Over the last few months, I struggled to find motivation in my life. The lack of motivation at work, school, and even in some relationships was real. I contemplated quitting school multiple times (that means something is going right, according to sage advice from those that did it before me), spoke to my therapist, and prayed about last semester a lot because not being motivated isn’t a familiar feeling for me. After all of the prayer, conversations with my wife, and more prayer, the motivation is back and I’m getting it! Here’s a some tips to get your groove back when you’re not feeling it:
- Remember your “why”: You’re losing motivation and you’re struggling to find your groove. You want to give up because you have better things to do with your time. One of the most important things I’ve learned in my adult life is to always re-center and focus on your “why” when times get hard. Take a moment to breathe and think about the reason why you started your blog, working in your career, or joined that organization. Your “why” will sustain you when everything else fails you. Write down that “why” and look at it every day. It won’t be easy, but your “why” will get you there. PS: Your “why” doesn’t need to make sense to anybody, but you.
- Share some of your struggles: Being in commune with my cohort has been an interesting experience 1.5 years into my doc program. Of course, there were feelings of competition, competing work styles, and various thought perspectives, yet we are all on the same journey to accomplish the same goal: get that degree. At first, I felt as though my peers kept their cards close which is normal when developing a group. However, we started opening up about the struggles that we’ve been having on this journey that I believe changed the trajectory of our experience together. That reading? Yea that ish was hard to understand. How did your paper come out? I barely turned it in. When we started sharing some of these struggles, I felt validated and I understood that I wasn’t the only one who hated that fourth book I read in 3 weeks. I feel the same with my blogging journey as well. I joined groups where I hear the struggles that others are having and I provide insights to them. Sometimes, we are waiting for others to open the door when in actuality, it’s us that need to invite others to walk through that place of discomfort.
- Don’t be afraid to switch up: Currently, I’m reading Boleman & Deal’s Leading with Soul and there’s a moment where the main character is confronted with a staggering truth: just because you did things one way doesn’t mean that it’s always right. I underlined this sentence multiple times because it’s a very real statement. The tasks and skills that brought me success earlier in life may no longer be a valid means to sustaining or advancing my successes. It’s easy to be complacent in our habits without ever critically thinking about them or the affects that they have on our daily lives. When I started my doc program, I immediately learned that my strategies for studying would not get me through this academic journey. I had to change up the play to address my current context which was difficult at first, but not impossible. I had to take my ego out of the equation and figure out the best way to tackle this beast. Needless to say, it’s been working so far. Don’t be afraid to learn something new to address an old problem.
- Celebrate the small wins: In our society, we tend to celebrate big ticket events: weddings, christenings, gender/sex reveals, graduations, and getting a new car. But what about the little things that got you to those big important moments? We have to do a better job of celebrating the little things in life because those are the moments that make the journey that much sweeter. I think about this blog a lot more than I’d like, but I love it. Every single view, comment, follow, and outreach is important to me because it’s resonating with someone. When I post, I’m happy because I know what it took to write that article. I’m excited to just share the moment. Yes, I get anxious about the feedback, however, I’m confident in the messages that I share. The twenty minutes you spent reading two chapters in a book, celebrate that. Get a snack or take a quick nap as a reward.
- Give yourself grace: I hate when we look at certain celebrities and say “they have the same 24 hours as I do, so I should be able to do multiple things at once.” You forget that they do have a team of nannies, stylists, accountants, etc. working for them as well. You’re not always going to be on fire and that’s okay. You’re going to be tired and that’s cool. Forgive yourself when you’re not feeling it at times. You might be managing a whole family, 2 jobs, a full time job, and a side business. You might not be able to do everything and that’s fine. We’re quick to forgive others, but not ourselves. Give yourself grace when you know you haven’t been on fire or didn’t complete a task.
These are lessons that have helped me with my lack of motivation. What are some of yours? How do you find the drive continue when the road isn’t always so clear?