When it comes to motivation, there are two things we tend to focus on: how to find it and how to keep it. This week, continuing our discussion on the ever-elusive mystery that is motivation, we’re going to talk about both of those points – how we can summon back lost creativity and how to make sure it sticks around a little longer.
Last week, I shared some tips to help combat lack of motivation. No matter who you are or what you’re struggling with, never underestimate the power of a great breakfast or some extra time outside. But what if you’ve found yourself wishing you had some more creative-specific solutions? You’re in luck because I have three, tried and true tips that have personally helped get me back on track:
· Find work that inspires you and imitate it: This will take the pressure off of you to be completely original in your creativity. Treat this as a purely fun exercise – no pressure allowed!
· Experiment with a completely different creative medium: Sometimes we can actually lean into our lack of motivation and use it as a way to broaden our horizons. This can be as small as a watercolor artist trying to paint with acrylics or as big as a singer trying out clay modeling. There are no boundaries. · Clean your workspace: If you can’t get yourself to create, see if you can put your time towards cleaning up and revamping that awesome workspace of yours. Clean your brushes really well. Disinfect your keyboard and mouse. Vacuum the floor!
** For what it’s worth, these can be used by non-creatives too – creatives aren’t the only ones who get into slumps… anyone looking for small steps to propel themselves forward could benefit from these! **
I’ve said it a couple times now, and I’ll continue to say it. One of the best things you can do to combat loss of motivation is to let yourself rest. If you’re running completely on caffeine, things have gone too far and you’re in for some trouble. Yes, we’re all super busy all of the time. Our schedules are booked solid with tasks all day, every day. But you have to prioritize your health. If you are someone who struggles to do this, you need to find a way that works for you. One of my favorite tips for driven doers is to make it another task in your daily schedule. Treat self-care with the same commitment you do your work and don’t overthink it! Maybe instead of being on your phone during lunch, you just relax and have a quiet meal by yourself. Pick an extra nourishing choice and sit outside for the added benefit of being in the sun. Drink lots of water. Get up and walk around every so often. There are so many little things like this that you can do throughout the day to recharge and take care of yourself. Look into finding different ways to rest during your busy days. And remember, you DESERVE it. Remind yourself what will happen if you DON’T rest. Then go take five – I mean it.
Now I’ll be honest, as much as we focus on taking care of ourselves, it’s impossible to avoid slumps 100% of the time. We’ve all gone through them. They’re natural, normal and part of the rhythm of life. When you’re stuck in one, it’s really important to be patient and give yourself time. It’s even more important to remind yourself that you are not alone. Negative space can be extremely isolating. Feelings of doubt, inadequacy and frustration have a way of serving as a gateway to other lies we tell ourselves – “no one else ever struggles like this, what’s wrong with me?” Of course, logically, we know that’s not true. Everyone struggles! But, like anything else, when you let yourself believe that you’re alone, it becomes that much harder to break free. During these periods of time, we tend to turn inward and shy away from reaching out to our support systems. But what if we didn’t have to? Sometimes lurking in a creative space can help you find your footing again. My Facebook group, Bravely Original, is the perfect place to get that support anytime you need, completely pressure-free! Friends and family are great, but sometimes the best help comes from fellow creatives who have stood in similar shoes. And speaking of those, never hesitate to reach out to me. You can check out my 1-on-1 coaching offerings on my site to see how I can directly help get you back on track!