The Simplest Guide to finding Inspiration: 9 Ways to Get Motivated!
This past week has been an ongoing battle between finding inspiration and even the slightest bit of motivation to write, and giving up in the face of my writer’s block.
I’ve started about four different posts, and even made it as far as completing the research phase of many of my topics – but the moment it got to typing it up, I start to feel inadequate and I quit.
Now, how many of us has this happened to? Raise your hand if you can relate.
So, rather than giving in to this constant feeling of depression, and after finally letting go of my anxiety of looking for the next article to post, I figured I would just spend the next day trying letting go of all my expectations and doing whatever it took to find the least bit of motivation.
I spent all of today looking for minor and easy ways to get over my hump of writer’s block, and determine the simplest techniques for finding motivation and inspiration when facing the hardship of hopelessness and low-spirits.
WITH THAT BEING SAID, THE LAST 24 HOURS HAVE TAUGHT ME THIS:
SET THE BAR LOWER:
One of the most overwhelming feelings in the world is living up to our expectations when we’re feeling low. Rather than working at our usual 90%, we feel like we’re at a 10%. So, save yourself the stress and defeat, and set the bar a little lower for yourself. Rather than determining an outrageous plan for yourself today, set a few small and specific goals for yourself. If you accomplish them, great. If you don’t, oh well. If, after everything, you are open to doing more, you’ll feel even better for the tasks you did complete. Start out small, and if later on begin to feel more motivated, you can always raise the bar a little higher.
Take note that if you end up feeling too overwhelmed while tackling your goal, chances are it's too high for the moment, and you just have to lower it a little. And that’s okay.
JUST WORK ON IDEAS:
If on the other hand, you can’t find the motivation or inspiration to accomplish any goal, and yet you still feel the need to complete something of value during your day, I found that it’s a great alternative to break down a few actions and ideas that can support your goal, but are way smaller in task and require less exertion. This will support your goal without having to overwhelm your senses and mind to get it done. Just come up with a few ideas, write them out, and try to get them accomplished.
READ AN ARTICLE OR BOOK:
When I face writer’s block, or any other form of lack of motivation, one of the first things I turn to is a good book. The reason for this is because it requires the minimum amount of focus and energy, but you still remain in a state of learning and acquiring some kind of valuable knowledge. Something as little as reading an article on an interesting (or completely unrelated) topic, or picking up a good book, feeds your mind without swamping it with the expectation of endless effort and overwhelming information.
BRAINSTORM OR CREATE A VISION BOARD:
At first, I thought it was a really silly idea. I asked my partner what he did when he lacked motivation or inspiration, and he just replied: “I check Autotrader.com” At first I was completely disengaged with his answer, I thought it was pointless and almost funny, but then he kindly explained to me that when he lacks any form of motivation to get his work done, he reminds himself (and thinks) of all the things he does want, in this particular case: cars. With that to begin, he starts to fill his mind with pictures and feelings of having the things he wants, and sooner or later he becomes so immersed in his desires that he is eager to start working for them.
Without knowing it, I do the same thing too. When I feel down and out of the loop, I love looking at travel pages, photos of vacation islands and pretty clothes. And while we must remind ourselves to be inspired and motivated by our hopes, and not let them discourage us when we feel unmotivated – picturing something we want can push us to take action.
Meditation is the perfect solution for any problem, especially a lack of motivation or inspiration. The wide variety of meditation techniques allows for anything from decluttering your mind, to envisioning and immersing yourself in your ideas and dreams. Meditating is the perfect exercise for calming down and releasing stress, and it serves as the best way for heightening creativity and allowing for more effortless flow. The next time you feel uninspired or depressed, just sit down for 20 minutes and meditate on some positivity, silence, or relaxation.
Sometimes we forget to do things because we just don’t feel like they’re aligned with what we think we have to do. Being creative often takes the back seat to work and productivity, though I don’t know why. Letting go of the expectations we have of ourselves, and just letting ourselves be free to create, in any way, shape, or form – will often become more therapeutic than we anticipate. Whether you decide to do anything from drawing, to writing, speaking, moving, dancing, singing or making/building something, or really anything that you can think of – as you let go of the need to follow rules, you open whatever energy is currently residing in you to a whole new dimension.
I feel like when I suffer of writer’s block, the easiest thing for me to do is just create something out of nothing. I let go of any thoughts I have of work, research or “being productive” and I dance, do yoga, sing out loud, and move around. I love to talk to myself (and/or other people) about random topics, and just dive in the depths of any subject, without binding myself to what I think I should be doing. Then, before I know it, I have a whole new inspiration to write about, and I can do it freely, because it came to me and I wasn’t chasing it.
Stop the stigma of overworking and overexerting yourself in order to feel or appear productive. Part of a balanced lifestyle is giving yourself time to rest, relax, or play. We live in a society, where taking a break and just catching your breath is frowned upon. But you’d be surprised to know how vital, yet underrated it is for your mind and body to recuperate. Take a break when you need to, whether it’s once every fifteen minutes, or you take hours off from the day to do nothing and just relax.
Regardless of what it is you’re going through; whether you’re feeling unmotivated, uninspired, anxious or depressed altogether – even if you’re not doing anything you could classify as productive or advantageous to your life or career, the fact is you should still be focused on thinking (or doing) things that truly feel good to you.
The worst part about being in a slump is the feeling bad about (or for) ourselves. This is unnecessary. You’re not going to have great days every day, but you do have the ability to treat the bad days as learning curves and create opportunities out of these bad days to learn more about yourself. Find out what fears you have, what holds you back, or what inspires you and propels you to do what you love.
It’s a bad day, not a bad life. If you remember that and choose to focus on a deeper understanding of yourself, no bad day will go unprofitable.
I will always believe this is amongst the greatest tools for overcoming any kind of setback. Having a compassionate support system will always be the best remedy for any lack of motivation, inspiration, or determination. If you’re ever caught in a rut, surround yourself with the people who truly care for you.
Easy, right? Seems like it.
But… Just remember that your selection of companions will determine whether you continue to feel miserable, or if you’re about to receive constructive, inspiring and meaningful advice. Make sure these people are the right group for pushing you beyond your comfort zone, and not masking a false sense of sympathy or keep you doing from doing anything. I know it sounds crude, but it is so important to find people who will push you, rather than assist you in hiding behind your feelings. Good supporters include optimistic or pro-active family members, friends, colleagues, or such – and even some teachers, students, or acquaintances that you may not be very close with, but that have traits and qualities that you admire like determination, wisdom, knowledge, perspective, mindfulness, etc.
THERE’S ONLY SO MANY THINGS YOU CAN DO THAT WILL GET YOU OUT OF YOUR MISERY. WHILE THE LIST OF ACTIONS MAY NOT BE LONG FOR FINDING THE MOTIVATION TO GET ANYTHING DONE, THE REASONS FOR PUSHING YOURSELF ARE ENDLESS.
Ultimately, you can only ever do what you can. Don’t shame yourself if nothing gets done, but also don’t stop yourself from getting something accomplished if the feelings come up. When you’re ready, it’ll come. In the meantime, don’t worry about it. The worse you feel about not doing anything, the harder it’ll be to focus when you are doing something. Let it come or let it go.
Surround yourself with your own positivity and that of others, if you can find a good support group. Relax, do whatever it takes to get in the groove of taking action. Whether it’s something small, or you actually wrote the first full blog post in a whole week (like I just did), I hope this list of ideas and actions can inspire you to get back into the groove, and motivate to take any form of action, even if it doesn’t meet your expectations or standards of productivity.
What makes you inspired? Do you have some advice or ideas that weren’t mentioned above? How do you stay motivated in times of hardship?
Let me know in the comments below!