When you think of the word Motivation what comes to mind?
Many people feel they need to be more motivated to get things done. Or be more motivated with their work.
Pushing yourself harder to achieve more is an ongoing theme in our culture and society.
But what if the actual thing that’s needed is something different? What if motivation isn’t what you really need to succeed in life or business?
Could it be that your concept of motivation is actually a mirage to the actual thing you want and need?
Let’s dig into the soil to pull out what motivation really looks like
I work alone in my house. My companionship is typically just my little cat Tigger. He likes to jump in on my coaching sessions, videos, and speeches when he hears me talking.
Sometimes I go into town and work from my office.
My work is about helping people learn how to Love themselves fully instead of seeking validation or chasing after someone else’s acceptance. It’s helping people free themselves from codependent patterns.
For me this is a calling more than an occupation. So the “work” function is a combination of creating teachings that I post online and working one-on-one with students through coaching and courses.
When I’ve felt I needed more motivation to put out content (teachings and lessons), that’s led me to try to find something to motivate me to get into gear. Sometimes that’s been reading inspirational books, talking with inspiring people, and watching videos.
But in hindsight, I see that it wasn’t a matter of not having motivation. What I was really looking for was some inspiration. A spark of creativity to find a new way to communicate what’s inside of me.
Space can be the push you’re looking for
Other times I didn’t need motivation as much as I needed to take a break, give my mind some space and rest, and allow myself to just be. The recharge time is incredibly powerful and very needed, especially in our business culture of staying perpetually busy.
What if you examined yourself at the moment where you feel a lack of motivation and asked yourself, “What is the feeling behind the feeling?”
This exploration can show you more of what it is that’s truly going on inside of you. What may seem like a lack of motivation to “get stuff done” could actually be an emotional need that’s not being met.
Instead of fostering a codependent relationship with the idea of motivation as something you have to chase after, learn to embrace yourself where you are right now.
Choose to Love yourself by sitting with your feelings
One other discovery I’ve made in this motivation-journey is where Love languages come into our daily processes.
If you’re a big-hearted person like me, you likely have a dominant Love language in words of affirmation/encouragement. When was the last time you received a word of affirmation from someone?
If it’s been a while, it could be that what you perceive to be a lack of motivation is actually your heart feeling a need for affirmation. What would happen if you affirmed yourself with words of Love and empowerment?
Give it a try. Think of something you wish someone would say to you that is encouraging and say it to yourself.
Say it out loud. If you can go somewhere private and look in a mirror, tell yourself the encouraging and affirming thing. Some great affirmations to give to yourself can be found in Growth Farming Affirmations For Success.
Give yourself this Love. Then notice how you feel.
What’s changed? Do you feel more empowered to take a step forward on doing the work or finishing a project you’ve neglected?
What if Love is the motivation you’re actually seeking?
This goes for all the Love languages too.
A hug can be an incredibly motivating thing. Human touch and interaction is what all of us need. Because we’re on this journey and sharing the planet together.
We aren’t meant to be alone for prolonged periods
Community is what drives us forward.
Sometimes we all need space to be alone and allow ourselves the privacy of just being with self to get centered and in alignment with ourselves. But too much isolation and solitude can have negative consequences on your emotional wellbeing.
The Covid-19 pandemic of quarantines and isolation has all taught us that.
If you’ve experienced a lack of drive or motivation, think about how much interaction with others you’ve had. How was that interaction?
It’s worth noting that not all human interactions are the same. Surrounding yourself with affirming and Loving people is a different energetic exchange than being around perpetually negative, complaining people. That kind of interaction will sap your energy and positivity. And being around those kinds of people can certainly make you feel unmotivated to do anything!
So look at your social interactions and exchanges. If you’ve spent too much time alone, it could be that the motivation you’re looking for is to spend some time with some uplifting and empowering people. Give someone a hug. Pat someone on the back. Tell them how much you appreciate them.
Notice the three Love languages spoken right there (words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time).
Let this expanded concept of “Motivation” impact you in even deeper ways.
Actually, I have seen motivation itself as a thing that is lacking in terms of what it’s actually intended for. In my exploration of personal growth and self-Love, I can understand why.
Motivation alone doesn’t get the job done
There’s more to moving forward than just having motivation.
Essentially we’ve taken this idea of “motivation” and given it the role of several different things.
If we replace Love with motivation, we’re always going to be searching for more. There’s no peace there.
For some people, motivation is a spark that moves you from standing still to taking action. You can call this function inner drive.
What happens when the spark of motivation wears off? Do you settle back down and return to a state of complacency? Or do you need another spark to keep your train moving forward?
Then what happens when you are building momentum and want to take things to a new level? What kind of motivation is needed for that. Now we’re talking about increase and expansion. But is motivation what is needed to get you into a higher state of productivity and excellence?
You can see how the idea of motivation itself is categorized in areas where other things are best suited for to achieve the intended results.
And it’s much more than just motivation alone.
Dealing with burnout
Another big thing that many people experience is trying to get themselves back in gear after experiencing burn out or loss. This is when some very deep emotional wounds have taken place and you don’t have the same desire or passion for things as you once did.
If you seek some external form of motivation to get you back into gear, you’re doing more harm than good to yourself.
Because when you burn out the engine of a car, it’s not going to drive anywhere. You can put new gas in it and try to cool the engine down. But burn out requires much more internal work and replacing parts (on a car) than just changing the fuel.
The motivation can seem like fuel needed to get your proverbial car in gear. But it’s not.
If you’ve experienced burn out like overwork from a job, emotional trauma from a broken relationship, or feeling stressed out in any way, you don’t need to jump back into anything. You need to rest, recharge, and renew your inner world.
Think of it like a garden. If drought and intense heat scorch the land, just trying to water parts of the garden here and there aren’t going to restore life and growth. There will need to be cultivation of the soil as well as channels of water and some shade given for the plant life to be able to foster life again. Deeper work is going to take place than irrigation alone.
Your inner garden works very similarly
If you’ve experienced burn out in any capacity, motivation isn’t the thing you’re missing. It’s time, healing, and self-Love that is required to restore yourself so that you can have the peace and life you desire.
When I went through the heartbreak of divorce, I felt like my life was getting away from me. Since I was a kid I dreamed of being married and having a family.
Suddenly, that life was taken from me and I felt like the train of my dreams had kicked me off and was running away down the tracks.
As I went through my healing journey, some great friends shared powerful wisdom with me. I didn’t need to rush the healing process. Time was my best friend.
It’s your best friend too. My buddy Travis shared some great wisdom with me that I included in my book on discovering how to Love myself during life’s biggest challenges. You can get a copy of Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole for just $7 plus a ton of bonus resources here.
As I learned how to Love myself instead of chasing Love from others, the emotional burnout healed. I needed time, patience, kindness, and grace. I had to learn how to give myself these gifts of Love. Each step along the way created the momentum for motivation to return.
When you regrow your inner garden, you’re able to facilitate life on a new level. You become the master gardener of your own heart and mind. This is removing attachment to other people for being the source of your success and fulfillment. It’s also removing other people as being the cause of your pain and suffering.
Only you can prevent forest fires within. And only you can be the gardener of your life.
Instead of chasing or seeking motivation, look within yourself and evaluate the state of your inner garden. Are you really feeling isolated and alone? Have a conversation with a friend and see how your feelings change.
Help for you right now
Are you feeling a lack of drive to get things done, be focused on your work, or just show up fully in your job?
If you’ve told yourself that you need motivation, ask yourself why you feel that way. Do some inner exploration to see why you feel a lack of drive. It could be that you need inspiration, new creative ideas, or just a bit of encouragement to move forward.
The answers you’re seeking are found when you dig into the soil of your inner garden. Let your heart speak to you on what it is that you’re really needing.
And if you want a friend to help you in this exploration, I’m here for you. I’ve done a lot of this work on myself, as well as helped countless people navigate their next steps in their personal growth journey of self-Love.
I’m happy to help you too. Let’s meet over a virtual coffee. Bring your questions and I’ll bring peace, wisdom, encouragement, and clarity for you. It’s totally free, no pitch or salesy stuff at all.
If you want help moving forward, here’s your ticket. Looking forward to talking with you!