How do you get motivated to take action towards your goals… when you don’t feel like it?
Take it from a high achiever. I’m passionate about my business and I know exactly what to do to grow it, so I can make a bigger impact (and more money).
There are days when I look at my calendar and the tasks I need to do to reach my goals and grow my business and… I simply don’t feel like it. All I want to do is watch Netflix and eat chocolate chip cookies. Do you ever feel the same, too?
I used to beat myself up for being lazy, uncommitted, and unmotivated. Why couldn’t I push myself a little harder?
Until I realised this: your emotions are working against you. Here’s the real reason why it’s so hard to get motivated when you don’t feel like it – and how to move past that so you can finally reach the big business goals that have eluded you up until now:
Why Motivation Alone Doesn’t Work
As much as we like to think otherwise, humans aren’t logical beings. You don’t make decisions with logic and rationality. You make decisions based on how you feel in the moment – a whopping 95% of the time!
Don’t take my word for it. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied people who suffered from brain damage and couldn’t feel any emotions at all. When asked to make a decision – even something simple as what to have for dinner – they were paralysed. They were able to tell you the pros and cons of each choice, but they couldn’t actually make a choice! What was going on here?
Damasio discovered that, even when we rationally examine the pros and cons, it’s our gut, the way we feel about something in the moment, that makes the final decision. The problem is that your feelings in the moment are almost never aligned with your goals!
You know what you need to do to reach your goal, but your gut has already made the decision that you’re feeling too tired, too uncomfortable, not confident enough, and keeps you from taking action. If you wait until you feel like it, until your feelings get on board with your goals, you’ll never do it.
It’s not about waiting until you feel it like it. It’s about mastering the habit of taking action when you DON’T feel like it.
The Truth About Procrastion (And What Happens When You Don’t Feel Like It)
You don’t procrastinate to avoid work. You procrastinate to avoid stress.
When you’re about to send that email to a big influencer or go live on Instagram, you feel nervous, anxious, afraid even. Consciously, you know there’s nothing to be afraid of. Subconsciously, your brain is afraid of everything that could go wrong.
What if you get rejected? What if you’re not good enough to work with that influencer yet? What if your friends will watch your IG live and make fun of you? What if you succeed and now you have more clients you can deal with? Or worse, what if they discover you’re a fraud?
By procrastinating on sending that email (or whatever else you’re procrastinating on) to go watch a cat video, your mind gets a break from the stress. It also gets a boost of dopamine, the feel-good hormones. Your mind learns this is a good way to relieve stress and feel good, so you keep repeating this behaviour over and over again.
The catch? While procrastination makes you feel good in the moment, it stops you from taking the action needed to reach your goals… and you stay stuck where you are.
It’s a vicious circle. You procrastinate to feel better in the moment, but overtime procrastination adds more stress to your life.
How do you get out of this vicious circle and take action even when you don’t feel like it?
How To Get Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like It
1. What Are Your Feelings Trying To Tell You?
In the moment you’re procrastinating, you’re avoid a negative feeling. Maybe it’s just nervousness. Or anxiety. Or fear. Or frustration.
Instead of avoid that feeling, ask yourself, “What is it trying to tell me?” Feelings and emotions are messengers, giving you vital information about what you’re experiencing.
Maybe you’re simply physically tired and your body is telling you it’s time for a break. You can go back to work tomorrow.
More often, the negative feeling is the emotional expression of a limiting belief. You’re hesitant to take action because your brain is making up a story about what could happen when you do:
- What if you get rejected?
- What if you get exposed as a fraud?
- What if you’re successful and can’t handle the responsibilities than come with it?
- What if you make more money than your partner and it causes problems in your relationships?
- What if committing to this new project will take time away from your children?
Once you uncover the limiting belief, ask yourself where is it coming from?
I used to be afraid of going live on Instagram because, at school, I was bullied for being too good and having all the right answers. Subconsciously, my brain linked me being bullied in the classroom to going live and sharing my message in front of a bunch of people. What if I’d get bullied again?
My brain was trying to protect me from the past repeating itself. BUT, there was no chance of that happening. I wasn’t in a classroom being bullied anymore. I was in a different environment, going live in front of people I could serve.
Procrastination is showing you what you need to heal and breakthrough to reach your goals. You just need to be open to what your feelings are trying to tell you.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Next time you don’t feel like doing something, ask yourself:
- How am I feeling right now?
- Did something happen to make me feel this way? Was there a trigger?
- What is this feeling trying to tell me? What does it want me to know?
- Where does this belief come from? How did it originate?
- How likely is it to happen now? Remind yourself you’re in a different situation right now and that it’s safe to take the bold action you need to take to reach your goals.
2. Reconnect With Your Why
Think about the action you’re procrastinating on.
- What is your why for doing it?
- How is it going to help you reach your goal?
- And what is your why for wanting to achieve that goal in the first place?
It’s normal to feel excited about your goal when you first set it. Until reality sets in and you realise it’s taking you more time than you thought, that you need to step out of your comfort zone and do things that make you nervous… Some days, you just don’t feel like it.
On days like that, your brain is focusing on all the things that could go wrong. But what about all the things that could go right? The financial freedom reaching your goal can bring you. The impact you can make in people’s lives. The opportunities you’ll be able to give your children.
On days you just don’t feel like it, reconnect with your why. Focus on how it’ll feel like to reach your goals and how it will positively impact your life, your family, and the people you’re helping.
It’s not about you. It’s about your mission and the people only you can help. Don’t let the way you feel in the moment get in the way of that.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Think of a goal you’re trying to achieve, and yet you never feel like taking action on it:
- Why did you start it in the first place?
- What difference will reaching this goal make in your life and business?
- Who else is going to benefit from you reaching this goal and how?
3. Create A Motivation Routine
If you wait until you feel like it, you’ll be waiting all your life. Successful people don’t wait for their feelings to get on board, they just do it.
They do have doubts and fears, like everyone else. They’ve just learned not to let these fears stop them. One of the tools they use is a motivational routine to get them in the right mental state – whether they feel like it or not. Here are a couple of examples:
- Tony Robbins, before getting on stage, follows an elaborate routine that includes jumping on a mini trampoline, submerging himself in 57 degrees water, and a lot of power posing.
- Mel Robbins counts down 5-4-3-2-1-GO and then takes action (5 seconds is how little your brain takes to talk you out of it).
- I listen to “What A Feeling!” and then say a little affirmation before doing anything I don’t feel like doing.
It doesn’t matter what you do. It matters that you do something that gets you out of paralysis and into action. A motivation routine that works is:
- Simple: If it’s too long or elaborate, you’ll find excuses to skip it.
- Fun: If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it.
- Purposeful: It needs to get you closer to your goal, not distract you away from it.
You know you’ve got it right when you perform your routine and your mind doesn’t have time to talk you out of taking action. You’re so pumped up in the moment that you can go ahead and take that action straight way.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Come up with your own motivational ritual. When you don’t feel like doing something, do your ritual and then take action straight afterwards. Don’t give your brain – and your feelings – time to talk you out of it.
Wrapping It Up
It’s normal to experience days and moments when you just don’t feel like it. But you don’t need to let your feelings make the decision for you. You can acknowledge how you feel, reconnect with your purpose, and then get in the right frame of mind to take action anyway. That’s how you reach your goals.
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