How do you find inspiration when you’re not motivated? Feeling unmotivated can be tough, especially when you're struggling with executive dysfunction. It's not uncommon to feel stuck or uninspired, but finding ways to get inspired is crucial to overcoming those feelings and moving forward.
So, if you're looking for ways to find inspiration, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll explore some strategies to help you find inspiration when you're feeling unmotivated. Whether it's through engaging in activities you enjoy, seeking inspiration from others, or finding purpose in your work, I've got you covered.
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Engage in activities that inspire you
When you're feeling unmotivated, sometimes the best thing you can do is engage in activities that you enjoy and that inspire you. This could be anything from reading a book to listening to music or watching a movie. When you find an activity that sparks joy in you, it can help to lift your mood and inspire you to take action. Think of it as refilling your well. You can’t keep taking from your resources without refilling. You’ll just eventually burn out.
For example, if you're feeling stuck on a project, try taking a break and reading a book that interests you. Reading can help to stimulate your imagination and give you new ideas. If you're feeling down, listening to music can be a great way to boost your mood and inspire you to keep going. And if you're feeling creatively blocked, watching a movie can help to get your creative juices flowing again.
The key is to find activities that truly inspire you and make you happy. I love to watch TV and read. But I know some people who don’t even own a TV. Telling them to watch my favorite TV show isn’t going to help them. Likewise, if they tell me to refill my well by playing a round of golf…uh, no thanks.
By engaging in activities that you enjoy, you can help to shift your mindset and get back in touch with your passion and creativity. However, don't be afraid to try new things and experiment with different activities until you find what works best for you!
Change your environment
Sometimes, a change of scenery is all you need to get inspired. If you're feeling unmotivated, a different environment can give your mind a fresh perspective. This could be as simple as taking a walk outside or working in a different location.
For example, if you're feeling stuck at home, try taking a walk around your neighborhood or heading to a nearby park. Being in nature can be incredibly inspiring and help you to clear your mind. Or, if you're feeling uninspired at work, try working from a coffee shop or co-working space. A new environment can help to stimulate your creativity and give you new ideas.
It's important to remember that even small changes can make a big difference. Don't be afraid to switch up your routine and try something new. If you normally work in your home office, try the dining room table (or vice versa). At work, maybe turn your desk to face a different wall (or even better – a window).
Seek out inspiration from others
Sometimes, finding inspiration from others can be just the thing you need. Whether it's through a conversation with a friend, reading a book by your favorite author, or attending a lecture by someone you admire, seeking out inspiration from others can help you to broaden your perspective and gain new insights.
It’s important to note that you should look to people you trust. Asking a person who doesn’t know you well or who is unsupportive isn’t likely to inspire you. And what’s worse is that they can do more damage. You need a friend who knows when to give you a kick in the pants and when you need to be lifted up.
It’s also motivating to see other people like you succeed. Join a group of like-minded people. Motivation and success are contagious. I’m part of a business mastermind group and every time I log in, I see other people doing things and succeeded and sharing what they learn. You can’t not be motivated.
If you don’t have any luck finding a group, try talking to a friend or colleague who has experience in that area. They may be able to offer helpful advice or a fresh perspective. Alternatively, if you're feeling unmotivated in general, reading a book or watching a TED talk by someone you admire can help to spark your creativity and inspire you to take action.
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Find purpose in your work
Finding purpose in your work can be a powerful motivator. When you feel connected to a larger goal or mission, it can help to give your work meaning and inspire you to keep going, even when things get tough.
If you're struggling with a task at work, try reframing it in a way that connects to a larger purpose or mission. Maybe the task is part of a project that will have a positive impact on the community or will help your team to achieve a larger goal. When you see how your work fits into the bigger picture, it can help to motivate you to keep going.
And maybe that’s not possible for you to imagine right now. Maybe you’re doing a job and you can’t find a greater purpose. It’s there, but you can’t see it. It doesn’t have to be a big, far-reaching purpose. Let it be small.
If you work in fast food, you can make someone’s day because they don’t have to stress about feeding their family a meal – you’ve taken care of it. If you’re a maid or housekeeper, the owner gets to come home to a clean space and relax. If you’re a school crossing guard or bus driver, know that you helped get kids home safely.
And if you’re not in the right mindset to believe any of the things I’m saying, look for a personal higher purpose. Maybe you hate your job. You don’t care if there’s a purpose for what you do. Consider what that job allows you to do: pay the rent, buy groceries, pay for your kids’ dance class, etc.
Take a break
Sometimes, the best way to find inspiration when you're feeling unmotivated is to take a break. When you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be difficult to focus and be productive. Taking a break can help you to recharge your batteries and come back to your work with a fresh perspective.
If you've been working on a project for hours and you're feeling stuck, take a break and do something completely unrelated. Maybe you could go for a walk, do some yoga, or listen to music. Giving your mind a break from the task at hand can help to clear your head and make it easier to come up with new ideas.
Your mind works in amazing ways. It’s like when my kids are looking for something and tearing the house apart. If retracing their steps doesn’t help them find what they’re looking for, I tell them to go do something else. They’re putting too much pressure on their brain to remember. If they do something else, allowing their brain to relax, it usually comes to them. It’s the same idea here.
Similarly, if you're feeling burnt out in general, taking a day or two off can be a great way to reset. Use this time to do something fun or relaxing, like reading a book or spending time with loved ones. When you come back to work, you'll likely feel refreshed and ready to tackle your tasks with renewed energy.
Taking a break is not a sign of weakness. We spend so much time thinking we have to hustle and always be on the go or we feel like slackers. I know I do. But I’m working on it. So, if you're feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated, don't hesitate to take a break and give yourself the time and space you need to recharge.
Feeling unmotivated happens to all of us. Motivation is not a fixed state—it fluctuates and changes over time. So, don't be too hard on yourself if you're feeling unmotivated. Instead, try one or more of the strategies outlined in this article and find what works best for you. With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can find inspiration to achieve your goals and stay motivated over the long haul.