It’s great to get to work and accomplish something when we have a natural enthusiasm fueling excitement to do it! Other times it can be difficult to get moving on something when we aren’t so excited about it. Finding the thing that motivates you is one thing, it is quite another to stick with it. And it’s a whole ‘nother beast to fight the very things that are killing your motivation. And then UGH! You have to get motivated to fight the motivation killers! And even while you have already succeeded in identifying what motivates you (or what doesn’t), the temptation to give in to more convenient, easier ways, like.. say.. procrastination, are much more powerful than getting yourself up and going!
Identify that lacking motivation or deliberately making yourself feel demotivated not only works against you, but it’s a bad habit! A bad habit that was picked up along the way some how. It requires looking within to recognize what’s holding you back, or what’s triggering these behaviors. For example, something isn’t quite right when you refuse to wake up on time to get to your office. Or, when you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the workload in front of you when there’s deadlines to beat. You know that something is going wrong inside you when the task you have to finish several days ago sits idly on your desk, untouched. And something is not right when you can’t even force yourself to confront a problem that has been gnawing your will to live fully. You lack even the motivation to accept that you are not motivated! EEK! That’s like an oxymoron! So how do you build your motivation from the ground up and jumpstart your own engines?
It always starts with very simple things in a very natural manner. Then it starts to affect the other aspects of your life, which are not entirely connected with the thing that triggered your lack of motivation. Maybe you just didn’t feel like getting up after your alarm went off. The next day, you did the same thing and on and on until you developed the bad habit of not feeling motivated which sends a domino affect into your life.
The first effective step to gaining back your sense of motivation is to identify the thing or things that zap your energy. It could be a small thing like not waking up on time, skipping meals that lower your blood sugar leaving you tired, that friend or spouse who always nags you, or a really serious thing like hating everything about your job!
No matter what the form, you can identify the things that zap your energy by their power to make you feel discouraged, tired, instantly exhausted, irritated, or just like you have no tolerance “to go there”. A good strategy to use to really get clear on energy zappers, is to make a list! Write down the areas in your life where you find no motivation to pursue at all and the particular things that makes you feel disheartened. This will help you gain some perspective on the entire issue. You can even derive solutions in simply knowing the cause. This will shed clarity on your issues with motivation.
Then you can move on to evaluating the risks and benefits of not feeling motivated. Believe me, there are benefits to having no motivation – and sometimes it’s quite necessary, like immediate self-gratification in the form of rest for one. And there are risks, for sure. Plenty of them. And the risks often outweigh the benefits. Discovering the risks and benefits of not feeling motivated could be very enlightening. In general, you would realize that it is never worth it to procrastinate, to give in to the temptation of hating to move a finger to finish your tasks, or to deliberately believe that it is much more gratifying to lie around and do nothing.
On the flip side, after viewing your list of all the energy zappers, you can ask yourself how important it is to really be involved in these “things”. For example, let’s say you have a group of friends who are energy zappers. They are mean spirited, find joy in others misfortunes, always put you down, never support your goals or dreams, and don’t really show they are there for you as a true friend. You always find you are going against the grain of trying to accomplish your life goals while being friends with them. And then you realize after 3 years of hanging out, nothing has really changed.
Now would be a good time to consider getting new friends. Ones who lift you up and align more with what the definition of a “true friend” means. Because what is more important to you? Growth, expansion, achieving goals, finding new opportunities, doing something productive with your life and enjoying success? OR staying friends with people who really aren’t going anywhere? Something to think about. We all have to decide what’s truly important to us, and what isn’t. If living your life’s purpose and really pursuing something of value is a deal breaker, then sometimes we have to move on from certain people, or energy zappers, that no longer serve our greater good. But not to worry, because as you move down your path and follow your heart, the right people will appear.
Another, more simple, example would be food or say, cigarettes. If you notice certain foods zap your energy, decide to make better food choices. If you see smoking is really zapping your energy (and you should, because it’s a huge toxic energy zapper!!), QUIT! If drinking too much slows you down during the week, swap that booze for tea! If you are not organized, and feeling overwhelmed due to lack of organization zapping your energy, get a daily planner and make a new habit of writing things down!
Finally, commit yourself to change. This is not easy, it never was. But try to set the date, time, or place for your change to happen, and break bad habits! And don’t be afraid to use aides to help you along the way. Quitting smoking is not for the birds.. so get the gum, the patch, and some popsicles and do whatcha gotta do to break that cycle!
Once you make that commitment, you are fully taking responsibility for your life, your energy, and your motivation! It brings you to a whole new level and outlook by reassessing what’s important to you, and what’s not. Making changes to cut things out, or bring new things in. Taking these steps will open the door to setting new goals and walking down a whole new path! Then the excitement creeps in, and BAM, so does new found motivation! 🙂