I’ll admit it. Sometimes I feel as slow as a sloth. Sometimes I move as slow as a sloth. It’s been hot this summer, humid, and sticky too. Add to that the drag of Covid, and the seemingly endless barrage of distressing news. All of this was a seductive invitation for me to step back, slow down, and sit quietly for a while to process. Not knowing quite what to do, I surrendered to stillness. So, apart from the daily necessities, lots of reading, and my work with my clients, I’ve been somewhat off the grid.
Now, as Autumn approaches, a refreshing breeze reaches beyond the gathering inertia of my mind. And I’m clear.
It’s time to awaken the sloth.
What I know, is that even when it feels impossible to move forward, there are things we can do get the proverbial ball rolling again.
What I’ve noticed with myself, and my clients, is that getting stuck often starts with resistance. Resistance to change. Resistance to uncertainty. Resistance to discomfort. And the longer we stay in resistance, the more likely we will lapse into inertia. We can get used to it, it’s comfortable. And, after a while, it’s easy to forget what we’re resisting in the first place.
Resistance is like a big fat bundle of thoughts that scares us into staying stuck. A thought bundle that gets bigger and more forceful as time goes on. Because this thought bundle seems so big and unwieldly, it feels too hard to tackle. So, it’s much easier to just to stay stuck. And then wait, and wait, and wait…for motivation.
And, more times than I’d like to admit, I realize that motivation rarely, if ever, drops into my lap. In fact, waiting for motivation usually creates far more frustration than actual motivation.
This said, motivation is actually not incredibly difficult to find. That’s because it’s often found on the other side of action. Sometimes just one step will help build the momentum of yet another, and another step. This momentum leads to the motivation to keep on going. These steps can include anything from a plan of action, a paragraph on a page, the outline of a project, or a preliminary sketch. The goal here, is to start something, even when you don’t feel motivated, to gradually build momentum, and motivation.
This might not be new news. But sometimes we (I) need to hear it again, and again.
Here are some tips to build momentum, and motivation. During times like this, I like to keep this list handy:
Change up hypnotic routines. Include new, or rarely eaten, foods in your diet. Take a walk in a completely different direction. Add ritual and variety to your evening routines. Make a new social connection. By doing new things, you will help reduce resistance to uncertainty and unfamiliarity. In addition, this will help activate your brain, making it easier to generate new ideas.
Awaken hidden talents. Engage in enjoyable activities which will awaken aspects of yourself that may have fallen asleep. Think back to what you loved to do as a child, and would love to do again. Begin with small, manageable actions to access this place within you. Experiment with activities within music, art, literature, physical pursuits, or spirituality to spark your creative flow. Awakening your hidden talents, with patience, and acceptance, will help you feel more alive, eager, inspired, and motivated to move forward.
Break goals into very small tasks, and write them down. This will help you break out of built-up resistance to big, impossible-feeling goals. Enjoy a sense of accomplishment as you check things off your list. This sense of accomplishment will help you build momentum and motivation to do more.
Get comfortable with discomfort. Moving out of your comfort zone simply means you’ll feel uncomfortable. And that’s okay. We can all handle discomfort. It’s temporary. Plus, moving through to the other side of discomfort feels GREAT!
Acknowledge your accomplishments, no matter how ‘small.’ When we only celebrate our biggest accomplishments, we devalue what it takes to get there. Stay motivated by acknowledging your progress, step by step, along your way to reaching your goal. When we’re aware of our progress, our goals feel much more accessible.
Give yourself enough structure. Structure will help you contain and focus your efforts. Finding the right structure, especially if you’re resistant to structure, is essential. This might mean a schedule that fits your style, or some type of creative set-up for your workspace. Organization and structure will help you clarify what works, and what you want. And, clarity feeds motivation
Show up. Have faith in your own creative process to help bring you forward. The creative process requires your commitment to take action, and show up, again, and again and again.
Though I didn’t include it on the list, EFT Tapping is a powerful way to release the fear and resistance that keeps us stuck. In addition, tapping facilitates effective brain function, improved mood, and enhanced creative flow. All of these, of course, are essential for forward movement. Contact me to learn more.
WIshing You Peace and Wellbeing,