We have been asked to be still and stay at home. That can cause us to have feelings of being stuck. A lot of what we were planning for 2020 has gone out the window.
In truth we all get stuck in our life, even when outwardly other people think we have it all organized. I have been stuck on a number of occasions. Here are some of my common causes for a lack of motivation and causing that icky, yucky, stuck feeling:
- Just too many no’s or closed doors. No-one likes a no. I certainly don’t. Being asked to stay home can feel like one giant “No!”. As a former COO and VP of Business Development, you think I would get used to no’s and to the push backs. I can handle a few of them, but there gets to a point when it becomes very un-motivating and that “why bother” energy starts to surface.
- It just becomes too hard. I love a challenge but when that challenge is too big or there is a constant stream of them, I become very un-motivated. For me I find it usually has to do with not being able to get the answer quick enough so I lose interest. I love a challenge, because I love to work things out, but when it it is too hard, I often just want to say “forget it”. Having to be home, adjusting to a new lifestyle, having limited contact with others, a changed work schedule or no work at all and bills starting to pile up, life starts to feel like it is too hard.
- A lack of joy in the task, project and work. This comes from i) when others are not valuing what I am doing, ii) I am not seeing the benefits of the work that I do or iii) not trusting the work I am doing is adding any value. I know that our self-worth is meant to come from within and I should not look to others for validation. But you know what, I love a bit of validation. It’s very motivating and it helps me feel fulfilled. So when my joy gets zapped so does my motivation. And with limited contact with others, getting that important validation is going to be more work.
- Family dynamics. With close quarters we are bound to go a little nutty. We are simply not used to being at home this much and having constant contact with family members.
- Extreme emotions. Extreme emotions can be positive (eg. extreme excitement, anticipation anxiety) or negative (anger, resentment jealousy). These feelings can really take over my brain and I can’t think of anything else. I am consumed with them so I become stuck. This is especially true with news and fears surrounding Covid and isolation.
- Old patterns. From our life experiences we learn to act, behave, and think in certain ways. Sometimes these patterns are not healthy and are the root cause for our lack of motivation. I know for myself that to discover these patterns I had to work with a professional. Now that I know them I can address them when they resurface. Old patterns, even when we have worked with them in the past, can be re-triggered and can lead to some pretty un-motivating feelings. Stressful situations, especially like the pandemic related one we find ourselves in right now, are even more likely to activate old patterns.
When I am in this stuck space I just know I have to reignite my motivation to help me push past my blocks. Below are the strategies I use to unblock my feelings of being stuck. Maybe you have your own strategies – would love to hear about yours on Huddol.
- Meditation and Visualizations. when I am struggling and find myself stuck, I look to my meditation area and sit. I actually get good ideas, and it allows my mind to reset. This allows for more good ideas and motivation to flow more freely.
- Walk. I go for a walk in the neighborhood where there are lots of trees. I find walking helps me clear stagnant energy and re-energizes me. Yoga or exercise that brings me joy also helps. You can still move no matter your space at home. Just take the time to setup and find movements and exercises that will work in your environment.
- I clean. Cleaning is not necessarily my favourite thing in the world to do, but I feel amazing afterwards. There is nothing like a deep clean and a little spruce up to make you and your space sparkle again.
- Energy work. I give myself a reiki treatment with a crystal layout to help address the topics that are blocking me, followed by a tarot reading. N.B. On an energy level, the solar plexus chakra, the energy center at our belly button, is a common area to feel stagnant so focusing our energy here can really help. Citrine and honey calcite are nice crystals to work with to ignite our motivation or unblock that stuck feeling. Also deciding to eat healthy foods and drink water can replenish our energy. Using caffeine and drugs can give us that temporary fix, but we have to deal with the crash afterwards. Consider how you can set yourself up for success when it comes to your food and habits.
- I chat. I like to talk with peers, mentors and people I trust to give me tips and advice to help get me out of my funk. You would be surprised how a 15 min conversation can turn a self-declared pity party into motivated action. Just because we are at home does not block us from using the internet or the phone to connect with others. Most of us have more time on our hands now, so schedule in some time to communicate with others. When I have been really stuck, I found life coaching and seeing a therapist really helped.
- Compassionate Listening. Compassionate listening, inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, is the practice of just listening to let another empty their heart and sorrows. Not offering any advice. Just listening. It can be incredibly liberating to simply be there for someone else or have someone do the same for you.
- Choosing to stay stuck. I know this sounds weird but sometimes choosing to stay unmotivated and stuck is a good thing. On the days where that energy won’t shift (no matter how much I meditate, exercise or talk to others), I decide to do something for myself and not related to the area that got me stuck. If it was work then I do something not work related and if it is family related I get myself out of the house. Taking your focus away from the topic can be all that is needed to get the creativity and motivation to flow again.
If you find that you need help getting motivated again try some of these tips. The reason we become stuck is that we have a ‘lack of space’ to i) objectively see what we need or ii) we don’t see that we are stuck in one of our old patterns that is being informed by an unhelpful belief. The key to getting out of the being stuck funk is ‘space’. Either we give space to ourselves or create it by working with others – this is what allows us to become unstuck and motivated. If you find that you cannot shake that stuck feeling, stop suffering and reach out to people who can help you get back on track.