Have you lost your mojo? What do you do when your motivation has gone AWOL?
Have you ever lost your mojo? This week I definitely feel like I have lost mine and it has been a real struggle to try to work on getting it back. My motivation has been down, my drive to do anything seems to have gone AWOL and I’m not sure where it’s gone! I liken losing my mojo to losing my motivation and drive as I think they complement each other and you can’t have one without the other!
I’m normally quite a motivated, driven person, as you tend to have to be when you’re running your own business; it seems to be a necessary requirement! However … during the past few days I have felt anything but motivated and driven. And when I think about it, it’s probably been building up for a while. I have a ton of things to do, a ton of things I’m excited about doing but I have found it very hard to summon up the energy to get these things done and I’ve allowed myself to gradually just drift and drift. I feel unnecessarily tired, like everything is an effort, I literally am dragging myself out of bed in the morning and always welcome getting back into it in the evening. I feel like I have to force myself to do things and at times I’ve been feeling indifferent, not terribly happy, dissatisfied and frustrated.
These things creep up on us, often we don’t realise they’re happening and we blame it on being tired, too much to do, stress, problems on a personal or work level, not eating right, not getting enough exercise and so on.
I can sit at my laptop for hours just staring at the screen knowing I need to get things done but just not being able to summon up the desire or motivation to do anything but the bare minimum – I procrastinate, I allow myself to get distracted, I take a break then another break, I go back on the laptop, I try to get more work done then the cycle just repeats itself – aaarrrggghhh. I then get worked up and frustrated because I’m just not getting anything constructive done, I am not being productive, I am not working effectively or efficiently. This then has a knock on effect to my personal life because in that as well I am not being who I want to be and not giving myself to it as fully as I should.
I’m not sure about you but I want to have the best life that I can, I want to be healthy, to have fun, to smile and laugh, to be productive in my business and personal life, I want to be able to help others to be the same but …. without motivation, without drive, without my mojo I’m lost and merely just functioning and plodding along this journey of life. Without these there can be a build-up of things that you need and/or you want to do that just don’t get done and you find yourself in a year or two’s time still in the same position without having made much progress in any area at all with both your personal and business life suffering.
Why has your mojo been lost?
It’s not usually possible to solve a problem unless we know what’s causing it. When you feel like you’ve lost your mojo ask yourself first is it a long standing problem or something that’s been happening more recently. If it’s the former then you need to make sure it’s not something more serious that needs to be medically treated – you could be deficient in something nutrient wise, or suffering from depression, or it could just be, something relatively simple such as being more sleep that you need. Whatever, it could be, don’t be afraid to make an appointment, with a medical professional, and get it checked out if it has been going on for a while with no discernable cause.
It could be that you lack self-confidence, you haven’t got high self-esteem, you’re fearful, you’re easily distracted, you procrastinate, you’re stressed, and/or you doubt your own abilities. It could be due to a whole range of things.
I know that in my case I have a lot going on that I’m not managing in the best way that I can. I am quite wired and tense a lot of the time and feel like I’m constantly on the go but just not getting anywhere. I am just jumping form one thing to another without getting anything done properly and I am not working as productively, efficiently or effectively as I know I am capable of doing. Being my own boss can be hard and because I have nobody else telling me what to do I can struggle to keep myself on task and to keep focused.
In addition I’m going through a lot of mind-set change at the moment which I believe does have an effect on my mojo, my motivation, my drive and my ability to get things done. As I wrote about in last week’s blog I’ve recently let something go which has been a big part of my life for many years and I’m now going through a form of grieving for this loss. Even though it was a decision I made to let go it still has had a profound effect on me and my brain is working on catching up and getting to the acceptance and moving on stages. I also experienced a quite personal loss last year which was completely out of my control and I am only now working on coming to terms with it. So … already quite a bit to deal with so I guess it’s not surprising that my body is maybe telling me I need to take my time, go with the flow and let my mojo come back to me when it’s ready to do so.
What can you do to get your mojo back?
Accept what is happening, allow yourself to have some down time, time to acknowledge what is happening in your life and how you want to move forward. Give yourself a break, don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t feel guilty, it happens; you are a human being, it is normal to go through this. What you don’t want to do though is to let your mojo be lost forever, it’s okay for it to say, be gone on vacation for a bit, BUT … if you want to move forward and get going with your life again you want to be working on ways in which you can retrieve it and get it back.
Take a break from Social Media –Social media IS THE BIGGEST DISTRACTION that I know – you have to be pretty strong willed to not let it suck you in and, potentially, take you down. It saps your energy, it distracts you, and it can take over your life!! However … used properly Social Media can be one of the best tools at your disposal but you have to control your use of it and not let it control you. If you feel anxious, nervous, twitchy even, when you’re not in reaching distance of your phone/iPad/laptop then you really need to start addressing your use and potential addiction to it. I will write a blog on this Social Media phenomenon but for now my advice is to make sure it is not the first thing you tap into when you awaken or the last thing you check before you go to bed – you do not need to do that. By being focused on Social Media your energy is diverted to this and can be a reason why you’re losing your mojo, why your motivation and drive is declining and why you’re not getting anything constructive done!
Take time out - rest, relax, chill – easier said than done, believe me I know, I am the hardest person to get to relax. Maybe you need to actually get away from your current situation/place for a while – if it is possible then do so, even for a day or a weekend, longer if you can and it is viable. I find that being away from my home/place of work every now and again is hugely beneficial even if I’ve resisted it initially thinking I couldn’t possibly spare the time as I have so much to do. Being away though frees up mental energy and enables the creative processes to start functioning again – you can become tied up so much in what you are doing that you lose sight of it – time away doing something different can only be beneficial.
Surround yourself with positive, supportive, forward thinking people – those who may have experienced what you have and who can help lift you up. Talk to people, network with like-minded people, listen to them, go to conferences, courses, sign up for webinars – anything that will keep you motivated and driven. It doesn’t even have to be related to what you do work-wise, it could be something that you have a genuine interest in and want to take further.
Have a balance between spending time on your own and spending time with other people, you will tend to have a preference but try to do both to ensure a more balanced approach. If you spend a lot of time on your own it’s challenging to stay motivated, if you spend too much time with other people then you don’t leave yourself enough time to be productive on your own. I’ve been spending a lot of time on my own working recently, which again could have led to the loss of my mojo. These last few days though I’ve made a concerted effort to see family and friends, just for lunch, but it got me out, made me be social and has has helped me start to get back on track.
Create a supportive and positive environment in which to work and/or live – your surroundings and environment can affect you either negatively or positively. Create a living/working space that inspires and motivates you and that you enjoy being in.
Work on your thought patterns and the re-wiring of your brain – focus on the good, the things that you’re doing right, change your perspective if you feel it’s one that’s spiralling into negativity the majority of the time. Read, read, read and read some more, the books that will challenge your thinking, books that will inspire you, motivate you, fill yourself up on them, you can never read too much – never stop reading and learning and always make time to do so. Watch programmes that inspire and motivate – there are some great ones out there, you can also check out the websites of people that inspire you and read what they’ve written, watch what they do, listen to what they say.
Write down your goals and what you want to achieve – daily, weekly, monthly – and write down when you want to achieve them by and how you’re going to achieve them. Have a schedule – I came across this fab way of scheduling courtesy of Jill Coleman and Rachel Cosgrove – Colour-code your life to success - http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/color-code-your-life-success - ‘The system uses a color-coded calendar called the Annual Roadmap™. Four colours represent different components of our lives, all of which require designated time if we want to be balanced, healthy and successful. By adhering to these colours you will achieve
Who doesn’t want that? I am definitely going to work on colour coding my life to ensure that I am balanced, healthy and successful.
Identify if what you do you are doing for you or because it’s what other people expect of you. If it’s the latter then it will only be a matter of time before you lose your desire, motivation to carry on doing it – it can take years for this to manifest but it will and it can come out as losing your mojo, your motivation, your desire, your inspiration, your drive. Whereas if it is something that you are doing because it’s what you want to do then it could be just a temporary hiccup and you will, if you manage it correctly, find your way back.
Do something different, something out of the norm for you – it may well be to take an exercise class, it might be to book a trip just for you – whatever it is just do it but also make sure it will not add stress to you!
Love yourself – it is so easy to start mistreating our bodies when we are feeling lost and de-motivated. We stop exercising, we eat junk food, we drink rubbish, none of which is going to help get that mojo back. It is so bloody hard but you have to keep trying, you literally have to force yourself to look after you at times and how mad does that sound? Surely we should WANT to look after ourselves to be the best that we can be?! During this time of losing my mojo I have tried my hardest to keep up some form of exercising, yes I teach classes but I don’t really count that as my training. What I’ve done though is something which is manageable – I’ve trained at home every other day using weights, doing some cardio and going for walks as well. Not as many as I’d like to as I find it hard to even drag myself out of the house to do this (and I love walking!) but I try to do just 20 minutes if that’s all I can manage. Eat well, exercise regularly and walk often.
Whatever you do, take your time, go with the flow and let your mojo come back to you when it’s ready to do so. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, it would be great to hear about you as well so please feel share to feedback with anytime you’ve lost your mojo, why you feel you lost it and how you got it back. Message me firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to hear from you.
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