Why is it that some days we just don’t feel motivated? Do you remember how you felt when you first got your job, how passionate and energised you were about it? Or when you first started out on your own if you run your own business?
It’s a sad fact that almost half of UK workers do not feel motivated at work*. There are a hundred different reasons for this, and it affects everyone, not just employees, but freelancers and business owners too. So, what is the answer?
Despite the adverse impact on business that this lack of motivation causes, we can’t rely on our bosses to restore inspiration and enthusiasm. So, what can we do for ourselves to boost our motivation back to those feelings of the early days in the job?
Well, for a start we can stop making these 3 mistakes!
1. Listening to and believing the negativity in your mind
The negativity in your mind always tells you that things are far worse than they really are. It’s time to stop listening and stop believing them! These thoughts make you feel lost, hopeless, and stuck in a rut. This will deplete your energy and resources. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming entrenched in negative thinking or you will turn into Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh!
You can turn this around though. The art is to use the negative mind chatter as a sign that all is not well and keep reminding yourself of this and then use it as a tool to catapult you to make positive change.
Action step: Ask yourself some of the following questions to get you back on track:
- Are my thoughts empowering me, or disempowering me?
- Am I trying to avoid something that I really should address? (Such as working too many hours, not enough variety in your work, or difficulty asking for help and so on)
- What can I actively do within the next 7 days to improve my situation?
2. Not checking in with your value system
When you don’t check in with your value system, you won’t discover what the value conflict is within yourself. The feelings of demotivation are caused by you not meeting one of your core values, so you need to check in and find out which it is so you can gain back control and then decide on how best to push forward and out of the negativity.
- Get clear on what is currently going on for you. What’s just not going the way you would like it to? Write it down.
- Next, get clear on what is important to you within your work ‘NOW.” What is it that you look for within your employer/business, role, colleagues and team, project, and so on? Ask yourself why it is so important to you? Make a list, as this list will help to highlight your values. (What is currently important to you?)
- From your list, which value or values do you feel is, or are, currently being challenged, or not met?
- Take some time to work out what active measures you can, and are willing to take, to change your situation.
3. Not dealing with the problem
Sometimes we just stick our heads in the sand and hope the problem will go away. It never does. You need to deal with it. Even if you’re scared of the outcome or think you have no control over the situation, you need to step up and take charge. Once you understand this, you can prepare yourself for taking responsibility for your own motivation. You will be able to switch off the negative babble in your head and check in with your values so you can create a plan to propel yourself back to being excited about your work.
Action step: If you’re finding it hard to tackle your situation, make an effort to explore what you’re gaining from not changing your situation. There might be some internal or external obstacle preventing you from moving forward. Aka, fear! To get to the bottom of it ask yourself:
- What exactly would you lose that is important to you if you did try to change your situation?
- What’s the worst that could happen if you did begin to tackle your situation? What potential fear is there?
- List 5 options that you could take to overcome any potential fear or obstacle?
- Get clear on what resources or people you need to call upon to help you?
- Finally - TAKE ACTION!
Positive change is possible if you address the reasons behind your lack of motivation and assume command of the situation. Dealing with the conflict of values may be the hardest part (once you have banished the negative whispers and taken your head out of the sand!).
It may be that what is demotivating you cannot be overcome in your current situation, so you may need to think about a dramatic change of circumstance, but at least you will have found the root cause of your gloomy frame of mind and you can embrace it and know that you are taking positive steps towards a healthier and happier you!
All the best with this, and you know where I am if you need steering in the right direction!
Ursula Wood is a Stress & Overwhelm Certified-Coach from sunny West Yorkshire, U.K, who works with hardworking individuals who get to a point in their lives where they feel and say "...I can't cope anymore".
She owns her own business called Your Expert Self, which specialises in providing practical stress & overwhelm coaching-based workshops, resources and support, both in-person and online. Ursula loves the outdoors and can often be found out running or walking, especially in green spaces.