Where’s My Motivation?
“I have a theory that burnout is about resentment. And you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.”
~ Marissa Mayer
Yeah, so, over the last week or so, I’ve been highly unmotivated. I haven’t felt like writing, prepping for presentations coming up, and other related things. And I found myself doing things I’ve never done before.
Like clock watching, which is really ridiculous because I don’t have a job outside the home. But I do have work hours that I’ve designated and I try to stick with them. I stop looking at and responding to my business/writing email at 5:00pm and don’t come to it again until 8:00am most mornings, Mon-Fri.
The other day I found myself looking at the clock, looking forward to it being 5:00pm so I wouldn’t have to read, think about or make decisions regarding aspects of my writing career. Hello? I’m free to stop looking at email, thinking about things and making decisions whenever I want! This is Crazy Town stuff and I want to get to the bottom of it.
What’s Up with the Lack of Motivation?
I came across the quote above by Marissa Mayer (formerly of Yahoo and Google) and it really struck me. Let’s explore.
Am I feeling resentful?
What am I giving up that brings up this resentment?
It’s the same position I’ve found myself in several times before: my life is out of balance. ARGH. Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE writing and all things book related. But it’s true that you can have too much of a good thing. Or—and I only now just thought of this—perhaps it’s not that I’m doing too much writing/book-related things, but that I’m not doing enough (read: very, very little) of other things in my life that bring me joy. Or maybe both.
So, what am I giving up?
- Time for spiritual/self development and growth.
- Time to develop other retreats and experiences.
- Time to explore other types of creativity.
- Time with family and friends.
- My meditation/yoga/exercise routine.
Who is to blame?
Me. I have to own this. Again.
What am I afraid of?
Ruining my career.
Yes. It’s that big and that stupid. Hello, Fear, my old friend. You’re back and I let you in and not only offered you a seat, I offered you the whole damn guest room.
Fear returned with a familiar story, one that I believed, which caused the aforementioned resentment which led to having things on my To Do that I didn’t want to do which led to being unmotivated. This is the story:
“I just had a book come out so I have to say yes to every opportunity to read, speak, juggle (no, please, because I don’t know how) and interact because if I don’t, my book sales will suck AND I may never have any opportunities to read, speak, or engage again.” So I’m basically saying that somehow the word will spread through some kind of “opportunity telepathy” that Denise said no to an invitation and therefore no one will ever invite her to speak, read, or engage ever again. Ever. As in forever.
Writing that down made laugh because it is so ridiculous. That’s a good thing.
And here’s how the Universe supported me in this: While I’m dealing with this, I happen to be listening to an audio program with Brené Brown where she’s talking about how she also worried she would lose all other opportunities if she said no to an event and how crazy that was. So, yeah, I’m in good company. 🙂
I see a pattern here. TIME. I have to free up and let go of some things to make room for others. A lesson I have to continue to learn. I must (1) release the fears I have around declining some opportunities AND (2) disconnect those decisions from the success or failure of my career. That way I can focus on enjoying the kids and people who are part of the events I say yes to because not only do I love being with them, but they deserve to get the best, most excited and engaged Denise I can give them.
Oh, and I’ve stopped binge-watching Netflix at night because it cuts into my sleep and affects my energy and focus the next day. Duh. (But I love my binging…sigh)
My plan is to take that breath and really discern when an opportunity comes to me and be willing to be uncomfortable long enough to say no to those that don’t feel right or will take the precious time I’m trying to regain for other things. On that same audio, Brené says: “Choose discomfort over resentment.”
I will do my best to choose discomfort. And maybe learn to juggle.