How to Get Motivated When You’re Feeling Low
I shot out of bed extra early this morning with a lioness fervor, full of motivation and excitement, and for no particular reason. While brushing my teeth I felt the excitement get stronger and stronger, and I began to wonder to myself “where do these feelings of excitement and motivation come from? If only I can willingly recreate these feelings on command, I would be able to successfully pull a Pinky and the Brain, and take over the world whenever I please.” Optimistic thinking I know, but totally not farfetched.
People assume, given my practice as a Life Coach, that I wake up every morning at 5:00AM, hop out of bed in a Wonder Woman fashion, finish my yoga practice by 7:00AM, and conquer each day as though it were my last. If only that were true! Truth is, I’m just like anybody else. Anyone who tells you that they are motivated and charged 24/7 is not being honest with you or with themselves.
It was this morning that I realized my personal “truths” about what gets me motivated, and I believe you’ll be able to turn this into your truths as well.
The 1st truth: Don’t do a damn thing!
The problem with motivation and all those self-help talks about “unleashing your inner power” and “unlocking your unlimited potential” is, yes they do work, but they often give us only a temporary high. I realize that coming from a Life Coach this may be quite shocking to hear for some of you. But truth is, I’m not in the business of deceiving, I’m in the business of “truth” – at the very least giving you “my truth.” And my truth, which took me a while to admit, is that experiencing the roller coaster of emotions is part of the human experience. We are constantly seeking a peek experience that will keep us in a state of permanent motivation and excitement. Our nature as human beings is to seek pleasure and escape pain, so it’s only natural that we fight for those “feel good” moments whenever life throws us off our tightrope.
The problem with this is, the harder the wind blows, the more easily we get pushed off our tightropes, and the harder we fight for our lives to get back on. This is the very nature of the problem – the very struggle itself to pull ourselves back up is a big waste of energy.
I get tired, I experience sadness, I have days where all I want to do is cuddle up in a ball with Coco, my Yorkie fur-child, and watch one episode after another of ‘Girls’. So that’s what I do. It’s called balance!
Recognize when your body is telling you to recharge. Allow yourself time to sit back and do nothing. If you find that this state of “nothingness” lasts longer than a day, then you can intentionally spark the match yourself and do a happy dance or a guided meditation.
The 2nd Truth: Take the Path of Least Resistance
What I’m about to say may sound counterintuitive to many of you because we are so conditioned to believe that “the greater the struggle the more glorious the triumph.” True, in some ways… but not completely.
Before I receive a bunch of comments stating that ‘my truth’ is bogus, I do want to add that my point here is not to say that one should not work hard and put as much effort as possible into his or her passion. Success does take a lot of work.
My point here is that quite often the need to see the outcome clearly, creates a bigger obstacle than the work itself. What we resist persists, so the more we fight the feelings of “struggle”, the further we get from achieving our goal. The key here is to allow yourself a few minutes each day to dive into those feelings of struggle, fear, anxiety and overwhelm. You may realize that in these few moments of pure feeling, the struggle itself goes away and you can then proceed to working on your mission with more ease and clarity.
The 3rd Truth: Surrender rendered miracles
I’ve spent the last ten years as a spiritual seeker, in and out of ashrams throughout India a number of times, spent months in Israel studying Kabbalah, and spent time with Shamans in South America studying plant medicines. All of this was in thirst of enlightenment.
Did I find what I was looking for?
I believe I found something better…
I found ‘my truth’.
What is ‘my truth’?
‘My truth’ tells me to stop trying so hard. My truth reminds me to surrender. My truth tells me that it’s possible to create silence in my mind and escape the daily chaos that gets created by my thoughts.
My truth also exists to remind me that I’m human. And that in being human it’s okay to be pushed and pulled by forces bigger than me. My truth reminds me not to fight those forces, but to look within when they enter; to sit and become a witness. To trust that something Divine is pulling the strings, guiding me to where I need to be.
So what should we do when we feel motivated?
If I find myself feeling intense pangs of excitement and motivation, the key is to act quickly! Write an article, make a video, create a webinar, take a yoga class, call someone you know is in need and try to help them. Many times this small effort will create momentum to keep the motivation going!
And if those moments arise where you feel unmotivated, because those moments do happen to the best of us, trust that this feeling will pass and stop yourself from the need to fight back and self loath. Simply, and effortlessly, surrender.