“What’s MY motivation?”
– Every Actor Ever
The last 6 weeks have been very unmotivating. Most of it was in anticipation of the school year. Part of it is the 6 month pandemic slump. (I can’t believe it’s been SIX months) Even now. It’s taken me 20 minutes to write the first two sentences.
When the pandemic started and everything shut down, I relaunched this blog. From March until July, I spent hours per night relearning everything that I had taught myself when I first started blogging at 17, and again at 28 and again at 37. I published a lot of helpful (I hope) posts. Six months in and I hit blogging fatigue.
Hell, this is pandemic fatigue. How can anyone possibly stay motivated?
I imagine a lot of moms are feeling this way right now. Especially with the upcoming election coming up and Covid has made itself at home everywhere (ugh), we’re all just feeling so…tired. Unmotivated to do anything extra (Pinterest, be damned, lol). Just gotta make sure everyone is fed, schooled, and wearing clean underwear. (sigh) The Etsy shop can wait, right? The blog can wait.
Times like this call for reflection. Why do we feel this way?
This is why.
It’s not at all uncommon for anyone to think they’re failing when things don’t progress as fast as we’d like. I’ve read of bloggers and Etsy shop owners making the equivalent of a yearly salary within 6 months of starting. Impostor syndrome is real and is a real shitty weight to carry around.
Personally, I know that I just need a rest, pull back a bit and not force myself to churn out a blog post when I’m so exhausted from real life. I love blogging but neh, not when the world is collapsing all around us.
Feeling unmotivated can sometimes feel like failure but I’ve come to realize that it’s just the ebb and flow of being a person, no matter your career or artistic goals.
Wish I learned that sooner in life. It would have saved me a LOT of guilt and time, but que sera sera. (see “Mom Guilt is (almost) Useless“)
Here’s what I’ve learned.
Simply put, you are likely doing better than you think. If it feels like you’ve been working hard with little to show for it, you’re mistaken. Blogging is a long game. Etsy shops are a long game. Acting careers are a LIFELONG game. Figuring out how to stay motivated is just part of it.
Consider these points:
1. Each mistake is a lesson to be learned. Success is never overnight. If you can learn something from every mistake or failure, it is one more step closer to success. Human beings tend to repeat their behaviors, including their mistakes. Choose to act differently than the last time. Learn from your mistakes. My biggest mistake is not planning out my blog posts in advance.
2. You know what you want. If you are aimless in your goals, then you won’t reach them. Write down your wants and your why’s. Keeping your reasons for working so hard at top of mind will help you stay motivated.
3. You spend your time wisely. As you move about your day, ask yourself what the best use of your time would be, then do that.
4. You make regular progress. This is a GREAT indicator that you’re doing just fine! Even if it feels like you’ll never reach your goal, the fact that you are closer to it today than you were last week is STILL progress! Keep going!
5. You’re consistent in your efforts. Every day you do something, even if it’s one little thing to get you closer to your goal. I might not write in this blog every day but I’m posting on social media, networking with other performer-moms, doing site maintenance or researching for future posts. Stick your goals and they will get done!
6. You are optimistic. Optimism begets hope. Optimism begets action. On the flip side, when you have low expectations you stall because that infers you efforts are a waste. Stay motivated and keep optimism close to you!
7. You are determined. Progress and determination go hand in hand.
8. You DGAF what other people think. Caring too much about what other people think will lead you to play it safe. You won’t take chances. You won’t achieve anything of significance. Leave the opinions of other behind!
Here’s the thing
If you are clear on your goals and working on them every day, then you are doing fine, even if your desired results haven’t come into fruition yet. We have to stop comparing ourselves to others. Someone else’s journey isn’t the roadmap for yours.
Yeah, yeah, but I’m still sitting here like a pile of mush, uninspired and unmotivated. HELP!
I know. I’ve been there. It’s true that motivation makes all the difference between productivity and not. Moving towards success requires hard work, and there are days that are more difficult than others. It may seem like the only way to succeed is with copious amounts of motivation, but omg where is it? What can you do to stay motivated?
How to Stay Motivated
1. Motivation can come from other people. Whether those people are already successful or on their way to success, you can draw your motivation from people from all walks of life. If they are further along in your likeminded goals, they can be a concrete vision of where you want to be. Seeing others grow their businesses and expand their careers reinforces the idea that you can, too!! If they can do it, so can you!
2. Stay focused. Know your why. When you remember why you’re doing this, your energy will be focused into achieving your goals. Stay centered on the reasons you are working so hard.
3. Believe in YOU. Working so hard every day can gaslight yourself into questioning everything you are doing. Keep the faith. Know your worth, your value, and your skills. Reject the seed of doubt. Keeping a positive attitude is so much more than just a smile on your face. It’s persevering even when you aren’t sure what the outcome will be. Keep taking steps towards your goals, and cross those bridges when you get to them.
YOU ARE DOING GREAT!
Keep these things in mind as you move about your day, your week, your month, your year. It’s tough as shit right now, so don’t blame yourself when your motivation goes out the window. Take a beat and try to relax. Keep your eyes open for inspiration and continue to believe in yourself. Everything will come together as it should.
What are your tips for self-motivation?