At the heart of it, motivation is the WHY that defines your desire to do something. And this WHY is crucial to your ability to follow through on the goals you’ve set for yourself. When you connect your task at hand with the deeper reason that motivates your actions, you give yourself the energy necessary to persist, especially when things get tough.
Once we know what we want and why we want it, a strange thing tends to occur. Our increased awareness about our goals shines a light on our internal blocks. What this tells us is that we’re not able to move forward by simple understanding of our motivation. Rather, we need to dig deep and resolve what holds us back.
This week’s blog post explores the emotional, informational and logistical reasons for which we sometimes lose our motivation and offers tips on how to find it again.
How to Find + Keep Your Motivation
More often than not, our connection to our motivation brings us into direct relationship with our resistances and self-imposed obstacles. We cannot start or stay motivated until we understand what gets in our way and what we can do to attend to it.
In most cases, the culprit is one of the following:
- We often experience negative and limited thinking hand-in-hand with emotional disturbance.For example, we might think “I don’t have what it takes to do this.” This brand of thinking conjures up feelings of hopelessness and despair.
- Emotional blocks hold us back from taking action. They siphon off our momentum, drain our motivation, and leave us to stew in doubt
- Sometimes we don’t know what we need to move forward. This can dovetail emotional blocks as well. For example, when we don’t know what we need to take the next right step, we tend to experience a fear-based emotional response that hypnotizes us into thinking we’re doomed to make a mistake. We often freeze around this fear in a state of analysis-paralysis.
- Sometimes we don’t know how to take our next step. For example, we deliberate with ourselves about whether we should start a therapeutic practice by calling a therapist or by reading a book. Or, if we’re starting a business, we wonder “do I start by building a website” or “get business cards?” These simple examples illuminate the everyday decisions we face that can challenge and overwhelm us.
- Many times, we think that we’re experiencing a logistical challenge, when in fact we’re up against an emotional block. Either way, what’s required here is that you both face logistical challenges and emotional blocks head-on.
Whatever our blocks are, we need to find ways to move past them so that we can stay on track with our goals.
Here are some tips that will help you overcome the most common blocks that people face as they work to keep stride with their dreams, ambitions and personal hopes.
- Sadly, there is absolutely no way to provide information that will help you easily trouble-shoot emotional blockages. This is because emotional blocks are so unique to our personal history that no panacea is readily available. However, in this instance, knowledge is power. If you’re aware that an emotional block is keeping you from realizing your success, you’re on track to resolve it.
- The next step requires that you to find techniques that help you clear your emotional blocks. I’ve found that certain techniques work best for certain situations and certain levels of development. For example, talk-therapy might be instrumental at one point in your healing process, whereas energy-work might be the best mode of treatment at another point. If you’re experiencing emotional blocks, start a personal development practice with a professional or start some research into personal development techniques.
- Once you’ve developed your emotional toolbox, you’ll be better able to assess your blocks and remedy them with increased efficiency.
- We can either take the fast route or the slow route towards information. The fast route requires that we find someone to teach us what we need to know. The slow route allows us to collect the necessary information on our own and at our pace. The primary thing required to resolve an informational block is a complete sense of what you need to solve the problem at hand.
- If you’re challenged by how to move through a project, it’s best to either follow an established pattern or to get outside help. There are step-by-step guides for just about everything you can think of. And there are many experts available to walk you through the process.
When it comes right down to it, it’s easier to maintain our motivation when we have the right support. As obvious as this might be, many people try to face new and challenging situations on their own. This approach can quickly drain your motivation, especially with projects you’ve struggled to succeed at before.
Support can come in many forms. You can find a friend to partner with. You can join a group. You can hire a professional. Or you can simply let some of your friends or family know of your intentions and ask them to help you stay on target. As long as you’re getting the right support, it doesn’t really matter who’s providing it.
I’ll leave you with a final tip on keeping up your motivation.
And it’s this: give yourself rewards! The most important part of a reward system (or a punishment system) is that it’s adhered to. So, when you hit a milestone, make sure to properly celebrate yourself. You earned it.
As much I’d like for everyone to sign up for a reward system, the reality is that some people are best motivated by a system of punishment. When something big enough is on the line, these people find the energy and umph necessary to move forward. If this describes you, then I recommend getting creative with your punishment system.
For example, I’ve had several clients who would make a sizable donation to charity if they did not keep their projects moving forward as planned.
It’s essential that we return to the WHY that compels our motivation as much as possible. When we do this often, our WHY comes to define our intrinsic sense of our motivation and helps us build the skills necessary to trouble-shoot when the going gets tough.