By Georgina El Morshdy
The problem with a funk is you end up procrastinating. Wasting time can push you behind, which can spiral into feelings of more stress and pressure.
Days like these don’t feel too great - especially when you have deadlines to meet and things you want to get done.
The goods news is there are inspired ways to kick-start motivation and get yourself going.
And if you’re one for introspection, you’ll love how some simple self-questioning can not only get you unstuck but ensure you emerge with more clarity and self-awareness.
Keep reading because I’m going to show you how - in three simple steps.
Step 1. Acknowledge your feelings.
First up, it’s super important that you don’t make yourself wrong for how you’re feeling. ALL feelings are valid. As humans, we have the privilege of experiencing a spectrum of emotions - and we can take something from all of them [even the ones that challenge us].
A positive aspect of feeling demotivated is you can understand how it feels in your body. This can become a learning experience because you get to figure out how to support and guide yourself through these emotions.
In practice, this means owning where you are and dropping the judgement, criticism and any temptation to beat yourself up! After all, it’s tough to get motivated when you’re stuck in negative thoughts and emotions - you don’t need to dig that hole any deeper than it already is!!!
Then, once you’ve allowed yourself to feel the emotions [without guilt], it’s time to understand better what’s driving them.
Step 2. Get to the root of what’s causing the lack of inspiration and motivation.
If we don’t get to the root cause of procrastination, we get distracted by the more obvious surface level causes.
Here are some common reasons for getting into a demotivated place:
1. Boredom. You’re bored. You just can’t find the energy or the ideas or the creativity. You feel lethargic, your brain is foggy, and you just can’t get yourself fired up no matter what you do.
2. Too difficult. Whatever you’re procrastinating over feels too hard. For example, you might tell yourself, “I can’t do this”. You might feel defeated before you’ve even started, and you may fear the consequences of not being able to do said task.
3. Lack of purpose. You don’t feel purposeful, and part of you is wondering, “What’s the point?”
4. Lack of control. You’ve been asked to do something that you don’t want to do [but you have to], and your rebellious streak is resisting!
5. Fear. You know what you have to do, but your own limiting beliefs and stories hold you back and get in your way.
What is the reason for you?
Step 3. Use introspection to reframe and refocus
Finally, have a conversation with yourself to take back control of your energy and emotions. Your journal is a great place to do this because you have the space to untangle your thoughts and feelings and discover all the nuances.
Here are some prompts to help direct your introspection for each of the procrastination causes we explored in step 2.
If you’re not feeling it, trying to push through the boredom can make a task take you ten times longer than necessary.
A more effective strategy is to put your energy and attention on something that inspires you and lightens you up.
Ask yourself in your journal what things you can rely on to change your mood. For example, read, take a walk, get into nature, reward yourself to get a shot of dopamine.
Learn more about YOU and what you can do when you know you’re in a funk to change your mood so you can move forward with your life more powerfully.
Too difficult is often a story that’s rooted in a belief about our skills and capabilities.
Turn to your journal and ask yourself why it’s too complicated.
- Separate the facts from the fiction.
- Where is your proof?
- What are you making the difficulty mean about you?
Then flip the meaning and see the situation as a challenge instead of a problem.
Finally, work through your strategy for getting it done. For example, can you ask for help? Is there some training in which you can invest? Do you simply need to start believing that you do have what it takes?
Overcoming difficulties is one way to make yourself stronger - essential for the journey of your best self.
Lack of purpose.
This one can take some soul-searching.
As humans, we have an instinctive desire to feel purposeful. If you feel demotivated because you feel a lack of purpose, you may have some tough choices to make. Maybe it’s a sign that you need to remove this from your life - you can explore your thoughts further in your journal.
Alternatively, look for ways to inject purpose into the task.• How does your WHY factor in?
• How can you infuse your passion or connect the situation with your mission?
If you can change the story to reframe the meaning, you can unlock a rush of inspiration that can take you ANYWHERE.
Lack of control.
You may not be able to influence external circumstances, BUT you are in complete control of your reaction to them.
Get introspective about this and have the conversation in your journal…• What can you say to yourself to give you the feeling of control?
• How can you create an environment where you feel autonomous and in the drivers’ seat of your life?
• What aspects of the situation are under your influence?
Use your journal to help reclaim your personal power because your motivation will soar as a result.
This is a BIG one… And also the one that holds the most growth potential.
It’s normal to feel scared when circumstances don’t feel certain. As humans, we thrive on the feeling of safety, BUT growth always happens outside of our comfort zone.
The truth is you can do SOOOOOOO much more than you give yourself credit. The human spirit is amazing. We are so resilient, creative, and brave.
The secret is to transform your relationship with fear so you can embrace it, rather than running in the opposite direction.
After all, how often has your fear been the compass that shows you the way forward into your next realm for growth?
Use your journal to get clearer on what you’re afraid of. [Here’s a cool downloadable tool with guided exercises to help you do that].
Be radically honest with yourself.
It takes bravery and courage to be specific because you have to go deep, but when you can define the demons, it’s a lot easier to face them.
Time is your most valuable, non-renewable resource
What’s more important than the amount of time we have is the way we use our minutes.
Sure, you will have days when you feel off and just can’t find your flow. That’s all part of being human. But understand how to unleash inspiration, and you’ll access a power source for life.
Introspection is a powerful skill to master because it helps us to understand better who we are.
And when we know what’s happening under the surface, suddenly, you can move through whatever is sapping your energy with self-compassion, understanding, and empowerment.
That’s personal power.