Feeling Unmotivated

Some people seem to have things figured out.

And when they don’t, those same people at least have the motivation to do what it takes to figure things out. You know the type. They have a clear sense of purpose with the energy and mental stamina to back it up. These are probably the same people who were kids who always knew their career path and life calling- the ones that wanted to be a teacher, doctor, etc., and/ or get married and have a family. They exercise when they don’t feel like it. They just know what they want and they never question it.

Then there’s people like me.

People who didn’t really know what they wanted to do or be, and even if they did, the path to get there did not seem very clear cut and if it was very clear cut, it didn’t seem to be possible for them. There was no “connect-the-dots” linear pattern of getting what they wanted and in fact, things seem to be an unrelated soup of ideas and wishes just floating around. Everything seems random and nonconsequential. And even if they started out on the path that led to what they thought they wanted, they got lost along the way. Just do it? More like just screw it… they are stuck in the land of default living and complacency.

Default living minimizes the discomfort of struggle.  

We learn to take whatever comes along on the path of least resistance. We go from a life of striving for pleasure to a life of trying to avoid pain. It becomes the pattern in our relationships with ourselves and maybe others. It’s not like we want to struggle every single day, so we become complacent. We habituate to feeling like we can’t have what we want. 

When you are content to a fault, you are complacent. If you want to have a authentically contented existence, you need to be happy with the effects of your decisions.

Evaluating your results is the best way to decide what actions you want to continue or discontinue to take.

If you like the action (or the inaction) you take BUT you don’t like the result it creates, it easily becomes a problem. Even so, we don’t want to struggle, which means we wait until the pain is at a level that tips the breaking point. Until then, struggling feels like effort and discomfort with little or no reward. It reinforces the classic “I know what I should do, I just don’t want to do it” thing. Hello, lack of motivation. Hello, default living.

And by the way, sometimes default living is super sneaky.

When you actively participate in someone else’s goals, it feels like you’re taking action and you’re getting results.

Yes, team work does make the dream work, but if you’re in the role of being a cheerleader of other people’s dreams, are you doing it to avoid investing in your own? Do you believe in your children, friends, or spouse more than yourself?

If you don’t like your current results in any area- health, appearance, career, family, and relationships- pick ONE thing to start with. Within that one area, brainstorm a list of things that you could do to move the needle. Within that list, pick the ONE thing that you think is practically impossible to fail at. Then commit to that one thing until it’s second nature. Then add another thing and repeat the pattern.

Small “wins” are what creates motivation and clarity.

This will provide you evidence that you can really do what you say you are going to do. Look for progress, not perfection. Listen, all of my “All or Nothing” peeps- that’s a false binary and it will keep you locked into feeling unmotivated. Then you veer off into “this isn’t good enough” or some garbage like that. Set yourself up for the best possible outcome by picking small actions, and if you aren’t able to follow through like you hoped you would, just pick an even smaller action. Ahh- there it is! That little bud of motivation is peeking out now.

The trick is to meet yourself where you are, not where you think you should be.

What’s your one thing? Start today. Don’t know what you want to start with or how to start? Shoot me an email ( <– click on “email”) describing your dilemma and I will send you some ideas. Like my daughters say, I am good at telling people what to do. I am sure they mean that in a nice way. 😉

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