Habiba Zaman


Not Feeling Motivated

Today I’d like to talk about motivation. I’d love to say that this is going to be an entry where you feel all kinds of energized and motivated and determined to get things done by the end of our time together, but that might not be the case. Now with the seasons changing, its cooler in the mornings we see a trend in people taking longer times to wake up and get out of bed. For me specifically, it’s just because its cold and I don’t want to get out of my fortress of comfort, surrounded by my pillows and loved ones. I don’t want to get the day started, I just want to stay there and snuggle and be happy and cosy. It starts around this time, the fall time, because there are changes, and we as humans don’t really do well with change. One of the things that I always teach my clients, the ones that are struggling with anxiety or depression is that you can’t sit around and wait to get motivated. That’s nothing new, you’ve heard this before. Im supposed to teach everyone how to find motivation and unfortunately motivation just doesn’t come. I don’t suddenly wake up one day and just say “you know, that stack of insurance claims that I have to bill, oh I feel so motivated to do that right now”. Or how I’ve knocked over an entire row of bins in the garage from the shelves and its scattered around the floor “oh you know what? Right now seems like the perfect time, I’m so excited and motivated to go organize and clean it”. That just doesn’t happen. Are there miraculous moments every now and then where I do wake up and I’ve had a great night’s sleep and I’ll say “you know what? I think I’m going to workout this morning”. Every now and then it does happen. But for the most part, to find discipline, to find drive to do that, especially if it’s something you don’t enjoy doing, that motivation is not pumping. Most of the time we get bogged down with all of these things that we should be doing. We should be exercising, getting up on time, filing those insurance claims, doing the work. For some of us, the should become these overwhelming blocks that just pile on our shoulders one after another until it feels like we are carrying the world on our shoulders. It feels heavy. For some that could lead to giving up all together, saying “I just cant, its too much, I cant right now so I’m just going to put it off and act like it doesn’t exist”. For others, it fuels us. We work great under pressure, but to the point where we are always in crisis mode. Neither one of these is healthy. So today I want to recommend that you take a moment, just a moment, to find your bearings. Feel grounded, feel stable again. When things are kind of going crazy, that sense of feeling frazzled can certainly lead to anxiety, that stays with you the rest of the day. It makes you irritable, cranky, and you’re using up a lot of emotional and mental energy for something that is not effective because nothing is getting done. So take a minute and ground yourself. Sit down on the ground, literally, and close your eyes. Take a couple deep breaths, figure out where you are, listen to the small things in the background. Do you hear the clock ticking? Do you hear the intake of breath? Do you feel the breeze on your skin? Do you notice the little nuances that go on around you? Bring yourself to the present, bring yourself to the moment. Take a couple of deep breaths. I would love to say that this is meditation, and I suppose that it could be because it’s mindfulness, but it shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes. I know a lot of us don’t really have the time to set aside, but just for a moment, especially when things feel so overwhelming, you can feel some relief. You deserve that moment, that moment that’s just yours, that moment where you can say “okay im here, im present right now, I matter right now”. After you take that moment, I want you to make a list. A list with 3 different categories. I’m the queen of lists, I love lists because they make me feel in control, it makes me feel that I have some semblance of structure and that structure calms my chaotic world. So in these lists, I want you to categorize a “Need To” list, a “Have To” list, and a “Want To” list. So I said “Need To” list first because it’s the easiest thing to get to. There are so many things that can go in there. But there is a difference between “I need to” and “I want to” and “I have to”. Have to, for me today for example, I have to feed the babies in the morning. I also have to get them to school, I have to get to work, and I have to do my sessions. The other things that are on my list, for example, crumbs on the floor from their breakfasts, I don’t HAVE to vacuum them up right this moment. Would I like to? Yes, because it’s messy and that drives me crazy, and last night I spent 2 hours cleaning the floors. So yes, I would definitely like to sweep them up and feel that its clean again, but I don’t have to do that right this minute. Time is very restrictive in the mornings for us anyways. The other thing I don’t have to do today is go grocery shopping. It certainly can wait until tomorrow. Do I want it to wait until tomorrow? Of course not. But it CAN wait. I need to go, we need food for the weekend, but we have food in the pantry and freezer and my kids will be okay. That’s not something that has to get done right this minute. It needs to happen, but it can wait. There are so many things like this that can fall into this category. Anything on this “Have To” list is crucial. Must be done and must be taken care of. The “Need To” list is items that have a leeway of a few days. Now the “Want To” list, that’s the fun part. Yes, the fact that I knocked over those bins while trying to get the Halloween decorations down and now Christmas stuff is on the floor in my garage… do I absolutely want to get that taken care of? YES, it drives me bananas that my garage, or my kitchen, or my house is like that, but those are want to’s. I want to get them done. Well technically it’s not a want to because I don’t want to do it but on my list of to do’s, it’s a want. Nothing is going to happen if these things are not handled. Is that something that I am okay with? Not really, but when there is so much to take care of, we have to give ourselves the grace to let some things go. I am a single mom, running an empire that I’ve created for myself with my practice and my books. I have so much on my plate it’s no longer a plate it’s a platter. At this moment, my platter is overflowing and things are falling off of my platter because I put so much on myself, willing. Instead of falling apart internally, mentally, emotionally, physically, I can start to feel like I’m in control of some of it just by starting to sort them and tackling them one thing at a time. One list at a time. The most important lesson here is not “don’t put so much on your plate” (I mean I would love to do that, I would totally live by that advice, but I don’t) but “to give yourself some grace”. You’re not superhuman. As much as I’d love to be superwoman or wonder woman, I’m not. I’m human. AND THAT’S NORMAL. Let me repeat that. IT’S NORMAL. It’s normal to be human, to be tired, to not feel motivated, to just want to crawl under the covers and say “I don’t want to deal with all of this today”. It’s all normal, so give yourself some grace, give yourself a moment, and still love yourself anyways.

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