Lately, I have been struggling with a lack of motivation to write. The voice in my head is relentless. “I feel too tired after a full day at work and 1 ½ to 2 hours spent in grueling traffic, to get home. I feel sick. My brain feels foggy and I can’t focus. I don’t have the time; running my household and making time for physical and recreational activity keeps me busy.
Is my writing any good? No one will probably read it. After all, my website never gets more than a handful of views on any post I write. I don’t know what to write about; I can’t decide on a topic. I have not been writing all my life, nor do I eat, breathe and sleep writing, so I must not be as passionate about it as I think. I can’t write fiction. Who is going to read any book I write. My story is not impactful enough.”
“Just stop!” I yell, trying to silence the voice. “The validity of your claims is not the real issue here. The real issue is lack of motivation.”
My current struggle is staying motivated towards writing and maintaining momentum on my blog. But for you it may be something else. Maybe it is a project that you need to breathe new life into. Maybe it is a business venture, a personal or professional goal. If you are struggling with maintaining motivation towards a project or goal, or anything at all, I have three suggestions that I hope you find helpful.
Motivation through Reflection and Gratitude
Reflect on why you started out on that particular path in the first place. Do you remember the excitement and the joy you felt when you first started? Recall the milestones and big or small wins that you’ve had thus far. Think about any persons who have been positively impacted by what you are doing. Reflect on any endorsements or praise you have received. Think about what you have learned so far from the journey.
Next, give thanks for all of it. Also give thanks for the ability to do that thing that you are doing. Give thanks for who you have become in the process and all the skills and knowledge you have acquired as a result of that particular endeavor. Gratitude has a profound effect on our bodies and our brains. Learn more about this in my post The Eye-Opening Effects of Gratitude Practice.
Putting it to Practice
When I first started this blog, I would hurry home every Friday evening and write a new post. I put great effort into publishing a new post every week. Now I struggle to get even one post up per month.
Lately, I have been thinking about what motivated me to begin this blog in the first place. I started this blog to give myself a voice, to find a creative outlet and as a platform from which I can encourage and inspire others. Encouraging others, cheering others on and seeing others win is what makes me excited and gives me joy.
I also reminded myself about how good I feel after completing a post. I reminded myself that when I write I am not doing so mindlessly. My style, my tone, the words I choose, the transitions from one paragraph to the other, I put thought into all of it. I am creating something worthwhile. I am adding value to the life of my reader.
Reminding myself of my why, gave me a spark. I slowly began to feel motivated and excited.
Motivation Through Your Tribe
By tribe, I mean likeminded people, who are in the same area of pursuit as you, and from whom you can find inspiration and encouragement. Have you ever tried to light a bunch of coals? First you light your twigs or old newspaper. Then the fire ignites one coal, then that coal ignites another and so on and so on, until before you know it, all the coals are lighting.
Similarly, your tribe can help light your fire and keep you lighting. They can help you to feel alive, motivated and energized. Think about the last time you felt fired up or inspired about your pursuit, after a conversation or encounter with someone in your tribe.
Don’t Have a Tribe?
I do realize that based on our varying circumstances, it is not always easy to connect with the right people. This has been a challenge for me as well, and it can be quite lonely and frustrating sometimes. But do not be dismayed, you will figure it out.
In my case, I do not have any friends who are writers, bloggers or creatives. So, I turned to my WordPress Reader. Interestingly, a few suggestions of posts about writing came up in my feed. The sparks continued, the fire was imminent.
One particular post by Sundus Alsharif inspired me. I felt grateful for her candor which gave me the courage to write this post. Sundus’post is about how meditation can help with overcoming writer’s block. She shared her realization that her life experiences affected her writers block and that meditation helped her tackle negative beliefs about herself.
Sundus writes, “most of our problems are internal in nature. By fixing the inside, the outside takes care of itself.” I support meditation, though I am not a pro, nor do I practice it as often as I would like. Meditation encourages us to look inward and that is so important.
The need for a tribe is also important. The need to fellowship and gain energy and inspiration from others who are travelling the same path as us is important. Sometimes we misguidedly think that we do not need others but the truth is we do. Based on my own desire, I had been mulling on this topic for a couple days and the possibility of writing a post about it. Sundus’ post gave me the confirmation and inspiration I needed.
Sometimes the desire to be perfect at what we are doing can lead to frustration, self-doubt and lack of motivation. I am not suggesting you be substandard. But forget about being perfect for a moment and just take the next step. We don’t start out perfect, we grow and improve over time. Like the old adage says, “practice makes perfect.” But, does perfect even exist?
I questioned myself a dozen times whether this was a good topic for a post and whether I should write it. I spent more time than usual reviewing and rewriting it.
Self-doubt taunted me. “This does not make sense. It is not going to be good, certainly not as good as some of your other posts. You should think about another topic. Nobody wants to hear about your struggles.”
I retorted, “it does not matter if it is not your best post. Maybe somebody who needs the message will come across it. You need to post something; it might as well be this. You will only become more frustrated, trying to find the perfect topic to write about. If this is what is on your heart at the moment, then just write it.”
Don’t let the need to be perfect stop you. Take the leap! You grow as you go.
Wrapping Things Up…
Now that I am the end of this post I feel a lot more motivated and enthusiastic than when I started out. I am glad that I did not give in to the intimidation of the blank page. Nor did I give up when I completed just the first paragraph and then felt stuck. Or when my brain felt muddled and I struggled to clarify where I was going with this. Or when self-doubt taunted me.
What has got you intimidated? What has got you feeling stuck or unmotivated? Try, meditation to help you go inward. Try reflection on your why and gratitude for what you have accomplished and experienced so far. Try connecting with likeminded people who are traveling the same path as you, this will help spark your fire and energize you. And leave perfection at the door. If you let him in he will only sap your energy and extinguish your fire, leaving you void of motivation.
For some more tips on how to stay motivated, check out this post.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Share it with a friend if you found value in it. Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you. 🙂
Until next time ~ Namaste🙏