Everyone has those days when the thought of doing anything productive is simply unbearable.
The reason can be tiredness, stress, or pure laziness. Let's face it, we all deserve those lazy days, and sometimes, it's relatively easy to pull yourself out of this funk and get back to work. However, finding motivation when you feel like a total loser is incredibly challenging. Your passion, drive, and thirst for success—all of this has suddenly disappeared.
If you suffer from mental health issues, which approximately 1 in 5 teens and adults in the US do, this can be particularly challenging to bounce back from. Finding motivational quotes on Instagram isn't necessarily going to help if you deal with a serious mental health issue such as depression or anxiety. And unfortunately, lots of times mental illness isn't addressed when talking about losing motivation. The tips in this article will be helpful to everyone, regardless of your mental health.
As a college student, I sometimes feel unmotivated to do my work if I’ve recently received a surprisingly bad grade on an exam or paper. Seeing my overall grade dragged down by something I worked hard on is disheartening.
It can be easy for me to feel like it’s not worth it to give it my all the next time around. When this happens, I have to talk myself into finding the motivation that I need to complete the new task at hand and to do great at it.
After almost three years at an academically demanding college, I’ve learned some ways to pick myself up when I need to. It is totally possible to do, I promise! You are capable of turning this around and getting your momentum back. It won't always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
I’m going to reveal my secrets of how you can get back on top of the world. Here are some steps to take to find motivation in those times during which you feel like a total loser.
Here's The Thing…Perfection Doesn't Exist.
Finding motivation begins with rejecting perfection. Here are some key mindsets if you're going to do that.
1. Acknowledge And Accept That You’re Not Perfect
I know this is a tremendous first step to take. And it might seem obvious—none of us are perfect, we all know that, at least in the abstract. Sometimes, though, we still expect perfection from ourselves. Accepting that not everything we do will be 100% perfect is a good first step to take when starting a new task. That might sound a bit pessimistic, and I don’t mean that you shouldn’t set high expectations for yourself.
That's exactly what you should do. All I’m saying is that you should realize that you’ll hit snags when working on a project, and things might turn out differently than expected. That doesn’t mean you’re a loser, and you shouldn’t lose motivation because of it.
[clickToTweet tweet=”None of us are perfect, we all know that, but sometimes we still expect perfection from ourselves.” quote=”None of us are perfect, we all know that, but sometimes we still expect perfection from ourselves.”]
2. Believe That “Best” Is Subjective…And Always Changing
In addition to accepting that you're not perfect, acknowledge and accept that not everything you do will be perfect, or the best. And really, being or doing the best doesn't really exist.
Hank Green says it eloquently in this video on accepting less than perfection. He makes the point that what you think is “best” is not what someone else will think is “best” or what “best” is for an entire organization. On top of that, as time goes on, attitudes change, and the world evolves, what is “best” also changes. So even if you don't achieve perfection, that's ok. In fact, it's more than ok: it's expected.
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Knowing that something I work on will probably end up less than perfect helps me stay motivated. If I let my perfectionist side take over, I become less inclined to start a project. I obsess over every minute detail and step of a project but I don't actually start it.
3. Learn from Your Mistakes
Another important step to find motivation and starting a new project is to learn from your past mistakes. Don’t let failure get you down—turn it into a positive. Now you’ve gone through one process that didn’t work.
Analyze the situation and determine what went wrong. Then make sure to avoid those things in the future. This is what being human is all about! Allow your mistakes to drive you to future success rather than keep you from it.
Above all, remember that failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of it.
4. Seek Out and Embrace Discomfort
While it's not necessarily true that everything worth having is difficult to get, what is true is that we have to work for many (if not most) things in life. And when you aim high, you're often going to be stretching yourself out of your comfort zone. This is difficult for many people to do. But if you never push yourself, how will you grow? The answer is simple: you won't.
So you need to not only embrace discomfort, but also seek it out.
A friend of mine has a great view on embracing discomfort and the comfort zone. While most people advise others to go outside their comfort zone, her approach is a little different. She prefers to view it as expanding your comfort zone, not moving outside of it.
If you are consistently challenging yourself, what becomes your comfort zone will expand to include new experiences and circumstances. And isn't that what personal growth is all about?
Check out this inspirational speech by Mel Robins that will motivate even the biggest skeptic to stretch their comfort zone. Her book, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence With Everyday Courage, will also help you discover your inner motivation.
Ultimately, when you embrace your imperfections, learn from past mistakes, and stretch your comfort zone, you will have the growth mindset necessary to find your motivation again!
But That's Not All…You Need to Make a Plan.
If you don't have a plan, you'll never feel motivated to get down to business. These are the essential steps to make that plan.
5. Ask For Help
Going to others for help can sometimes be tough, and many people try to struggle through a problem on their own for far too long. But struggling on your own is not necessary.
Asking for help when you need it is an essential part of getting back on your feet. You don’t have to take on everything alone—that’s what friends and family are for! All you have to do is ask for help, and they will be happy to lend a hand. You might be surprised by how relieved you feel after you have talked to someone who knows you well.
This step is especially important if you struggle with mental health issues. Be sure to talk to a professional if you feel like you need to. And even if you aren’t diagnosed with a mental health condition, counselors and therapists are great resources. There’s no shame in taking care of yourself if you’re not in a healthy state of mind.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Asking for help when you need it is an essential part of getting back on your feet. #missmillmag” quote=”Asking for help when you need it is an essential part of getting back on your feet.”]
6. Take Things One Step at a Time
Do you have a big, lofty, scary goal that you’re trying to accomplish? Then break that monstrosity down into tiny pieces. That way, it feels much less cumbersome, and you’ll see that you can, in fact, do it. Realizing this will certainly help to motivate you in the long run.
If you're someone who is detail-oriented, like I am, this will probably be relatively easy. But it also might be stress-inducing to realize how may moving parts there are. Remember to lean on those around you to help alleviate this, as well as look to the next tip in this guide to fully utilize all the resources you have at your disposal.
If you're someone who sees the big picture clearly but the more you zoom in the fuzzier things become, this step might be most difficult for you. Partner up with someone who is good at digging into those nitty gritty details and allow them to help you out. No one said you have to do any of this alone.
7. Strategize To Motivate Yourself
In order to set yourself up for success, figure out what you need at each step towards reach your goal. Do you need a certain amount of money? People to be on your team? Specific skills? Anything else? Make sure you have everything you need and know how you will get it before attempting to achieve your goal.
If you dive right in without a plan, you are more likely to stumble across roadblocks and moments of failure. You may become stuck and frustrated during the process, which might make you lose motivation all over again.
8. Make a To-Do List
Once you've strategized to motivate yourself and broken your goal down into smaller pieces, write it all down. Writing down your goals and how you're going to achieve them can help you to find motivation. Seeing everything written out in front of you makes it more concrete, and, therefore, a little less scary (…hopefully).
As a student, I make sure to write down all of my assignments, meetings, and other responsibilities in my planner. As I finish things, I cross them off. Seeing all of those crossed off items on my to-do list is so satisfying. I always feel accomplished at the end of the day. This always motivates me to continue to be productive.
The Most Important Step? Be Kind To Yourself.
If you are constantly feeding yourself negative messages, it will become more and more difficult to motivate yourself. Here are two big ways to ensure you're kind to yourself.
9. Remind Yourself That You’re Great!
Write an encouraging message to yourself on your mirror, so you see it every day. If you’re in college, leave notes for yourself in the margins of your notes, so you’ll see them when you review them later. Take some extra time to get ready in the morning so that you feel awesome about how you look.
When building yourself up, you should do things that you know you’re good at and that you are passionate about. All of these little things will help you remember how great you are and that you can be productive. This way, you can feel motivated and confident at the same time!
Be a friend to yourself. In general, we are excellent at talking up our bffs, but we rarely expend that same energy when it comes to ourselves. This video by The School of Life illustrates how to do this really well.
10. Celebrate All of Your Accomplishments
Can you be proud of yourself without being vain? Yes, of course you can! Celebrating yourself and your accomplishments is not the same thing as being vain or self-absorbed.
Keep yourself motivated along the way by celebrating all of your small accomplishments. Come up with an incentive system that works for you. Indulge by eating your favorite snack or watching twenty minutes of Netflix. Go for a walk outside. Spend some time with friends.
Just because you’re finding the motivation to achieve all of your goals doesn’t mean you have to be working that daily grind 24/7. In fact, you shouldn't if you want to get motivated to work long-term! Feed your soul by taking a detour every once in a while.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Finding #motivation can sometimes be difficult, but if you look hard enough it will always be there!” quote=”Finding motivation can sometimes be difficult, but if you look hard enough it will always be there!”]
After all of this, hopefully, you will have your mojo back. Don’t listen to the voices in the back of your head that say you can’t do it. Although you might feel like a loser from time to time, you most certainly are not.
Finding motivation can sometimes be difficult, there's no doubt about it. Sometimes you just have to work a little harder than scrolling through some memes and top motivational quotes of the day. You will always find your mojo again.
What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated? Did any of these tips help? Let us know in the comments. All of us at Miss Millennia Magazine wish you the best of luck. You can do this!