by Krystle Sanders – Actions Are Greater – also published on My Aussie Dream
Initially getting motivated is the easy part. Schools and businesses bring in the motivational speakers to kick us into gear and give us motivation. Everyone gets all hyped up and excited.
“This guy knows what he’s talking about! I’m taking his advice starting right now. I’m going to do this!” we think while listening to the man jumping around on stage telling us we can do it.
“This woman is so smart. She knows exactly how I can do this. It’s so easy. I’m doing it now!” comes to mind listening to the woman on tv persuading us of our own capabilities.
We get motivated easily. We see other people doing something, and we want to do it too. The drive and fire is there, and we’re so excited to start. “This is going to be awesome!” we tell ourselves. And then we come up against the first road block. The struggle begins and it gets a little harder to stay motivated. Maybe we give up entirely. Maybe we push on through to the second road block and that one is even more difficult. “Oh no, this isn’t what I thought it would be. I can’t do this.” we say to ourselves, and then we give up. Why? Where did that motivation go?
The real issue isn’t lack of motivation. It’s that our motivation is based on excitement, so when we stop feeling excited our motivation goes out the window! But why does excitement get us motivated? It’s because it brings joy. Joy is the great motivator in life. When we come up against obstacles, sometimes we end up losing our joy and give up.
Whenever I think of things I lost motivation for, I start thinking about the feelings I had that made me give up. Something became difficult and I would get frustrated and angry, afraid, or worse…sad. Sadness and depression I think are the worst motivation killers. There was a point in life where I was depressed, and being depressed would take my motivation to do ANYTHING away. I just wanted to lay in bed and not deal with the world that day. Every time I would get motivated to do something I would always end up losing my joy and feeling sad again, so back to my bed I would go. Some offhand comment someone made or a simple obstacle like being out of dish soap and I would spiral into, “I can’t do this. It’s too hard. I’ll just go back to bed.”
Now most people typically aren’t at that extreme, but some people are, and many people who are unmotivated are in some form of depression on some small scale. They feel overwhelmed by something, and overwhelm leads to doubt and sadness at the thought of the thing, which sucks the motivation from them. So how do we overcome this?
The first thing I would do is break it down to one small thing that I could feel joy and accomplishment in. Even if it was just “I did the dishes today.” Then I would continue as long as I could. If I had an obstacle I couldn’t overcome that day, I would tell myself, “I’ll break it down into something smaller and do that tomorrow.” By breaking it down, things got easier, and I would feel more joyful and more motivated day by day. This is the motivation of slow small steps, taking one action after another. Before you know it you’re doing more than you thought possible just the day before, and every day brings more and more joy.
Now, I have built my own business & website, Actions Are Greater. I’ve published two books, and I am working on the third. I manage a growing Youtube channel, homeschool 4 children. I go hiking and do yoga and lift weights. I make jewelry and scarves and blankets. I do all kinds of crazy things! I could barely get out of bed a year ago!! Every day is just one more step towards achieving another goal.
You can do it too! No matter how small it may seem, find that one first step you can take and take it every day. One day you’ll look back and say, “Wow, I’ve gotten really far with just these slow small steps to great big dreams!!”