You got into your line of work or profession to make a difference. But lately you’ve been feeling burnt out; or if not entirely burnt out, drained.
Tired. Overwhelmed. Or, worse, just not motivated. Sound like you? It has certainly been me a time or two.
So what do you do to get your mojo back?
Many experts today tell us to treat ourselves like we would our own best friend if she came to us with this problem.
So, we’re supposed to ask questions, encourage her, call her out on avoidant or excuse-based behavior, praise her for steps forward.
All of this you can apply to yourself, become your own best friend, right? Well, that’s one useful tip.
However, if you’ve tried all that and you’re still feeling drained, here are seven more great ideas to win back your motivation and fall in love with your work all over again.
- Goals and Paths are Two Different Things
You’ve been focusing on your goal but not really getting closer. You’ve got a lot going on, and you feel like you’re expending all your energy on busy work.
If this is happening to you, you’ve likely wandered off the path toward your goal. Re-evaluate your path: Is it moving you forward? Are you letting yourself get caught up in the day-to-day grind?
Lack of progress can diffuse motivation. Rethink your path and set it up to really move you forward.
- Create Checkpoints
One thing that’s helped me along my journey to reaching my goals is setting milestones or checkpoints. These are markers along the way that prove your progress.
They can be tremendously encouraging, so be sure to build them into your plan. And be sure to reward yourself for arriving at each one in some small but significant way.
As you reach each milestone or checkpoint, be aware of your feelings. If you reach one and don’t feel satisfaction or positive emotions, stop and re-evaluate till you identify what’s wrong.
Hint: A lack of reaction or negative feelings often means you’re veering away from your goal.
- Don’t Let Other People Invade Your Head
Another reason you might find yourself feeling flat when you reach a checkpoint or milestone is because the mini-goal you’ve achieved is not really yours.
We’ve all been here at some point because we wanted to make someone else proud of us. It’s something you’ve been told to do, or expected to do, by someone else.
In the long run, it’s better to listen to your own voice and do the things you want to do for you instead of trying to make other people happy.
Learn to be aware when your voice is the one in the drivers seat not someone else’s. What’s right for ninety per-cent of the world, may not be right for you.
- Work in Your Area of Genius
If you really want to feel happy and fulfilled (and win back your motivation) work in your area of genius. This is an aspect of organizational physics long talked about and acknowledged as universal truth.
Your area of genius can be found where what you love to do meets what you have mastered. The things you do without even counting them as “work” and the things people always ask you for help with.
What have you always ended up doing in ever job you’ve ever had? For example, have people always asked you to organize things? Or facilitate? Solve conflicts? Draw?
Think of things you’ve always been great at doing or being but usually never charged for. That’s where you’ll find your area of genius. Make sure you’re working inside that “zone” to maximize your love of life.
- Work on Your Goals With Others
If you really want to feel motivated, surround yourself with positive and focused people who share a similar mindset and drive. Join an accountability group. Find a mentor. Hire a coach.
Sometimes the whole problem can be solved by working on it with other people. Other people round out our square corners. They point out blind spots and hazards and encourage us when the going gets tough.
If you have to hire someone to help you with this, it will be the best money you’ve ever spent. Nothing has more impact on people’s lives than a good coach. If you need recommendations, I’m happy to point you in the right direction.
- Eat Chocolate Before You Start
Lots of people reward themselves with chocolate. Almost everyone loves it. Good chocolate is easy to procure, and it supposedly has been proven to increase endorphins and dopamine levels, which in turn improve your mood.
But take it a step further. Reward yourself every time you being a project or face a challenge by eating one perfect truffle or one amazing square of premium dark chocolate.
If this behavior is repeated, your subconscious will find itself thinking of the challenging experience as a positive one. (Try it! It really does work!)
- Listen to Your Gut
Logic and business sense tells us one thing. If you focus on only those business decisions and don’t listen to the way your body and mind is reacting to those decisions, you can quickly end up losing motivation, and confidence too!
Listen to your gut. If a potential person, project, or place twists your stomach into a tight pretzel or if you develop a dull headache during a meeting with a particular person, project or place, respect those insights from your inner self.
I’m not suggesting you quit your job immediately or tell someone they make you feel like vomiting when you’re around them, but pay attention to these clues.
Your body and mind deliver these clues for a good reason. Let that trump “logical” or financial consideration when you’re working on getting your mojo back.