Have you been a victim of boredom, anxiety, overthinking, fear, and a strange combination of all of them? Are all your days the same? Does “Work from home” seems round a clock run? Do not worry, you are not alone — the entire population of 7,853,835,614 people feels the same. The combination of boredom (from having too many days that seem equally identical) and fear (from all of one’s anxieties: health, financial, educational, social, and political) makes it seem as if time is passing slowly and losing a sense of direction. This exact combination is what is called “Motivation Paralysis”.
Is the fear of Coronavirus the reason for the feelings you have?
This may not be a fear of the virus that causes this motivation paralysis. It is the insanity of everything going on in the world right now, as well as the fact that our days look the same because we do not have the external stimulation we would usually have. Almost everyone is stuck in a motivational rut. David D. Burns, M.D., a clinical psychiatrist says that it is a lethargic cycle. Yes! Lethargy is a cycle.
Your negative thoughts result in inaction. Your lack of action adds to and confirms negative thoughts. Why is it so difficult for me and so simple for others? What is the matter with me? If I perform well, my friends feel embarrassed. If I do not perform well, my job is at stake. How many days will we last without a properly determined income? Why bother if this is all there is to life? And this goes on and on. A loop, indeed.
In such a vicious series of thoughts, the lethargy cycle feeds itself. This sense of emptiness does not promote a sense of energy grounding.
How to Beat this Motivation Paralysis?
Indeed, we have lost many of the safeguards that served as pilots during our pre-pandemic days, which is very unsettling. Anchors like a socializing group, a regular safe income every month, traveling to clear out minds were all sources to hold on to check our own physical and mental energy. On the other hand, any upgrades you make now will be accessible to you for the rest of your life. Okay, enough talk about the cycle. Let us see how to break out this circle. Here are some no-bullshit methods to take back the power from this paralytic attack.
Reboot the Brain
See all these meditation, yoga, positive affirmations, cleansing, and other spiritual techniques work only when you sit and listen to your body. Yes, it might seem that all your mind wants is to binge watch and chill. However, even the laziest of your days pass as you give it space and time. For a while, forget about “working as you want to” and just “work as you feel”. And then, motivation returns; it’s as if the brain requires a reboot or something.
Get Rid of Negative Self-Talk
This is the hardest one yet sounds the simplest. Negative self-talk is no doubt the most addictive habit of humans. We either subconsciously or consciously reduce our potential and humiliate ourselves as much as possible when we speak to ourselves. Often, our first instinct is to criticize ourselves for not being able to do anything and stay mad, but this is inefficient and requires us to waste even more emotional energy than we have. Even in a room filled with shrill noises, the little voice behind our ears is the loudest of all. If you’re filled with uncertainty and feel like you can’t do anything, remember to breathe, surround yourself with hopefulness, and remind yourself of your daily progress.
Huh! The ever-long debate of discipline vs motivation exists. But, do not you think discipline is a part of the motivation. Imagine your brain filled with a checklist and all the tick marks of completed works and to-dos give motivation like none other. And to develop discipline, here is the anti- eat the frog method to follow for beginners.
We will cultivate discipline by starting with what is short, simple, and easy and then resisting stopping for a few minutes to see if the next short, simple, and easy step comes to mind. If none of them do, take a brief break and return to the issue with fresh eyes. For example, You have to prepare a presentation for your weekly report. The first simple step would be to create a word file, the next would be to select font or theme, and on and on. See, in no time you will be done with the work. Yes, sure that would not be the best of your works. But still who says you cannot make the work better and revise. Completed work is a real motivator. Try it for yourself.
That is it from here. Just to give you a head’s up — You will eventually get stuck again. Just reassure yourself that it is all right. A mentality shift is not about holding yourself to a high standard; it is about empowering yourself to set reasonable goals and allowing those goals to change and relax as needed. And please do not paralyze yourself for having motivation paralysis. Read more articles on motivation, here.