June 8

When Motivation stops working


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I am a fan of doing periodic cleanses and resets, not only for the health and detoxification benefits but also for the mental toughness it takes to work through it and stay the course. Today is my second of three days and I was ready to quit. My motivation, which is a finite resource, was running low and I really wanted to eat some comfort food.

After making myself a very small cup of coffee, (This is one thing that I am not willing to give up because caffeine withdrawals are for real), I sat outside in the morning light and wallowed in my sea of despair.

My inner critic (whom I call the judge) started with what is wrong with you?

You can’t stick to anything.

You do these hard-core things and then flop.

Whatever happened to feeling motivated and inspired when you started this?

The ups and downs are unbearable.

I can’t seem to follow through with anything.

I was starting to spiral and succumb to my judge speak. These are the lies I tell myself – almost like an excuse to ‘feel better’ when in reality, following through with the cleanse is easier than enduring the suffering of my garbage talk.

Shame, guilt, and doubt were flooding my system. Not a good place to be, especially when you just want to feel good enough to keep going.

I gave it five more minutes of my self-loathing pity party and then asked what does future self want? Future self wants to get through this freaking cleanse because she knows how amazing she is going to feel. Lighter, brighter, clear minded, and hopefully my vertigo will improve.

No matter how many tools, teachers, mentors, podcasts, and energy work you do, this is a normal part of the human experience. Everyone goes through this. It doesn’t matter how much work you have done on yourself. This is what being human is about. It’s not what we tell ourselves, it’s what we choose to do that will define our results.

If you wait to feel a ping of motivation or inspiration, you will be waiting a LONG time. Not feeling like doing the thing is completely normal and I know for me personally, is much of the time. I rarely feel like doing what I need to, but I do it anyway. This is what I define as discipline.

Discipline is following through on your word with action. Motivation will not get you these results.

When you decide that your want is much bigger than what you want in the now, you will get the results you desire, and it won’t take the finite resource of motivation and willpower to get there. Stop waiting for inspiration to come. Showing up is 80% of success, so, if you show up and take action now, even when you don’t feel like it, you are already closer to having what you want. Waiting for the conditions to be perfect is a waste of your precious energy.

Do it now! Even if you show up and THEN decide you are exhausted or you truly can’t do it. You made a choice and followed through with your word. You can always go back, start again, refine, and keep on trucking.

Not quite sure how to start? You can ask these questions:

What don’t I WANT? This is a fun twist that works brilliantly when working with my clients. From here – look at your answers and use the antonym for determining the answer to the question.

For example: I don’t want:

  • To be in a hurry
  • To have credit card debt
  • These extra 5 pounds
  • To be a zombie on my phone
  • A screaming lunatic
  • Feel overwhelm

Using the opposite or antonym…

  • Want: Calm and in control. Why: I make better decisions in the state
  • Want: Debt free. Why: Use this money to save/invest in assets that make me $
  • Want: Clothes to fit. Why: I don’t want to buy different clothes, I like what I have now
  • Want: Present with my people. Why: Time with them is important to me and being present keeps me aligned with higher self
  • Want: Calm (see the theme). Why: No one needs to feel my wrath. Its not good for my nervous system
  • Want: Clear and Focused. Why: I have a lot of moving parts in my day and staying focused without distractions is how I get it done.

Take a current inventory of what is happening in your life now. Are there things on the list that you don’t want?

Being aware of your current habits, behaviors, activities, and conversations will help you determine the next steps in taking actions on what you want.

What is one thing you can do today that you can commit to, follow through with, and start practicing on a regular basis no matter what the circumstances are?

This is where you get to choose what this is. Don’t overthink. Decide and go all in. Pick one thing. That’s it. Remember you are most likely going to have to give something up or work more in order to have it. There is a trade off! Don’t skip this question. I wrote about growth and discipline last fall here – you can read more about ways to boost this incredible skill.

When you stop relying on feeling motivated and inspired to do the work or make the change you are seeking, you will build the discipline needed to propel you forward. 

There’s never going to be the ‘perfect’ time, so decide, commit, and go get it done. Not only are you building your discipline, you are also creating confidence in yourself.

Many years ago, I created the Daily Focus Guide that I still use today. This helps me stay in check and keeps me accountable when the motivation isn’t cutting it any longer. Download your guide today. It’s free and simple to follow.

Discipline is key

Here’s to going all in on YOU no matter what.

Your Guide to a Spiritual Transformation

As an Intuitive Life Coach, Reiki Practitioner, and Energy Healer, Alexis empowers individuals to trust themselves, connect with their intuition, and lead a life filled with confidence and purpose. Explore our 3 or 6-month Intuitive coaching programs, Reiki healing, Sound Baths, Live on Purpose Transformational Coaching sessions, and embark on a transformative journey to unlock your full potential with Alexis Nelson.

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