I’m back with my Desperately Seeking Motivation series.
I’m sharing how I pulled myself out of the blah feeling I was being crushed by. Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t easy and it was NOT quick. Hell, I’m still working on it.
It’s All a Mind Game
That’s not to say it’s all in your mind.
Your thoughts and feelings are valid. Your environment directly impacts how you feel. Your response is probably going to dictate how your day continues. What the secret is, is to figure out how YOU can respond to what’s being pressed upon you without letting it control you.
There are two forces that usually work on me to mess with my day, my work, my motivation or desire to do anything – one is Internal, the other External.
This is the voice inside that, while maybe only a whisper, can battle down every other thought or desire to do something.
For instance, I love to write. I write as a hobby, as my career, on here, and sometimes in contract/freelance work. That little voice will start to whisper, “this isn’t fun. you aren’t a very good writer. why do you even bother?”
That little voice is a jerk.
Here’s what I’ve learned to do to deal with it.
Pick something small – bite size – manageable.
Whenever I think of how to “manage” a situation, I always think of Laura Ingalls Wilder. In These Happy Golden Years, Laura has taken her first teaching job at a school some distance away from her family and home. She has five students – two quite young ones who just enjoy being in school and three older students (I picture 13-year-olds, but I don’t remember their actual ages). One of the oldest students doesn’t like school and refuses to do his work. Trying to be a stern teacher, Laura keeps lengthening his assignments to get him to catch up to the other two in his level/grade. One weekend at home, she commiserates her feelings of hopelessness to her family. Nicely, her father says, “You better just manage.” Looking back at this, I thought, “Damn, that was sure wasn’t very nice or helpful, Pa!” But, it’s not his actual words (or Ma’s) that help Laura, it’s her own undertaking to simplify the student’s homework to bits he can manage. Within a week he is caught up and willing to work on moving forward.
It’s that idea of breaking things up into bite-size or manageable pieces that has always stuck with me.
Reader, but in a slump?
Pick up a graphic novel or a book aimed at middle school kids.
Artist without any drive?
Color. Adult coloring books, if you like, but I prefer to grab one of my daughter’s and go to town.
Go for a walk instead of a workout/training session. Listen to a completely different genre of music. Watch a movie you hadn’t even heard of before.
Shake it up a bit.
These are the things in your environment. Some you can control; others you can’t. But, my advice is to do what you can to remove the negativity.
In my office suite, there are roughly 50 individual offices. In my particular hallway, I deal with: 1 whistler to the left, 1 user of essential oils who has taken it upon themselves to diffuse enough oil to cleans ALL of our spirits, and 1 individual who is just a negative person – they are constantly complaining to their neighbor.
Obviously, I cannot leave or move offices.
My simple solution? Earbuds.
I listen to podcasts, playlists, and even IG stories to help. Often, the thing I’m listening to will end, I won’t notice, and another hour will pass before I do notice. BUT, those earbuds helped drown out all the distractions.
On a completely different note:
How many hate reads/follows do you have?
You know what I’m talking about.
That IG account you keep around because you feel like you should; that person you are “friends” with on Facebook just so you can check in to see how her life is going; that train-wreck blog you can’t stop following because you want to see them crash and burn.
We all have them. Okay, that is a gross exaggeration, but do YOU have one/some?
I do. Far too many, in fact.
Unfollow. Unsubscribe. Unfriend.
Do it. I’ll wait.
I did this recently on my Instagram account. I scrolled through my following list and was ruthless.
If their account doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of them!
If every time their IG Stories come up on your phone, you roll your eyes, cut them loose!
Don’t let them steal your joy, ruin your day, impact your attitude.
I’m going to remind you that this can be in real life if necessary.
There are toxic people in your life. Friends, significant others, families members.
Once again, if they are affecting your mood negatively, find a way to step back. You may not need to cut them off completely (sometimes you do – I’ve been there), but maybe you need the space to decide.
I hope you have a wonderful day!