I have been quite surprised this week at how many people have mentioned to me how flat they feel, like they are back in their winter rut, their motivation seems to have completely disappeared and they just can’t get back into gear.
It may feel to you as though nothing has changed, that you’re not making progress or maybe you are simply in that place where you are putting things off until tomorrow when you feel more like it; but of course the simple fact is tomorrow comes and you still feel the same!
Of course it is a bit like a vicious downward spiral because the more we feel like this, our brain tunes into this (it’s a fascinating part called the Retinal Articular System, which is like our filter and is the reason why when we want to buy a red car all we see is red cars!) this means that we see more of what we focus on, so in essence we simply see more of the same, which reinforces how we feel so then we see even more of it.
So how stop this cycle and get to do the stuff that we want to do even if we are feeling like this?
My first top tip is quite simply this, to realise that there is nothing stopping us! When we feel like this it is so easy to become passive to our thoughts as though they are quite literally pinning us to the sofa, not allowing us to move; but of course there is nothing physical there. If there was a loud bang, we’d jump six feet up in the air or if I said there is a million pound waiting for you, it has your name on, but the catch is it’s in Paris and you have to get there – you’d move and get there!
Which leads me to my second point, we labour under a misunderstanding that we have to ‘feel’ like doing something to actually do it. We don’t! I quite often don’t feel like going to my exercise class, or doing some yoga or going for a power walk but I know that all of those things take me closer to my goal that I do want. So that tells me that that feeling that I get can’t give me any information about what I really want, it’s just a feeling, a feeling that is telling me that I’m doing some fed up, demotivated thinking, but that’s all. I know that when I do whatever it is that I want to do those thoughts and feelings will dissipate and I’ll be fine.
Unfortunately life doesn’t just happen, we make it happen by taking action so to make this easier focus your energy on the thoughts that make it happen rather that those that are getting in the way. We have an array of thoughts and amongst those flat, demotivated, ‘can’t be bothered’ thoughts will be ones that spark hope and enthusiasm, we just have to spot them. When we develop our own coaching voice and focus our energy on these more positive thoughts, rather than the lethargic, can’t be bothered, fed up voice it’s amazing how that latter voice becomes less persuasive.
Finally, visualise what will happen if you do take those steps towards your goal or whatever it is that you want to do, really see yourself doing it, think about how good you will feel whilst you are doing it, or when you have done it. Now think about what will happen if you don’t, how will you feel then? Remember you have a choice now which option you decide to take.