How To Increase Your Motivation (Even When The Task Really Sucks)

When was the last time you felt motivated? 
When was the last time you were energised and on top of things? 

One of my biggest fears is that life will pass me by before I get around to doing the things I really want to do. To compound that fear, if I don’t even get around to doing the daily things that need to get done for health, wellbeing and sanity, that life will may just pass me by even more quickly. A sobering thought. 

And yet…that terror still doesn’t light enough of a fire under my bum to get me going. What gives? It turns out we have motivation all wrong. If there is one main thing you need to know about cultivating sustainable motivation, it is this:

IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!

Believe it or not, one of the main things holding us back from motivation is NOT that we aren’t trying hard enough, it’s that we think we can try harder and we will finally succeed at feeling energized and in control.

That’s like running a marathon in a tornado and thinking “Wow, I’m a really lazy and unstable person because this is hard, I’m tired, and I can barely keep my feet on the ground – I should run faster”. What??

But this is what we do every time we are confronted with a task that we can’t seem to get going on. We think “to complete this marathon and feel less exhausted I should run HARDER and exert MORE energy”.

Back away from the running shoes, friend. That is NOT how to cultivate motivation that will actually last and help you move towards your goals. That’s a quick one-way ticket to burnout and deep personal shame.

Shame holds us all back. The shame of feeling we aren’t cut out for a task, that we can’t get our act together, that we are “just lazy, I guess”. Shame tells us to try harder, but doesn’t give us the tools to try in a way that is energy conserving and actually effective. Shame actually tricks us in to doing things the hard way when we don’t need to because shame makes us believe we are less than other people, and therefore deserve to suffer and struggle in order to reap the rewards that other people can achieve so easily!!

The biggest change you can do right now if you are trying to embark on a motivation makeover is to stop telling yourself it’s your fault! Let that go. Instead, be curious and open to the idea that if you just had the right tools and restructured your environment a bit, then actually…you would be just as capable as everyone else around you that seems to be flying through life with ease.

Even if your life itself is anything but easy!