Do you ever feel like your motivation has been zapped right out of you?   At one of his speaking events, someone challenged motivational speaker Zig Ziglar saying, “Zig, motivation just doesn’t last!”  Good ole’ Zig said, “Either does bathing, that’s why I recommend it daily”.

The truth is, motivation isn’t a magical formula.  I wish there was a secret recipe where you could add a dash of this and a splash of that and boom, instant motivation, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that.  Motivation, just like anything else, requires some effort.

Too many people wait around until something or someone mysteriously motivates them.  Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, no one can make you motivated.  While people or events can certainly give you a push in the right direction, true motivation has to be internally generated.

When you’re feeling like a Hoover has just sucked the motivational
energy right out of you, how do you get it back?

Here are 7 ways to get your zap back:

#1 – Identify De-Motivators

Sometimes the problem doesn’t come from not being motivated, it’s because something is de-motivating you.  Are you working on a big project that takes you way out of your comfort zone?  Are you managing a difficult relationship?  Instead of always looking for things to motivate you, sometimes you have to find ways to minimize what’s de-motivating you.

#2 – Use Your Strengths

We tend to enjoy what we’re good at.  Find ways to engage in activities that use your talents and strengths.  Whether it’s building something, walking your dog, doing a puzzle, or singing in the shower, find ways to tap into your strengths.

#3 – Read Something Motivational

I keep a pile of self-help, feel good books lying around.  Every day, I try to read something that helps me stay motivated.  Chicken Soup for the Soul, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, or Attitude 101 are just a few examples of easy pick-me-up reading.  Hopefully this blog gives you a little boost every now and then.

#4 – Talk About It

Keeping feelings bottled up inside tends to exacerbate the situation.  While lots of people prefer to keep to themselves, at some point, talking through your feelings with someone that you trust can be really cathartic.

#5 – Exercise

I wish I enjoyed this more because it is one of the fastest and best ways to get “un-zapped”.  It doesn’t matter what you do for exercise as long as you get your body moving.  Our mind is pretty amazing and releases all sorts of feel good chemicals into our body when we exercise.  When you feel de-motivated, it’s not always easy to muster up the energy to exercise, but the very reason you can’t is the reason you should.

#6 – Cut Yourself Some Slack

Even the most motivated people get zapped every now and then.  It’s ok to not always feel like Suzie Sunshine. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to just be.

#7 – Take A Break

While we can’t all take a month off to jet around Europe, everyone needs a little break. A 3-day weekend is nice, but it takes a little more time than that to really decompress.  Whether a staycation or vacation, make sure you’re giving yourself time to unwind.  Motivation is hard to maintain when you’re exhausted and burned out.

Remember, you can’t light a spark in someone unless one is lit in you.  Passion and motivation have to start with you.

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Read that again. 🙌 ...

I played piano from the time I was four years old until the age of 15 and during that time, I had a lot of recitals. I remember being so nervous before each recital. What if I played the wrong note? What if I forgot the music? My dad would look at me, hold my hands, and say:

Whatever you do, DO NOT think of pink elephants!!

At the time, I had no idea why in the world he would say this. All I do know is that when I sat down to play, all I saw were pink elephants, and I was able to tackle my nerves.

Turns out my dad was helping me to practice the ironic process theory which explains that when we try to suppress our thoughts, we focus on them even more. Seventy to 80% of our thoughts are negative and repetitive. If not managed, intrusive thoughts can lead to anxiety, depression, and a whole host of mental health challenges.

If you tend to get stuck in rumination, or if your thoughts sometimes get the best of you, here are a few ways to take back control:

1️⃣ Recognize that your thoughts are not facts.
2️⃣ Use your brain. Do a math problem, practice a different language, or play a puzzle game. When you access the prefrontal cortex, the higher level thinking part of your brain, you get out of the emotional limbic system.
3️⃣ Distract yourself. Sometimes a simple distraction gives you enough distance to quiet your intrusive thoughts.
4️⃣ Practice mindfulness.
5️⃣ See a therapist. When negative, intrusive thoughts impact your ability to do your job, maintain relationships, or start clouding your judgment, it may be time to get help. As someone with plenty of intrusive thoughts, therapy has helped me tremendously.

Don’t forget, your thoughts and feelings are not facts. They are simply habits that need to be shifted. Be patient with yourself, and if all else fails, whatever you do, DO NOT THINK OF PINK ELEPHANTS!

Pets provide a deep sense connection and unconditional love. I don’t know what I’d do without without these two nut jobs! Happy National Love Your Pet Day! ❤️🐶 #mindfulmonday #mindfulness #petsnuggles #ilovemydogs #petsofinstagram #nationalloveyourpetday ...

I hope your Friday includes donuts. 🍩 ...

Midweek reminder: Reset your mindset. 🧠 ...

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Anne Grady is a Speaker, Author, and #TruthBomb Dropper.

Anne shares practical strategies that can be applied both personally and professionally to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it. Anne is a two time TEDx speaker, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc. magazines, CNN, ESPN, and FOX Business. She is the best selling author of 3 books. Her newest, Mind Over Moment: Harness the Power of Resilience, is available on Amazon now.

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  1. The seven ways to get your zap back blessed me during my daily devoutional.I have been dealing with a challenging situation at work for the last nine months regarding being displaced,laid off,and possibly relocating to another division for my company. I have utilized these seven steps and it works.God has found favor with me and now I am able to remain at my same location with new responsiblities. Be encourages and trust our Lord Jesus Christ!

  2. Thanks for reminding me of the little things I can do to stay motivated. I will take my yellow lab Beaulah out for a walk, right after work today.

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