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Ask Lawrence: How do I rediscover my motivation during this challenging time?

17 Jul 11:00 By Lawrence Akers

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It's a tough time out there, especially if you're a Melburnian. We have winter making it harder to get up in the morning. We have stage 3 restrictions making some feel trapped and isolated. We have a recession making many feel a lack of job security or frustrated with trying to find a new role. In short, if you're feeling demotivated and out of sorts, it's understandable and you're not alone.

This week, I wanted to focus a little on how to rediscover your motivation, as well as extend the invitation to you to join us on our next virtual meet up on Wednesday July 22nd at 1:00 PM (Melbourne time) where we will be exploring this topic in greater detail.

What is a lack of motivation?

A lack of motivation is often a symptom that you're finding things overwhelming in your life and may be experiencing that feeling of it being all 'a bit too hard' or 'pointless'. You may notice that you're beginning to not take as much care for yourself, and you may be eating badly and sleeping poorly. It might be a sign that your thoughts about the world or your job or your health are taking over your mind and that you're having struggles with them.

There are many reasons why someone may lack motivation and find that their drive isn't there and that they're procrastinating or spending way too much time watching cat videos on Youtube instead of something more meaningful and productive.

It is also a continuum. It's not like you're either motivated or you're not; you could find that you're operating at 80% to what you normally would but you're also feeling that lack of the 20% and that this is bugging you because you recognise that it isn't 'you'.

What are some tips to help with rebuilding motivation?

There are a few things to consider when it comes to rebuilding your motivation.

The first is to re-establish a routine that provides some structure to your life. This might be achieved by setting up a regular time to get up and to go to bed, planning your meals in advance so that you're eating properly, developing a home workout routine so that you can move, release endorphins and get some exercise in, and begin to plan about what you can do that is going to be meaningful and productive with your time.

What is within your control?

One of the biggest issues at the moment is around the relationship people have with control. Most people like to feel 'in control' and during times of uncertainty, this desire can be compromised.

The reality is that the only thing you have within your control are your thoughts and your behaviours. Everything else is out of your control.

The economy is outside of your control. Coronavirus is outside of your control. Even that annoying cough that your partner does is outside of your control.

There is a paradox around control, which is the more that you try to control what is out of control, the more out of control you get.

So, what do you do instead?

Well, you find acceptance for what is outside of your control for a start. You don't have to like it, but you can accept that it is what it is and stop your struggle with it. That struggle is costing you energy that could be used elsewhere.

Once you've accepted that this is what it is, you can bring that focus back internally to ask what can I do in this situation; what is within my control?

Consider this; we have a bad situation. Now in a bad situation, you can do one of two things. You could think bad things about the bad situation and have this cycle of negativity rev up inside you taking a bad situation that is out of your control and making you feel really, really crap on top of it Alternatively, you could take a bad situation and start to look for the things that you are grateful for within it, and what is going right. You can look for what is within your power to do that is meaningful for you during this time. You can make a promise to yourself to take better self care and to start to explore areas of professional development that could be of interest. If you do this, then you're making this bad situation just a little bit better because you're doing something meaningful for you during it.

If your argument to that is, 'yeah, but you're not me and you don't know how bad it really is' then I would say, yes, you're right. I am not you and I don't know how bad it is. However as Henry Ford famously reminded us, whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. Where you put your focus is what you will end up getting. That choice is within your control and it's yours!

What is the why for you?

Dig in and explore what you can do with your time that is going to be meaningful and productive for you? What can you learn? What can you do to take care of yourself? What is something that you might've liked to explore in the past but haven't had the time?

The only person capable of making this change is you, and if you find that you're not getting the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, maybe consider what is happening for you? Maybe you need that time out for a moment – you are only human and there is nothing wrong with that. If you find that it is becoming weeks on end and you're not showering and you just hate the world, then have the courage to reach out, talk with someone, and begin to rediscover just how much control you do have in this world.

Virtual Meet Up

The next virtual meet up will be on Wednesday 22nd July at 1:00 PM (Melbourne time) where we will be talking about this very topic plus a lot more.

If you're interested in coming along, click here and enter your details and the link will be sent to you.

No fear of an upsell – we're not selling anything, we're simply creating a space for people in the creative industry to get together, talk about things that are relevant to our community and to feel heard and supported. If that sounds ideal for you, then come along and join us.

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