When you’re feeling stuck and unmotivated

Written on September 28, 2011 by in Personal development

So, there I was, relaxing with a grande soy latte at Starbucks and reading my Blogshelf. It was meant to be a fun, little break from the daily routine. I checked out some artists I know, coaches and consultants, PR writers…and when I’d finished and was getting ready to leave, I realized that I felt worse about myself than I had 10 minutes before. As I had been exploring and learning and perusing, part of me was making comparisons between my progress and other people’s.

Wow, what a gorgeous photograph/painting/collection of poetry, I’d think. Oh look, Jessica has a new e-course/project/blog post. I really need to register for that class/buy those new thingamawazzits/finish my own e-course…

Although we all want to know what others in our field our doing, regularly checking in can be counterproductive. There are a lot of people out there creating all kinds of cool art and valuable products.

It’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough or that your work isn’t good enough, which inevitably leads to arrested progress. You could lose days feeling poorly about yourself when the simple secret to getting your beautiful work out in the world is…do the work.

You have no control over what someone else is doing and how you compare. You can only impact what you’re doing, so choose to make it count. Put aside the negative self-talk and think about what you can do now to make positive progress. 

Photo inspiration by Graham (gtall1) via Flickr

If you’re feeling particularly stuck and unmotivated, however, you might need a little pick-me-up first. Here are a few of my favorite activities for banishing self-doubt and restoring positive energy: 

  • Get some exercise, preferably outdoors where you can bask in the sun and soak up some Vitamin D.
  • Practice yoga or meditation. Five Tibetans or Morning series are guaranteed to get the blood flowing.
  • Put on your happy music.
  • Catch up with a friend, particularly one who has positive things to say and share.
  • Look back at what you’ve accomplished already. Thumb through your portfolio. If you don’t have an easy way to do that, make one. Hello, art project!
  • Dig up some notes from happy customers. Better yet, post them in a prominent place as a daily reminder.
  • Grab a pen and write a list of everything you’re grateful for, right now in this moment.
  • Spread loving kindness. This is a simple practice that never fails to make me feel great. I sit in a quiet space, close my eyes, and envision positive, healing energy and light coming from within me and radiating out into the world. I start with “watching” the light slowly fill my room, then my house, the neighborhood, my city, the state, nearby states and eventually the whole country. And then I watch that light cross the oceans to the shores of other countries touching other people, spreading outward more and more until fingers of light intertwine around the Earth. I pause to watch that bright, glowing light surround the Earth. Next, I push the light out farther to our solar system, all of the Universe, and then forward and backward in time to everything and everyone that has ever been or ever will be… I bask in the light for a few more moments and then I open my eyes and go on with my day. It’s amazing how good sending positive thought, love and energy to the world feels, even if just for five minutes.

Wishing you a creative, joy-filled and blessed day,

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  1. Ariane
    September 29, 2011

    Simply beautiful Kate. We can be our own worst enemies at times but at the end of the day all we can do is press on and continue to put our beautiful work out into the world.

    Wonderful post :)!

    • Kate Watson
      October 4, 2011

      You’re absolutely right, Ariane: We do have to press on and keep creating. Happy this post resonated with you!

  2. Kristina
    November 16, 2011

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! :-)

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