We’ve all been there. Stuck in the inspiration rut. Those days when nothing seems to work and the pressure of success weighs us down. Doubting ourselves, our brand, our progress – why am I even doing this? As social media changes daily and the blogging industry grows and grows, days like this can multiply quickly. It’s a comparison game, it’s human self-doubt… it’s tough. And in this past year of my blogging journey, I’ve experienced more days like this than I’d like to admit, but thankfully I’ve been able to grow within the process and come up with a few ways to tackle those oh-so-difficult moments. Or hours. Or days. Depending on the severity.
I’m no professional. I’ve simply worked through tough moments and have taken note of things that work for me. And of course, I want to share it with you. Five ways to battle the inspiration rut full of self-doubt and demotivation.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not an exercise guru and I’m far from a perfect routine. However, as my 30s approach and my logged hours behind a desk increase, I find it more and more important to incorporate work outs into my weekly routine. Notice how I didn’t say daily…. Regardless, when I’m in a creative rut, or I feel down on myself about my brand or my progress, this is my first reaction. Get outside and spend some time running, walking, doing yoga or simply stretching to get endorphins moving. Even in the winter, it’s common for my husband to find me shoveling or finding a reason to stomp around in the snow – it doesn’t have to be fancy! No matter how vigorous I get, the movement and fresh air almost always improves my mood and boosts my inspiration.
Ok. This one is very, very new to me and I hope to share my journey with you once I’m on a steadier rhythm. Mediation has been one of those things on my list of “want to-dos” for a while and finally a couple weeks ago I downloaded the app, Calm, to get me started. The app has guided sessions in short increments which have been proven very helpful in the difficult beginnings of practice. And I’m really looking forward to the benefits – better focus, less stress, more patience. In a society where it’s go, go, go, it’s refreshing to be present and learn slowing down is beneficial, if not necessary, for your health. Whether you’re already practicing, or you have always considered starting, there’s no better time than when you’re in a rut. I’ve been setting time aside for a session after my workouts and the clarity and can do attitude I have after has been wonderful.
Set small, daily goals
Who else is a list maker? Me! This is something I’ve carried over from the working world into my every day life. But I’m not just talking about making a list. I’m talking about making a list that you can accomplish today. Or in a short amount of time so that “winning” feeling comes back from the depths. If you want to grow your Instagram following, have an overall goal in mind, but maybe today simply engage with one new person, or gain one more follower. Something almost instantly attainable. And on the social media note, I once read to focus on one outlet at a time. If you’re constantly focused on gaining thousands of followers on every single platform, you’re bound to bum yourself out. Shifting your attention to one at a time will not only relieve some stress, but it will help you stay motivated.
Write somewhere new
I would assume most bloggers, writers or creatives of any type have a space designated to do work. Maybe you have a home office or a desk somewhere in the house. Right now, mine is our new kitchen table in our nook, but when the routine gets monotonous, my interest wanes and I get distracted easily. Sometimes I’ll pack up and visit a wifi-friendly coffee shop or other times I’ll just take my work to our front stoop outside. Changing environments is good once in a while – isn’t that why people travel? – and it can stimulate your creative side and enhance your mood.
Read success stories
Sound counterproductive? I promise this works! At least it does for me. Whether a fellow blogger or a CEO of a large company, we all have people we look up to and aspire to. And watching their success can be intimidating and can potentially put a damper on your confidence, but forgetting you can’t reach a destination without a journey is the first mistake. On my recent trip to Chicago, I had the privilege to listen to a speaker for my friend’s company. He was a well-respected, high level employee who intently shared his “rise to the top” story, which was far from perfect. He didn’t start off with success, he struggled, he made mistakes and it took years to get to where he is now. When I listen or read these stories, I find it reassuring and absolutely inspiring. They help me keep moving forward and are a great reminder nothing happens without hard work.
Do you have any tricks to get through those difficult days?