Have you ever wondered why is so much easier to motivate those around you? You feel so pumped, yet after “spittin” this awesome advice, you put on your warm sweater and get back in bed with a sandwich and your phone to watch Tik Tok.
Here’s what’s happening.
It is a little-known scientific fact that when you help others you get a huge dopamine rush as a reward. It’s what you might call a quick fix, a buzz. So your brain is happy. As a matter of fact, you just got a gold star for just “sharing information”. There was no further action required of you to make whatever advice you gave to your best friend happen. Meanwhile, your to-do list remains undone because you just got a “hit” without much effort on your part. The dopamine that you get from completing your tasks and crushing your goals gets replaced by the dopamine you get from giving advice.
Not to mention that scrolling on social media is also giving quick bursts of dopamine as well.
Wow. So what can you do about this?
How can you break this cycle?
Before we dive deep into some of the strategies that can help you motivate yourself, let’s take a look at a potential hidden cause that may be holding you back. If you have had a long battle with motivation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are lazy. There could be something going on in your body or more specifically your brain that could be the culprit.
Dopamine Deficiency can cause a Lack of Motivation
Dopamine is sometimes referred to as the happy hormone because dopamine allows you to feel pleasure, satisfaction, and overall well-being. However, there is a condition known as “dopamine deficiency” whereby low levels of dopamine have been linked to tiredness, moodiness, and a lack of motivation. This article explains the causes and treatment for dopamine deficiency in great detail.
If dopamine deficiency doesn’t seem to be a problem for you, there are some strategies that you can benefit from to help jumpstart your motivation.
These suggestions are meant to provide inspiration for you if you are feeling stuck and don’t know where to start.
5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Self Motivation
- Develop Your Confidence Muscle
Initially, this may sound counterintuitive. How can someone like me that is struggling with motivation feel confident you might say. But real confidence is more than a feeling, it is a skill that can be developed. Once you realize this you can get up off of the sofa and get to work.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne
Having the confidence to stand up for yourself is one of the most critical aspects of self-motivation. Yet, it can get difficult to muster up confidence when your brain is wired to shy away from a challenge.
To rewire your thoughts and build up your confidence, write down 3–4 of your achievements to remind yourself of how much you have already done.
We live in a fast-paced society that doesn’t always allow us to ponder our success before hastily moving on to the next big thing. Over time this can chip away at our confidence. As you continue to record your wins (big and small) you will boost your confidence and create the momentum you need to motivate yourself even further.
2. Track Your Progress
“Talk to yourself about your successes; be sure you’re recognizing your own accomplishments, no matter how small they may be.” – Rhett Power
Now that you’ve started recording your achievements, it’s important to keep track of how far you’ve come. Create a simple to-do list and cross each task as you get each one done. That dopamine is starting to soar. You created a simple system for managing your tasks and writing them down gives you accountability. Not only does this cause you to hold yourself accountable but it also gives you a road map to complete your goals. You wake up each day knowing exactly what to do, giving your life purpose and meaning. You can feel the dopamine rising!
3. Fight to Keep a Positive Outlook
“There’s a direct correlation between positive energy and positive results.” – Joe Rogan
Now that you’ve started building momentum you will begin to feel pretty good! You’ve got to fight to keep moving forward by keeping Negative Nellie at bay. Maintaining a positive mindset can go a long way in boosting your self-motivation. It’s also a great tool to have when things don’t go as planned. That’s when having that positive outlook can help you see things from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on the setback, think two steps forward, one step backward keeps you one step further than you were. Real talk: this is how life works. Just because you encountered a little difficulty on the way, choose to focus on the progress you’ve made. Refuse to shift your focus.
When your brain expects positive results, your choices will be aligned toward the more positive. You’ll also be less likely to blame others for the unexpected things that pop up in your life.
To be successful at this, you need to be familiar with your negative thought patterns (we all got them). Then, each time you feel negative thoughts pop up, replace them with positive ones immediately.
This takes practice, but you can do it. It is a life skill that will serve you.
4. Start by Setting Smaller Realistic Goals
“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” – Benjamin E. Mays
You need to set goals in life. Those who have a goal in life are happier and more energetic because they have something to look forward to. Even if you come up short, at least you are moving towards something.
Goals give your life a sense of direction.
When you are jumpstarting your motivation starting small can be the key. Whether your goal is related to work, family, health, or having fun, set small goals and break them done into small action steps. Structure the goal in such a way that it is challenging enough to pique your interest. But not too hard or complex that you give up easily.
5. Surround Yourself With Supportive People
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
This strategy is pure gold whenever you are trying to lift yourself up. Having positive people who help you achieve your potential is a great way to increase your self-esteem and motivate you to be your best. They can provide great accountability to keep you pushing forward even when you don’t feel like getting out of bed.
However, not everyone is blessed with an Oprah in their lives. If this is the case, find your people by reading their books or watching their video content. If you can, hire a coach, as they can help reach your goals faster.
Use these strategies to strengthen your resolve and to create a framework that you can use to jumpstart your motivation. These tips will serve to get your internal gears turning in the right direction. You will begin to recognize and appreciate your true value. You are more than your advice. You are a strong, capable person that is able to motivate yourself even in the toughest of times.
Be well + prosper my friend,
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