Man, what a year we’ve been having. So far 2020 blows. How to stay motivated?
I was first inspired to write about how to stay motivated in the face of adversity when I had to cancel my trip to England not once, but twice, in a two-month span.
The first time I was supposed to go was in late January, but the plane broke.
The plane broke!
After six hours waiting on board, it was determined that it couldn’t get us out of Denver, so I missed my connection in Newark and that was the end of that.
So I changed the trip to leave… mid-March.
Welllllll, we all know what started in mid-March.
Myopically, my vicious and aggressive first reaction to the second cancelation was: “Goddammit, I feel like quitting! I’m just so fucking DONE. With everything! WHY IS LIFE SO SHIT! RAAAAGGGHHHH!!”
[Little did I know then. Sigh.]
The point is, the frustration and anger and powerlessness I felt in March (and quite a lot more since then) made me feel like quitting.
As in, quitting life.
Now, I realize that might sound melodramatic, and I don’t deny it, it is (especially in light of this entire year of crap). But in that moment, it’s how I genuinely felt.
We all go through feelings like this at one time or another, about something or other. It can be very difficult to stay motivated to stick with something when all the forces of the universe seem to be wielding pitchforks and rocks at you.
Whether it’s feeling fed up with life altogether like I felt back then, or just feeling fed up with a project or a relationship or a job or losing weight or even doing the laundry — we all have times when we just want to QUIT.
Things are making us so crazy not going our way so we want to stop and yell “Fuck you, motherfucker!” to all of it, and just give up on whatever it is we’re fed up with. Just be DONE.
[Like maybe right now?]
But perhaps in the greater scheme of things, we don’t really want to give up the whole shebang and throw the baby out with the bathwater. Do we?
So how do we get out of the funk and get motivated again to keep going? What can we do to find the inspiration to get over the hump and move forward?
Especially these days?
Get away from whatever you’re fed up with (in any way possible).
The best thing you can do to stay motivated when you feel like quitting something, is to get away from it. Right now, my boyfriend is making me feel like quitting him, and I know I don’t really want to do that, so the answer is to get away from him for a while.
[lockdowns will do that to you]
So whether it’s your job, your hair, your business, or even your family, if you are ever having thoughts about quitting any of it, take a break. Get away, just for a while. Find a way.
[I get out of the house for a while, or, you know, a week.]
Because if you don’t, your mind could very easily spiral out and make you say something — or worse, do something — more permanent than you may really want.
Don’t give up just yet.
[Get a wig!]
Get away, and see what it feels like to be away from the thing you think you want to quit.
You may find you miss it.
Focus on something else completely different for a while.
Ahhhh, that’s the bliss part. Finding something else to play with for a while. When I was ready to quit starting an online business, I abandoned it for… er… two years (cough).
I spent that time moving to Colorado, working at a job that [at the time] I loved, finding my truly awesome boyfriend (even though he’s annoying me right now), playing with him and all the joys of Colorado, and pretty much having the time of my life.
I always knew at some point I would come back to my business. But I was so fed up with it at the time, I had to take a break, or else I may have given up on it forever.
And that would have been very sad. 😭
Because by the time I eventually hated my job (naturally) and reacquainted myself with why I wanted to start an online business in the first place, I was ready to come back to it.
Boy… was I ready.
Ask yourself: is the thing (project, relationship, job — whatever it is you’re fed up with) overall a good thing? Is it worth sticking with?
If you actually forget about the thing during the time you’re taking your break from it? I would say it’s probably not worth sticking with. 🤨
But really, most of us don’t forget. We keep thinking about the thing from time to time. We remember the fun experiences of the thing. We recall the all the potentials and possibilities of the thing. We compare the thing to all the other alternative things, and start wondering if the grass really is greener.
The thing nags at us. It calls to us. It texts us at night saying, “Where the hell are you?! It’s been a week!”
If when you are reminded of the thing, you have good feelings and positive memories, then it’s fair to say it’s worth another try — when you’re ready. If not, if you are plagued with fear, worry, unexplained tremors… then it’s probably better to let the thing go.
Or, at least continue your break until you have better feelings about it. There is never any hurry to make a decision.
And if there is… then it’s probably not a good thing.
Try looking at the thing from a different angle or perspective.
I find this suggestion most often happens without my conscious effort. What I mean by that is, something tends to occur that forces me — sometimes against my will — to look at my thing from a different perspective.
Maybe it’s a conversation I have with a friend who gives me a something to think about.
Maybe I try one of the “greener grass” alternatives and it turns out to be shit.
Maybe I have a violent, scary dream that paints my thing in a much prettier light.
Who knows, but more often than not, I get a different perspective on a thing from an outside source. And, it really helps.
When I get my own prejudicial filters out of the way, enlightenment tends to appear.
So allow a different perspective to come to you, even if it’s from a source you don’t expect. Be open, and let the forces at play give you something to think about that isn’t already bouncing around your mind.
You may just get the answer you are looking for.
Comfort yourself knowing that if the thing is genuinely good, you will want to come back to it eventually. You will.
This is a concept you simply have to trust. But it’s unequivocally true. Anything that is genuinely good and something that is supposed to be in your life, can’t stay away from you.
And you won’t be able to stay away from it.
[I guess I have to say it: this does NOT include drugs or abusive partners, which, by rule, are not genuinely good]
I came back to my business and my boyfriend (the former did take two years, the latter about two hours), but I did go back because both are awesome and wonderful and fabulous.
If your thing is too, you’ll go back. It’s inevitable.
You have a 50% (or more) chance of winning if you stay the course. You have a 100% chance of losing if you quit.
In your case, what number matters most to you?
If your thing is important and valuable to you, then it’s a good idea to keep working through your temporary lull. After a break away from it for a bit, often you get a fresh perspective and a new, stronger motivation to come back to it and make another start.
It can become exciting again! Stay motivated!
Even if it takes two years. 😉
You started your thing for a reason, and unless that reason has disappeared without a new one to replace it, then at some point, you’re going to want to come back to it.
Just know that when you decide to take a break, it doesn’t mean you’re quitting. It just means you’re taking a break. 😊
Now get back to work!
[And for the record, I’m over my March madness. Instead of being angry and embittered about what I can’t do, I take pleasure in what I can do now, that I couldn’t do before. Like finding time to write. Or building my online business. And, of course, catching up on Spring Baking Championship.]
The world right now might still be monumentally frustrating and disheartening, but I — and my life — have still got things to have fun with.
And so do you and yours. 😷😱🤗🤗🤗