Almost any creative field has its term for what it feels like when you can’t get anything done – roadblock, writer’s block, artist’s block, etc. – and all of these ideas have to do with the idea of losing motivation.
A lack of motivation or feeling stuck can be incredibly frustrating and, for many, upsetting. Feeling unable to bring yourself to do something you know you should do or want to do can make you feel powerless, and giving up or accepting the negative things you think about yourself seems all the more tempting.
So, what should you do when faced with this dilemma? There are a few options, but they all have the same backbone: the idea of not giving up.
Try Something New
In moments of stress or a lack of motivation, it can be beneficial to remind yourself why you’re doing what you do and reignite your passion.
Try to take a step back and refocus your attention on a new, smaller project that you can use to rekindle your love of your craft while still taking time away from the object of your frustrations.
For example, if you’re an artist who’s working on a large commission that has been eating up a great deal of your time and energy, you might consider taking some time to work on personal projects, even if they’re small and silly.
Try a Different Angle
Though this pertains mostly to writing or projects where different parts can be worked on out of order, it’s still a good tip to keep in mind no matter what.
Say you’re stuck on page seven of whatever you’re writing, and you can’t get your mind to continue anymore. Abandon page seven for the moment and come back to it later.
Sometimes simply distancing yourself from emotion can help clear your mind and help you remember where your ideas truly stem from. You also might consider different ways to achieve the same goal – for instance, utilizing a different style of writing or painting – and get creative.
Don’t Be a Perfectionist
This is the most important tip on ambition that anyone could offer: don’t hold yourself to standards that you can’t possibly reach, or you’ll set yourself up for disappointment and self-doubt, which are instant motivation-killers.
We are our own harshest critics. We tend to pick things apart in far more detail than anyone else might, and we rarely afford ourselves the same sympathy and kindness we give to others.
Don’t worry about things not turning out how you pictured them in your head and accept that this is how they look and how they turned out in reality. Something that seems only mediocre to you could end up being amazing in someone else’s eyes.
Everyone struggles with motivation throughout life; sometimes, it’s hard to do the things we know we need or want to do, especially those that we do professionally or take seriously.
Maintaining ambition and a genuine love for the activities you do is perhaps best supported by a positive attitude and the ability to forgive yourself when you make mistakes.
Remember that it’s okay to have bad days too, even days where you accomplish very little. Giving yourself the time and space you need to rediscover your motivation is an important part of self-care, and you deserve it.
Post contributed by Marie Miguel
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.