What to do when your get up and go is gone…
There are times that your mojo abandons you. It claims that it will be right back, that it’s just going to pick up some milk, and then it disappears and you wonder what you’ve done to deserve this feeling of nothingness. No matter how smart or competent or driven you may be, sometimes you lose your getty up. It happens to the best of us, and we wonder if we’re ever going to reclaim our focus and feel energized again. It’s demoralizing to lose your mojo. It’s like wearing someone else’s clothes that don’t quite fit and aren’t really your style. You can search in the cushions of the sofa and the floor of your car but your mojo probably isn’t there. It’s also not in the laundry basket or your junk drawer or under your bed, Who knows where it went? But you’ve got to do something to sustain yourself until it returns acting all casual – like it’s been here all along.
Let me first say that if you’re suffering from depression, you need to address that before you can find your mojo. I say this because sometimes clients come to me thinking they just need coaching and they might, but not before they deal with what Churchill called the Black Dog. Depression is it’s own beast and you have to address it before you can move forward. Not even Winston Churchill was immune to the grip of its power.
If you aren’t depressed then there might be any number of reasons you’re feeling like you want to just binge on Netflix and avoid anything that resembles productivity. Some of my clients are simply sleep deprived or overworked and over committed. You need to sleep. You aren’t a wimp, you’re a human and humans need sleep to function. You’ll never find your mojo if you’re perpetually exhausted. Mojo doesn’t really hang out with zombies. What you will get if you don’t sleep is impatient, sick and really sad. There isn’t a single thing that gets better with sleep depravition. You might get a few more tasks done but the math is bad because the physical and emotional cost is just too high.
It’s also possible that life has thrown you one or more curve balls that have robbed you of your mojo. Maybe your cat ran away to be with another family, your new boss is like Ramsay from Game of Thrones or you just found out you can never eat cheese again for the rest of your life. Life can be hard. Give yourself a break. Don’t beat yourself up because you don’t feel like writing the great American novel or running a marathon.
Sometimes your mojo disappears for no discernible reason whatsoever. It just goes, leaving you to sink into your sofa or head to the gym only to end up at the donut shop. No one is motivated and productive ALL OF THE TIME. Humans are complex creatures with feelings and flaws. Don’t be fooled by your social media friends who seem to be crushing it every second of every day, making millions and living like a super model. They too lose their mojo – they just don’t necessarily post about it on the regular and if they do it’s probably some humble bragging, faux transparency post that includes a “no make up” selfie looking suspiciously glamorous with it’s glam filter in the right lighting and just a touch of mascara. I promise that they too have rough patches filled with self-doubt and a spinning compass that makes it hard to locate their true north.
Whether you can identify the source of your lost mojo or it’s a total mystery makes no difference. When your mojo leaves you everything feels out of sorts. While there’s no magic potion or simple trick to address your lack of focus and general lack of productivity, there are things you can do that will help.
1. Be kind to yourself. Beating yourself up is not a pathway to motivation. We often speak to ourselves in a way that we would never speak to another human being. Be as kind to yourself as you would a stranger.
2. Rest if you need it. Take a nap, go to be early, do what ever you need to give your body the rest it deserves. Don’t confuse motivation with deprivation.
3. Do things in small spurts. I have a client who does tasks that she’s not interested in doing in 10 min increments. Progress takes place; it simply looks different. There’s also something called the Pomodoro Technique. Check it out: http://amzn.to/2kP4Ql
4. Do something you find energizing. Take a run, go see a play or take a long drive. Sometimes our creative needs to be sparked and doing something you haven’t done in a while can be all you need to feel motivated.
5. Create a smaller goal. Modest goals can be exceptionally satisfying. Don’t aim to lose 40 pounds, try losing 1 pound. Don’t try to apply for 10 jobs, call someone to help with your resume. Sometimes small accomplishments feel so good that they inspire more activity.
Remember what the wise Dr. Seuss said in Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
“And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”
But I have every confidence you will! Climb, climb I say, up that tough hill! And then tell me what you see. Good luck! I look forward to hearing from you.