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What do you do if you lose your motivation?

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

Monday 16th January is 'Blue Monday'- said to be the most depressing day of the year.

As this is my first blog on my brand new speaking website, I thought I would start by making a confession.

I have had a career as a 'motivational speaker' for almost a decade now, travelling all over the UK and overseas too, sharing my story to not only motivate teams but encourage them to push their own boundaries in order to reach their full potential. I think many of us know that the boundaries around us are set by ourselves. It is so easy to make an excuse rather than make an effort.

Our mind is so often our biggest limitation.

That is quite something for me to say. Wouldn't you think my biggest limitation is the fact I am paralysed from the chest down? Well, it actually isn't.

Those months following my spinal cord injury, I was filled with fear, sadness, resentment and loss. 'Was living a life with a useless broken body really a life worth living?' was something I asked myself.

As I went through a process of grieving for all I had lost (not just the use of 2/3 of my body but my career, sport and boyfriend too), accepting what had happened and ultimately adapting to my new situation, I began to realise that I absolutely did have a life worth living even if I had to work a bit harder to get there.

I am still paralysed from the chest down but I have totally different feelings to those in the first months post injury. Many doors closed but I have found even more to open. However, there is one thing that has changed over these years and that is my mindset.

Now for the confession....

You may read about my determination and how I have had to dig deep to get through some challenging times- that is what has led me to a career as a motivational speaker. Let me tell you something, I am not motivated all the time. I am not only talking about the early days after my accident but there are many occasions I feel like I have lost my umph . In fact, throughout the first half of January I have been dragging my feet (wheels doesn't sound right!). I am sure I am not alone with this, after all, 16th January is known as 'Blue Monday'.

It is normal to have periods when you lack motivation, feel a bit 'flat' and this is when 'discipline' needs to kick in- making yourself carry on even when you don't feel like it.

It was one of the most valuable lessons I learned as a child through having ponies right on to my eventing days- even on Christmas day they needed looking after, the words 'I can't be bothered' were never an option. They still aren't.

So even on these wet, cold, miserable January days, I force my lazy bum onto the handbike to get some fresh air and exercise even though the log burner and sofa are very tempting! My motivation and zest for life will be much more likely to bounce back if I carry on.

So it is 'discipline' which is top of my list for the times I lack motivation but what are the others?

My top tips for finding motivation:

1) DISCIPLINE. Know what is good for you and make sure the voice telling you to 'get on and do it' is like a strict headteacher at school that you darent take no notice of.

2) FOCUS ON POSSIBILITIES. We listen to our own thoughts more than anyone else and if we are dwelling on those things we can't control, rather than all the things we have a choice over then we are wasting vital energy. Energy is precious and we can use it for better things.

3) POSITIVE PEOPLE. Once you have found that mindset then surround yourself with like-minded people. Positivity breeds positivity (but remember the same happens with negativity)

4) SET A GOAL. You are much more likely to find your drive if you are working towards a clear goal. A goal that you are excited about achieving.

5) SOMETIMES TAKE A BREAK. Do something for yourself, have a short breather then start afresh. We need to be kind to ourself so make sure you recognise when a gentle pat on the back is the right action to take.

6) LEAVE THE COMFORT ZONE. It may be a slightly uneasy place to be but often leaves you feeling great. It can enable to to grow and reach new heights- giving you the confidence to push those boundaries even further.

I think my lack of motivation this month has been largely due to not venturing out my comfort zone. I had a busy 2022; speaking at numerous events- all of which gave me a buzz, learning to fly, returning to the track on my motorbike and fundraising challenges in my wheelchair. I am by no means fearless, quite the opposite really- I spend quite a lot of my time in the fear zone but I must love it!

The first half of January has been on the quiet side but very soon everything will restart with a vengeance and as they say...

'If you want a job doing ask a busy person' I am sure that challenging yourself, pushing boundaries and living a busy life gives you the motivation and energy to achieve even more and reach your full potential.

The temporary loss of motivation tends to hit everyone in life. It is normal for us all to lose our drive at times, but by simply forcing ourselves through these days we can find it then starts to return. We can also do things to accelerate this.

Perhaps you are like me and just need a kick up the bum from time to time- then let's combine that with a good dose of discipline and setting an ambitious yet achievable goal to get stuck in to. We can get our best self back in no time!

I am now getting excited to see what 2023 has in store and I am itching to get out my comfort zone! More coming on that soon as I am hopefully close to announcing this year's rather daunting challenge.

What goals and ambitions have you set yourself for 2023?

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