I have to be honest with you. Lately, in my business, I’ve been feeling stuck. We’re talking a serious case of the business blahs.
You know, those times where nothing–not even your most impassioned goals–can spur you into action? That’s what I was looking at.
I have to say this recent case of the blahs threw me for a loop. I mean, I’m passionate about what I do. My WHY is still rock-solid. So why was I feeling like binge-watching Netflix instead of looking for a new speaking opportunity or creating a new program?
Was I just lacking motivation, or was something else going on? That was the question. And I was pretty sure that there was more to it than lagging motivation.
So I decided to dig deeper and seek out the real solution.
What did I discover?
It was age-old wisdom that made its way back to me at the perfect moment. And it got me back in the game and raring to go.
And best of all, I have the opportunity now to share these simple yet game-changing pearls of wisdom with you!
Let’s get into that right here…
No matter how much of a motivation rockstar you’ve might’ve been in the past, I bet you’ve also had your moments where everyday stress pushed into your life.
We all get tired, stressed, or hormonal. Sometimes we’re just bitchy for no apparent reason. That’s just life. The trouble comes in when a fleeting bad mood hovers over you a little too long.
It’s the days when your to-do list is looming, but all you want to do is go back to bed. You know that to make your dreams happen, you have to take action. But you’re stuck on dead center and you don’t know why.
That’s when those five little words with the power to halt your progress and derail your dreams show up in a big way…
“I don’t feel like it.”
If you’ve ever said this, you’re not alone! But if you actually take these words seriously, what happens next?
You start to doubt your motivation. You begin wondering if you’re good enough. You start thinking that maybe you should just quit now and save yourself the trouble…
But the truth is that “not feeling like it” once in awhile doesn’t mean you’re lazy, worthless, or unmotivated. It just means you’re human!
Then again, there’s the the tough-love side of the same coin…
If you genuinely are committed to your dreams but you’re stuck in a slump, a bad mood isn’t a good enough reason to NOT take action. Like it or not, that’s the honest truth.
There’s a difference between those who move through the “IDFLI” resistance and those who don’t. And believe it or not, it has nothing to do with motivation. It’s not even about commitment or passion.
The secret sauce is DISCIPLINE. And discipline is the antidote to the poison known as the “blahs.”
Steven Covey says it best: “Only the disciplined are truly free. The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites, and passions.”
Those words woke me up when I was feeling stuck, and they helped me get my mojo back big-time!
Here’s the thing with discipline, though. It might sound the same as punishment, shaming, or browbeating. But it’s not any of the above.
All “discipline” entails is having the fortitude to see an action step through to completion. Even if it’s just ONE step.
You see, no matter how strong your WHY is, a bad mood can throw cold water on your passion. And if that mood is left unchecked, it could eventually stop your progress well before it starts.
That’s when a little bit of discipline can be the saving grace of your dreams!
How do you know if discipline is the fix for your motivation meltdown? See if any of these cases ring a bell…
Case #1: Inaction. You know what you need to do. But for whatever reason, you end up so overwhelmed that NOTHING happens. So you take no action. And make no progress.
Case #2: Procrastination. You know you need to take action, but convince yourself that tomorrow would be a better day. So you move your action steps to tomorrow’s to-do list. And then the next day’s. And the next day’s…
Case #3: Avoidance. That’s just what it sounds like. You simply ignore a task. Maybe if you overlook it long enough, it’ll disappear on its own…right?
I’ve fallen prey to all three, and I’m willing to bet you have, too. But the good news is that none of these cases is nothing that a dab of discipline can’t cure.
So how do you up your discipline without shaming yourself for needing it in the first place?
It’s a super-simple fix, and you can use it while giving yourself a little bit of grace for being human.
Discipline just requires a little bit of EFFORT.
Effort spurs motivation. Motivation keeps you going. And best of all, it only takes a little bit of effort to make a BIG difference in motivation.
How does it work? It’s a matter of biology, your brain, and a neurotransmitter called dopamine.
And when you take an action step, no matter how big or small, your brain kicks out that feel-good neurotransmitter, right on cue.
Dopamine can take you from “I don’t feel like it” to “let’s DO this,” and sometimes in a matter of minutes. And best of all, it just takes ONE step!
That means breaking down your big goals into small, manageable steps that you can take each day. Just enough action to keep your motivation going without letting you fall inaction, procrastination, or avoidance.
Here’s an example…
Suppose that your goal is to make $100,000 in your business by year’s end. Instead of fixating on how to bring in six figures in one fell swoop, break it down into small, daily, effort-based chunks. We’re talking about steps so small that you almost can’t NOT take them.
When the daily steps are doable, you’re a lot more likely to put forth the effort. Even if you DON’T feel like it on any given day.
Even the smallest effort kicks out the dopamine that you need to blast past inaction, procrastination, and avoidance. And the best part is that it makes you feel better almost instantly!
Nothing makes you feel worse than inaction, procrastination, and avoidance. But taking one small step can get the dopamine flowing again. And it can turn into a giant leap for your mood, your confidence, and your goals.
Think of how you feel when you’re really “in the zone.” You’re kicking ass, taking names, and smashing your goals. If you could bottle that feeling into a magical elixir and drink it every day, you would. Right?
The cool part is that you already HAVE that elixir available to you, It’s called dopamine. And you don’t have to move mountains in a single step to get that dopamine flowing. All you have to do is TAKE a single step!
So the next time that you can’t get motivated and you feel a shame storm coming on, stop. Don’t let yourself feel even more guilt and shame over what you haven’t done.
Look at the task on your to-do list, break it down into smaller steps if you have to, and just put forth a little bit of effort.
Because the motivation that you need is just a few action steps away!
How do you get through a case of “IDFLI”? I’d love to hear your comments and ideas.