I’ve always had a hard time inspiring myself. Often, I’ll look to others who seem much more successful than I am for some secret that I just can’t tap into. Answers are more satisfying than the journey of discovering them, which can lead me (and, I’m sure others) to feeling a bit lost when the inspiration and motivation isn’t quite there to achieve your goals. For today’s post I wanted to offer a few ways that you can inspire yourself so that you don’t always have to turn to others for the necessary affirmation of your journey.
Listen To What You Want
There’s a difference between what you want and what you think you want. Telling the difference between the two is where the trouble starts for most of us. There’s no denying that societal pressures play an enormous role in the way we behave and the goals we aspire to, but recognizing these external guiding forces is the quickest way to snap out of that trance and uncover what it really is that you want. The reason I think listening to what you want is important is because we often express our true desires without taking the time to notice them. These can be through nonchalant comments to your close friends, journal entries that you haven’t looked back on in a while, or possibly the type of entertainment you are voraciously consuming. Connecting these dots and making space in your mind to recognize why it is you are drawn to certain thoughts or daily habits will help to spike the inspiration to move forward with what you really want out of life.
Revisit Your Past Successes
This one is hard for me to do, but I try to whenever I’m feeling down about myself. My instinct is to use my past failures as justification as to why I can’t do what I want to achieve my goals, but by looking back at my successes I can show myself that maybe, just maybe, I am capable of getting what I want. The bad times stick out in our minds more, so make it a habit to document your yearly, monthly, or weekly wins so that in times of distress and hopelessness you can look back at them and incite the inspiration you so desperately need. There’s nothing wrong with congratulating yourself or feeling good about what you’ve done—not using the tools you implemented to achieve those past goals is the real crime.
So, you’ve listened to what you want out of life and have looked back at all the other things you were able to achieve, but you still haven’t gotten to the end goal. Well, the most crucial step in inspiring yourself rather than waiting to be inspired is taking action as soon as your desires and capabilities have been realized. You know what you want and you know that you can get there—what are you waiting for? Sure, dreaming about taking action is much easier than actually doing it. It can lead to losing current relationships, leaving comfortable jobs, or losing a sense of self that you have grown comfortable with. But, by taking that initial baby step in the right direction you will soon notice that the one that comes after is that much easier to take.
If you’re like me and are somewhat of a control freak when it comes to making big life changes, I would suggest sitting down on a calm afternoon and writing out a detailed outline of where you are, where you want to be, and how you’re going to get there. Purge all of your fears and insecurities onto the page and consider that if the worst case scenario were to happen, how would you deal with it? By planning all possible directions that this life change can take you in, you’ll feel much more capable and confident in your abilities to handle what comes along throughout the journey, and possibly even succeed at it.
Don’t Look Too Much At What Others Are Doing
I get it—sometimes you need the examples of those you admire to really kick you in the butt and help you push through your own journey. But spending too much time looking at what others are doing will make it that much harder for you to recognize the steps and processes that work the best for you to get to where you want to be. Your favourite author’s daily routine most likely won’t work for you, so there’s no point focusing on mimicking it in the hopes of success. Sure, you can take aspects from it that you feel align with your goals and intentions, but cultivating your own methods is the best way to stay inspired and focused on your end goal.
For me, social media is where I fall down the comparison rabbit hole. There are dozens of creators on Instagram that I’m inspired by, but their lives are so different than mine that it would be unsustainable to try and do what they do. And while they might look like they are living the ultimate life, I now know that there are so many variations of success that aren’t always shown through social media. We are only seeing it from those who are the most vocal about it. I always try to cultivate my process around the thought “what if social media didn’t exist?” and see what would come up in my daily habits and rituals. Would I be as invested in sharing my life online? Would I be doing what that other person in my career field is to get their clients? If not, then you can rest assured that you are on the right path for you.