We can all get very demotivated at times and that’s fine – we are only human. But sometimes this demotivation can lead to not achieving the things that you really want to achieve and that’s where it can become costly.
Stop beating yourself up!
I, like everyone else, get very demotivated at times and I end up beating myself up. I laugh at myself and say – you’re not demotivated, you are just lazy! When the ‘I’m lazy’ thoughts creep in, I just succumb to the fact that I am just lazy and this then leads to despair and then apathy. When I am experiencing this apathy it is much further than demotivation or lazy, I am simply frozen from doing anything and I tell myself all sorts of things to make me feel better – I didn’t want to do it anyway or I am better off having not done it. This is where our inner critic and cynic wins. The result of that is I just sit in a pool of apathy and self-pity, with NOTHING to show for myself. Motivation is important for your purpose, meaning and your personal integrity. When I decide that I am lazy and I put things off, be it writing, studying, finishing a work project etc – I get further from my goals, I have no sense of achievement and I have learned nothing.
Our commitments & pressures
Many of us are the same. There are some things that we have to do that we really don’t want to – whether it is in work, in relationships, in the community or at home. So, these commitments then lead sometimes to a delayed apathy where we are not bothered and we try to find a way out of an event, a meeting, commitment or other. This is normal and happens to all of us. We sometimes say ‘no’ out of demotivation or sometimes because of anxiety about a particular event or commitment.
We all misuse the term ‘guilty’
I always speak to clients about how guilt is misused as an emotion, especially in Ireland where we feel very ‘guilty’ over not doing things. The guilt of saying ‘no’ to an event is not real guilt. This is simply free will and a decision that you have decided to make about it. Maybe you need some time to yourself or you have something else that you have to do. That’s perfectly fine and you should suit yourself. You can say no to a community event and say yes to yourself because maybe you have neglected your self -care or some other project that takes precedence over the other at that given time.
Saying no to something you really crave
I am talking about the times that you say no to something that you really want to do for yourself. When we procrastinate, we always know that we will have to do it eventually but what about the times where you know that if you keep putting this off that it will then lead to regret in the long run.
Do you really want it?
Any sentences that start with ‘I’ve always wanted to’, are usually your own personal crosses to bear. It reminds you that for whatever reason you couldn’t organise yourself to do it and you weren’t motivated enough.
Timing can be a factor
There are of course some things that don’t have the right timing, for one reason or another, people have families, have commitments, financial pressure etc. These aren’t excuses – these are the hard facts of circumstance and let’s face it- we can’t do everything nor can we be everywhere at once. So, motivation isn’t the only contributing factor to getting what you want.
This simple trick seems to work for my clients. When you don’t want to achieve something and I am not just talking about events or showing your face somewhere. I am talking about the things that you really want to do and are saying no to. Maybe there a project, research, a career, a trip or something that really speaks to you deep down. You haven’t for whatever reason been able to explore or achieve it, so you put it off.
The 5 minute trick
Try this statement for times when you find yourself procrastinating because of demotivation.
I am going to look at this for 5 minutes – and set your timer.
So, for example: you always wanted to do a course in graphic design but you haven’t had the time and that’s okay. But if you look into it for 5 minutes and write down what you know now. Or you might want to go to California some day but you know nothing about it – research it for 5 minutes and see where it takes you. If you wanted to finish your degree, research it for 5 minutes and see what steps you might need to take.
The 5 minute rule can be used for the start of a project or a simple ‘long finger’ job around the house (clearing out the shed, the attic, reading a book when you don’t feel like it, go to the bottle bank, painting the hall, selling old belongings etc)
Anything at all! Just give it five minutes. This can be used and works great for assignments, formulating your ideas for a new business idea or writing a blog.
Tell you inner critic to Ssssh!…
Don’t allow your inner critic in here at all, the little voice that says ‘sure you won’t get to california’ ‘you don’t have time to finish your degree’ ‘you don’t know the first thing about business – you cant start your own business’ etc etc.
When you commit to the 5 minutes you will want to know more and do more.
When you don’t feel like it
I like to paint, write and cook and I don’t feel like it sometimes although I feel so good when I do it and it’s a very mindful hobby to have as it keeps me in the moment. When I don’t feel like it, I am uninspired and I simply don’t want to. So, I apply the 5 minute trick here.
I take a pen or a paintbrush and I just put it on paper for 5 minutes – I forget the results or how it might look. When the timer goes off at 5 minutes I am engrossed in what I am doing that I don’t want to stop.
Action breeds motivation.
If you’re wondering why you can’t get motivated take action…..
Action inspires motivation – not the other way around
The word is derived from the Latin word “movere” which means to move. So, if you want to get motivated – get moving and take action.
What can you start today? – just for 5 minutes…..