Just so you know this blog took the following for me to actually write it in its entirety:
- 33 days
- 20 full blown excuses on why I couldn’t sit down and write it… usually something to do with energy or that I needed to finish off the new season of the Umbrella Academy on Netflix
- 6 different television series completely watched
- 140 phone checks…. Just in case there was an all-out emergency that I had missed
- And countless coffee breaks and checking if anything had magically appeared in the pantry or fridge in the last 5 minutes.
Yep it took a lot to write this blog
Motivation is a funny thing, whether you get your motivation extrinsically by motivation of others or transpiring events, or intrinsically within yourself for that desire to improve in a specific activity or to achieve that goal. It completely comes down to the individual on how and where they draw their motivation from.
You see throughout the last few months I have had the opportunity to observe the ebbs and flows of motivation of others throughout my teaching whilst we have been in and out of different stages of lockdown, this observation has also extended to myself as well. What I have found that we all run through different levels of motivation which can be affected through stressful environments, the need to evolve quickly, emotional states and the desire to have something better in our lives.
And throughout this pandemic it’s safe to say that we all have experienced every single one of these circumstances, which drive our reactions differently. For example when the world went into lock down the first time some people went straight into overdrive and started their online arms of their businesses’, or started these projects that they always dreamed of doing… even some they didn’t even think of doing like the Covid sourdough craze and how they have continued the journey over multiple months of baking the perfect loaf. Whereas others may have sat back and observed or even to the extent of recoiling and not feeling inspired to start or work on achievements and even not wanting to face the day in some cases. Everyone’s motivation is triggered differently.
Given how long and forever changing the situation has been in 2020 it is completely normal to not being able to stay motivated all the time, especially when a lot of your factors of motivation have either changed considerably or not existent at the moment. And the worst you can do is compare your motivation or even lack of to others and what they are achieving. Never measure your motivation and progression with someone else’s ruler.
Taken from www.psychologytoday.com, one framework used for understanding motivation is the hierarchy of needs proposed by American psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943. According to Maslow, humans are inherently motivated to better themselves and move toward expressing their full potential—self-actualization—by progressively encountering and satisfying several levels of need from the most fundamental, such as for food and safety, to higher-order needs for love, belonging, and self-esteem.
Which brings us to how can we work on inspiring ourselves to keep motivated through a tailored approach to finding and/ or re-inspiring your motivation mojo.
Finding your needs
Sit down and assess what is important to you and then if possible, put them in order of level of importance, but be open to not get hung up on what is at the bottom of that list as it doesn’t mean it isn’t of relevance to you. Remember this a list of what’s important, so everything that makes the list is relevant to your needs.
Fill the gaps
It’s probably best to start at the top of your list. Are there any pieces to you list you are feeling are lacking that you would like to improve or feel the NEED to get more out of?
Are you an “Innie” or an “Outie”?
Where do you get your motivation from is it from external factors like others and events or is it from internal factors with in your own self desire to improve or evolve. If it’s the latter of the two you have the job of looking within yourself to get that drive and by choosing something that is important to you that motivation will be a lot easier to harness.
For those who more extravert in their inspiration for motivation look at doing group activities around this so you have others to feed off or having a mentor/ coach to help nurture or inspire your motivation. If that’s not possible include someone in your journey whether it is telling someone about what you want to achieve, or is this goal possibly able to be shared as a partnership to feed off each other?
Be a “GOAL” digger
Accomplishing a big goal can lead to a lack of direction, as there’s a sudden motivational void that needs to be filled, but no “milestone” objective yet in sight. And us humans tend to feed well off immediate gratification, so set that end goal, but then break it down it manageable milestone sections. That way you can be rewarded with achievements as you move along. Also be open to recalibrating your mini goals as depending on your level of motivation they may need to be tweaked for progression to be more achievable.
“Hey Ben…. Why isn’t it working? Even though I have followed the steps.”
Sometimes it comes down to a lack of confidence, rather than a lack of motivation, which causes this underlying fear to proceed. Or even it is the case of perfectionism where because you believe it isn’t perfect it is not worth doing. Both of these can lead to procrastination. But let me just say “The shot you don’t take, will always be the shot you miss.”
If you underlyingly doubt your ability to accomplish the task at hand, you may feel motivated but anxiously incapable of taking action. It is in the gap between motivation and execution that many forms of self-sabotage and self-doubt lie, and it is important to identify what thought processes intercept your journey to achieving that goal.
As a society we have this perception that we need to produce this perfect product or result when we compete something, however, don’t you think it is more important take the journey travelled and learn from that experience so you can improve the next time round…. which then would help with motivation? Food for thought for you.