It’s always fun when I’m thinking about what I should blog or vlog about and then all of a sudden, the community is all talking about the same thing. It is a huge passion of mine to serve the community, and I’m thankful that you all make it so fun and rewarding!
There are hundreds of videos and blogs out there to help solve the problem of motivation. If you’re struggling with being self-employed and lacking motivation, there are tons of resources and techniques out there to help you get out of the rut. A quick search on your favorite search engine or informational website will bring you thousands of starting places.
But, before you jump down there, I have something I want to add to the conversation. Many of us recognize the problem and implement strategies on how to solve the problem of motivation, but many times after a couple of weeks, we find ourselves right back to where we started, because we never really understood what was causing us to be unmotivated to begin with.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a 3-step process to helping you find out what the root of your motivation problem is because we are beautifully and uniquely different! That means that there are infinite reasons why you feel this way, but that doesn't mean you have to take a shot in the dark and hope you fix it.
Lacking motivation does not make you a bad worker. It doesn’t even mean you’re failing. Every entrepreneur struggles with this. If it wasn’t the case, then why are there hundreds of motivational videos out there to begin with? How would they know to speak to it if they hadn't walked through it?
These 6, 7, and 8 figure earners have been right where you are, struggling to get out of bed, to get to work, or to stay focused, because it is hard work!
So, no, you are not abnormal. In fact, you are very normal! What will set you apart from everyone else is what you decide to do when you encounter it.
Are you willing to sit and look at your issue?
Are you willing to take responsibility for changing your circumstances?
Are you willing to change and adjust even though it's hard?
Knowing where you’re at, being willing to sit with it, even though it has a negative connotation is work in itself. It is scary and uncomfortable, but it gets easier over time, because you start realize that the work will always be worth it in the end.
Lacking Motivation? Why? And What Do I Do About It?
There are 3 main categories that your lack of motivation may fall into:
1. Mental Health
When people think "mental health", they may be thinking chronic illnesses such as depression, addiction, or anxiety. If you struggle with any of those things, talking to a mental health professional is so helpful and can bring about very real change.
I would highly encourage it, as someone who regularly sees mental health professionals and prioritize them alongside any other health care practitioner.
While mental health illness can absolutely effect your motivation levels, it is not always the case. People who do not struggle with illness are not immune to adjusting their mental health care when they need it. In fact, everyone may need to implement stable and steady routines so that what to do next is no longer something you have to think about. All people could need to take regular “brain breaks” throughout the work day. Taking regular 5-10 minute breaks where you are doing something productive (NOT scrolling facebook, sorry folks) can help your mind catch up to the rest of you and can help you stay on task and motivated. Try stepping outside, playing with your pets, or stretching exercises. Try things for weeks a time and try to find something that works for you.
2. Emotional Health
This category can be kind of a taboo subject. I’m not quite sure why it still is, though. In a time where people are talking about these things regularly in an attempt to normalize it, still people feel uncomfortable thinking about their own emotions and emotional health. The truth is, emotions are nothing more than a tool to help you identify that something inside of you is out of alignment. It does not make you more or less of a person, it does not make you more or less in control of your own destiny. Your emotions do not define you. All they do is give you an opportunity to adjust to make live more thrive-worthy.
Entrepreneurs experience a lot of emotional stress. How could they not? The amount of discipline required to make your business successful can cause you to be lonely, stressed, and overwhelmed all at the same time. When you are not surrounded by friends who know what it’s like to run your own business, you’ll start to realize that there isn’t a much to relate to anymore. Every time they ask you to do something, but you can’t because you have to get to bed on time, finish up your work to reach your goals, or do something else… eventually you may find that they stop asking you to go anywhere. The stress of being in charge of literally EVERYTHING can be an isolating and stressful feeling.
It is so important as entrepreneurs that we give ourselves permission to feel and to take care of ourselves. It’s important that we make time for friends, family, and connection. When we do so, we can lower stress and take a break from feeling super overwhelmed. And when you’re in an emotional struggle, stepping away and giving yourself permission for a break might exactly what you need to come back to work with a new set of eyes and a refreshed perspective.
3. Physical Health
Before I talk about physical health, I do want to make sure to mention that because we are so uniquely different—consult with your health care physician before you make sudden changes to your diet and lifestyle. Sometimes, making changes too fast or too suddenly can cause more damage, even if the intention was to help!
It is immensely difficult to be trapped inside of a physical body that does not want to do the work that your mind and soul want to do. Sometimes, lacking motivation comes from issues that are solely physical. When you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning, what if the reason is simply that you only got 5 hours of sleep last night? What if the reason you can’t focus at work is because your body is needing better nutrition? Or even more nutrition? How many of us skip breakfast because we simply “don’t have time”, only to be stopped short at 2 in the afternoon because we’ve run out of energy and our body is going into overdrive trying to get lunch digested?
As someone who lived with undiagnosed hormonal imbalance for years, I always thought that I was just lazy and weak when I couldn’t get motivated enough to focus for more than 2-3 hours at a time. But with a few extra vitamins, regular exercise, and an adjusted diet, things are better. I know I haven’t solved all my problems, but I will always be looking for the next thing to make my physical health better.
The most important thing to remember in this journey, is that it is, in fact, a journey. That means that as long as you are moving forward, you are moving. The less time you spend shaming or ignoring your lack of motivation and the more time you spend trying to discover why you feel that way, the closer you will get to solving the problem. I wish there was a magic pill or button that can fix these issues, but at the same time, I’m glad that there isn’t. In these struggles, the process of finding answers is what builds character. So, I wish you the best of luck in the journey to building character. I know you can do it!