed. We hit the dreaded slumps. And in the words of the great Dr. Seuss, “unslumping yourself is not easily done.”
You’ve probably tried a whole list of tricks to get yourself going again when you find your motivation flagging. Here are three of my favorites:
- Remember Why You Started
Especially when I’m starting something that I know will take a while to accomplish, I try to spend a significant amount of time deciding why it’s important to me. What will I gain from meeting this goal or performing this task? How will my life be different? What new skill will I learn along the way? How does it contribute to the bigger picture of my life?
This seems like a fairly straightforward step, but far too many people gloss over it. They perform a surface level examination of the “why”, or let themselves off the hook completely by assuming the task is something they just have to do. Either way they miss a great opportunity.
Taking the time to slow down and think about why a task is important provides great fuel for your motivation.
- Take Action
Too often, we wait until we “feel like it” to do something. We don’t feel like making that phone call, so we don’t. We don’t feel like exercising, so we don’t. The truth is, there are some tasks that you may not feel like doing until they’re started.
But we consistently get that backwards. We tell ourselves that we must feel the motivation before we move forward. The truth is just the opposite.
When you’re lacking in motivation, often the best thing to do is to take action. Doing so will create momentum and often be enough to get you back on track.
- Acknowledge Your Fear
Many times, what seems like a lack of motivation is really fear in disguise. Fear of failure. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of not being good enough. We all have these fears, but successful people are able to move forward even in the face of them.
Start by being honest with yourself. If the real reason you’ve stalled is because you’re paralyzed by your fear, admit it. Figure out exactly what it is you’re afraid of and call it out. Don’t try to talk yourself out of being afraid. Just admit it, and then get moving again.
Feel the fear and move forward anyway.
We treat motivation as if it is something that magically happens to us – like if the stars align just right we will find ourselves motivated. But, the most successful people know that motivation is something that must be cultivated intentionally.
I’d love to hear from you.
When do you struggle most with losing your motivation?
Do you agree with my suggestions for getting back on track?
Have I missed something?