Ever had one of those days, you want to go straight back to bed with a cup of tea and a slice of home made banana cake because you are convinced you’ve seen your best creative days? We all know this feeling, don’t we? At times, we feel tired, low on confidence, overwhelmed, bored, sometimes lethargic and out of optimism.
- „I feel totally uninspired“
- „I feel completely lost on my creative journey“
- „I am stepping backwards instead of forward“
- „I´ve got a writers block“
Ever heard you saying that? Then you may have lost your mojo. But don’t panic. We will get it back.
The first time I heard someone talking about loosing their mojo I didn’t even know what it was. It is mostly described as something like a talisman or charm that attracts people to you and your work. You feel energized and successful. In other words you are at the top of your business and riding on a wave of creativity and motivation. And then it suddenly stops.
The thing is, you may well choose to get straight back to bed (don´t get me wrong nothing is wrong with that and it´s always worth considering) but what if you have a job to do and it hit you right before a due date for a presentation? Your editor is waiting for an article. You are in a collaboration and need to create content? Your clients are out there waiting for your guidance? Your boss might want you to do a job in a certain time frame? No matter what job it is, it puts us under pressure if we feel unable to perform which leads to even more pressure and within a snap we are caught in a circle of unproductiveness.
WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN YOU´VE LOST YOUR MOJO
Very often I hear clients talk about feeling totally overwhelmed and kind of locked in a box. Working suddenly feels like having to walk through water. (Ever dreamed of walking through water not being able to move). Additionally, they feel unable to motivate themselves to be creative.
Now before we head to the action plan do yourself a big favour:
Don´ t get angry at yourself or beat yourself up. It will lead you nowhere and mojo will also not come back if we treat ourselve badly. In return, it will swallow all energy that is left which we will need to focus on what is helpful for us.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD
Years ago I was reading Gretchen Rubins´ book The happiness project.
One thing that has followed me since then is her third commandment
ACT THE WAY YOU WANT TO FEEL
She says „Although we presume that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act. More than a century ago, philosopher and psychologist William James described this phenomenon: “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.” By acting as if you feel a certain way, you induce that emotion in yourself“
It took me practice to understand how it worked but once you get that light bulb moment it is the most effective strategy to get back
on the dance floor to your desk. And it works for every situation you are in.
Actions influence feelings, so whenever you are feeling a way you don’t wish to feel try to go counteract that feeling. If you want to feel more creative you have to act more creative. For example you are invited to a party not knowing anyone and feel shy try to move forward, initiate a conversation and introduce yourself. Or you want to scream out loud because the whole world seems against you dive into a pleasant small talk with the next person you meet. Feel like you want to shout at your children? Smile at them instead.
Now but how do I make myself do it, I hear you ask. And you are so right asking this.
Try to think of the minutes before you finally go out for a run. The early yoga lesson in the morning. Sitting down at your workplace starting to write. Try to think of HOW it will make you feel afterwards once you’ve done the work. I bet you’ve never come home from a run thinking „I wish I hadn’t gone“. What I mean is, yes it does take a little effort but I promise you it is worth it. Just start and trust that motivation will catch up with you. It might take a little while but the more you try the easier it will get. Too often we just wait until a certain situation feels right or we think we are ready. This exercise allows you to just spring into the action.
HOW TO EXERCISE
Time to act now! How do you want to feel? To make this exercise successful you have to bear in mind that it is about something that YOU feel is holding you back. It is not about changing what other people think of you.
You might want to feel:
- On top of your creative journey.
- Ready to tackle your business goals.
- Able to survive another day after the baby hasn’t let you sleep the whole night.
- Inspired to go out and seek the beauty.
- Get the words out on paper.
- Prepared to talk in front of people.
- Proud of what you are doing.
Ask yourself how you feel when you think you lost your mojo. Find out what it is that makes you feel like this?
- It could be a hard night with wide awake children
- rainy days
- hormonal reasons
- negative feedback to a work you did
- You haven’t been able to exercise although you like doing it.
- You feel like your work is boring you out.
Think of how you wish to feel. What is holding you back?
How do you have to act if you want to counteract your unpleasant feeling?
For example if I feel uncomfortable with myself or self-doubt is nagging me first thing I do is have a shower followed by putting on my most comfortable and favourite clothes. The ones that I can count on to make me feel good. The ones I would proudly and confidently walk into a room full of people staring at me.
(My bat woman costume).
Most likely you will get positive feedback to your acting which has a positive effect to your feelings. People do not know how you felt before. For example, it took you a lot of effort and acting *as if* to write an article, but you did it! You receive positive feedback from readers. This is clearly a motivational uplift spiral, right?!
So now it is your turn, have a try and let me know how you it worked out for you.