Do you ever find yourself not feeling motivated? You have a goal, or you have things you’ve committed to do, but no matter how deep you dig, you can’t seem to find the desire to show up. Yeah, me too. It happens to all of us. But the question is, how do you deal with those moments?
I’ve been having one over the last 48 hours, feeling very unmotivated. And I’ve been curious about how I deal with these moments. And that’s what I want to share with you in today’s episode. Let’s dive in.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
Hello, beautiful friends. How’s it going? I am sitting in bed looking out the window at gorgeous Lake Tahoe. I am here for almost two weeks to celebrate my best friend Brooke’s birthday. Happy birthday, Brooke Castillo. I love you. And her family is here. I’m here with my family. And it’s become an annual tradition. So fun.
But I’ve had an interesting 48 hours and I want to share it with you because I know that so many of you can relate to this. I’ve had many of my own clients ask me this question. And the question is, “What about when you’re not motivated?”
And I’ll be honest, over the last 48 hours, I have been very unmotivated to do the things that I have on my schedule. One of them being this podcast, which is so unusual. Usually I’m so excited to sit down and record a podcast. But not feeling it today. But yet, it’s on my calendar and I have people that are expecting it from me. And even more importantly, you’re expecting it from me and I’m expecting it of me.
And so, I’m recording the podcast. But what I can tell you is that I’m not super pumped about it. And that’s part of life. And that’s okay. I really feel like there’s this misconception that when you see people that are producing at a high rate, they’re constantly creating, that many people think that it’s just easy for those people, that they have something that maybe you think you don’t have.
And when I can tell you is that every creative person deals with resistance, deals with a lack of motivation. But it’s what you do in those moments, it’s how you show up when you’re not motivated, when you’re not feeling super pumped. That’s what separates the good from the great.
So, let’s talk about how to deal with losing your motivation. Something we all deal with, you set that goal, you’re super excited, you’re showing up for it. And then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere you wake up one day and you’re like, “I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to do the podcast. I don’t want to go to the gym. I don’t want…” to do all of the things that will actually help us reach our goals. It’s part of the journey.
But what do we do in those moments? I’m just thinking about this podcast. It’s very revealing to me, what I’m feeling right now, what I’m thinking, and what I’m having to work through in order to record this.
Because quite frankly, I don’t have to put out a podcast every week. I could skip a week. Some of you would probably notice, but the majority of you, it wouldn’t be a big gamechanger. It wouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
But I’ve committed to doing this podcast every single week. And so, right now, not having the motivation to do it, I’m getting to really dig deep into a lot of the work that I teach. And here’s what I know. You’re not always going to feel like doing the things that you’ve committed to doing.
And what if that’s okay? For me, I don’t make it mean that something’s gone wrong. I don’t make it mean that I’m a terrible person because I don’t feel motivated to do a podcast. I’m like, “Oh, this is just part of the human experience. I’m just dealing with resistance right now.”
Now, here’s where I feel like we waste a lot of time and we slow ourselves down. In the personal development space, there is this school of thought that unless you’re feeling positive emotion, you should not take action. Generally speaking, I agree with this statement, most of the time.
Meaning, if I’m full of scarcity and fear – let’s just say for example I’m trying to build my business and I’m taking a lot of action out of that state, chances are clients are going to feel it, I’m going to feel it, I’m not going to be creating a result that feels really good because of the energy that went into producing it.
However, when it comes to losing your motivation, a lot of you all are just giving up. You’re like, “I’m not feeling good. I’m not feeling like doing it. I’m just going to sit around and wait until I’m inspired again. I’m going to sit around and wait until I’m motivated again.” That’s a no.
And the reason why that’s a no is because you’re going to have to work through all of that resistance in order to get the result that you want. So, if you sit around and wait for that resistance to go away, you’re just going to be putting your life on hold because that resistance isn’t going anywhere.
As long as you are committed to growing, as long as you’re committed to your own personal development, you’re going to be encountering resistance. You’re going to have days when you’re not feeling motivated. So, let’s dive in.
How do I deal with those days when I’m not motivated, like today? I’m feeling it, you all. First of all, let’s dig deep into what is motivation. Motivation is described as the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
So, there’s a desire to do something. We’re all motivated, but a lot of times, we’re motivated to do things that don’t serve us. So, we have to be onto ourselves. We have to really get to know ourselves.
So, if I’m honest with myself right now, what I’m motivated to do is just go sit out on the pier and do nothing. That is an option. But it’s not what I planned for today. Like, before I came to Tahoe, I actually wrote out my calendar, have my schedule, I know what needs to happen on what day.
And right now in this moment is not the time for me to be sitting by the pier. Now, guess what, I can do it after I record this podcast. But I need to do the thing that I’ve scheduled for myself.
So, the way I deal with the moments when I don’t have motivation, first thing is I look at why. What am I thinking that’s causing me to have a lack of motivation around what it is that I want to do?
So, when I think about this podcast for example, what I’m thinking is I don’t even know what I want to talk about. I’m not that prepared. I’m usually always so prepared for my podcast. For this one, I’m not that prepared.
So, by not being prepared, I’m not as motivated. That’s really good for me to know moving forward. But right now, I need to get a podcast done, prepared or not. I need to produce a podcast. It’s in my schedule. And so, what do I need to think in order to create the desire, in order to produce the podcast?
Well, the first thing I always do when I’m feeling a lack of motivation around something is I remember my why. Our why is our fuel that’s going to keep us showing up even when we don’t feel like it. It reminds us of why we set out on this path in the first place. And I’m very connected to my why; deeply, deeply connected.
So, the moment I visit my why, it inspires me and motivates me to get to work, to do that thing that I said I was going to do. So, that’s the first thing I do, I visit my why.
The second thing I do is I get honest about the consequence if I don’t do it. So, I allow myself to feel the imagined pain of not doing what I said I’m going to do. And I hate that feeling. I hate feeling disappointed in myself. I don’t like that feeling I get when I don’t show up for something I’ve committed to. And then I also think about, in particular for this podcast, if I don’t show up next week, how many people might miss out? How many people might be disappointed in me? I don’t like that. So, visiting the pain, the potential pain of you not showing up can inspire you. It can motivate you to show up for what’s important.
I also like thinking about the rewards. So, for me right now, I’m looking out at the pier and there’s some people sitting out there having coffee. I cannot wait to get out there. And I know that, as soon as I’m done with this podcast, I get to go sit out at the pier with my friends and enjoy a cup of coffee. It’s so exciting to think about.
And I’ve used this around weight loss, like imagining how good it’s going to feel to slip on a dress and feel good in your body, to feel strong, to feel healthy. I’m always thinking about not only the pain of not showing up, but also the pleasure of showing up. It comes down to the pain-pleasure principle that drives all of us.
So, allowing ourselves to visit the pain of not showing up, and then visiting the pleasure of up will often motivate you to do what you need to do.
Now, I want to point out something that is super important. I was supposed to record this podcast yesterday, and I didn’t. And I was very curious with myself, I was very aware of what was going on within me. And I made a conscious decision that I was going to give myself the day off, that I wasn’t going to beat myself up, I wasn’t going to create a big dramatic story around me not showing up.
I was simply going to move it to today and record it today. And this is really important because a lot of you, what you’re doing to yourself is that you’re not showing up because you’re not motivated, and then you’re beating yourself up for not being motivated. And it’s just this really toxic cycle.
Decide on purpose that maybe today you’re not going to do that thing that you said you were going to do. You’re going to give yourself some space. Put it in your calendar for when you’re going to do it, when you’re going to show up. And then, do the work ahead of time of getting yourself in a motivated state so that you can follow through.
But the worst thing you can do, you all, is to beat yourself up, not show up for something, then beat yourself up over it. It’s just no longer an option for me. I’m like, “You know, I’m human, I didn’t feel like recording it yesterday, I’m doing it today, so what? I’m going to love myself through all of it.” Which ironically helps to motivate me. It helps me to show up in a more powerful and consistent way.
And so, don’t beat yourself up, my friends. That is not the way to motivate yourself. Yeah, for some, it may work. But it’s such a short-term fix on an issue. Nothing good comes out of beating yourself up, ever.
So, be kind to yourself. Be curious about yourself. Look as to what motivates you. What kind of thoughts can you think that will create that desire to show up for yourself? And just enjoy the ride. The ups, the downs, the times when you are motivated, I appreciate them so much now because I know what it’s like to not feel motivated.
So, it’s like I want to ride those waves when they come, and then when I’m not feeling motivated, do this work to inspire me to continue to show up, even when I don’t feel like it. Okay, my friends, I’m going to go out there on that pier right now. Thanks for tuning in and I will see you next week. Cheers.
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