When you're having one of those days
Posted on 18th May 2022 at 07:35
We all have them from time to time. Days where “our get up and go just got up and went (!).” Leaving us with very little oomph, not to mention a lack in the inspiration department too.
So, with life continuing on at its normal pace without us, the question is always how to regain our momentum without spending too much time stranded in the shallows.
Traditionally, there are two approaches to this dilemma.
The first and easiest – in the short term at least – is to take the hint and retreat under the duvet or on to the sofa. Leaving the world to sort itself out and, fingers crossed, giving time for our oomph and inspiration to – magically (!) – reappear. Then, all going well, off we go again.
While this approach can be just what we needed, there’s always the danger of it becoming our default approach with all its attendant problems…
The second approach – and definitely much harder work on every level – is to take a deep breath and soldier on relying on the time honoured combination of grit, determination and willpower. Unfortunately, it can feel akin to trying to push a very large boulder up hill – and with similar results, particularly, if we’re in the way as it starts to lose momentum and begins its journey back downhill… We’ve written about the difference between inspiration and perspiration before, you can find the post here.
So, isn’t it time for a different approach? One that acknowledges we’re having “one of those days” while gently getting us moving again. And the emphasis is on gently.
Well, the good news is there is, although it may feel rather counter intuitive to start with.
The first thing – and this is the counter intuitive bit, especially if you were brought up to just get on with it, stiff upper lip and all that (!) – is to accept you’re having one of those days. And, here’s the important bit, that’s fine. It’s perfectly natural to feel like that from time to time and nothing to beat yourself up about. So, the Little Monster in your head can be safely ignored, as they’re definitely not going to help.
Then take a deep breath and let all the tension go. Perhaps another few deep breaths too, while you’re about it. Doesn’t that feel better already?
Now, having taken the pressure off and, equally importantly, closed down the Little Monster in your head it’s time for stage two. Here the emphasis is on getting you moving again NOT so much on what you’re doing. And, if this sounds equally counter intuitive, bear with us. It’ll all make sense in a moment.
It’s very easy to have a fixed idea of what we’re going to do each day – week or month. And that’s one of the reasons we try to keep soldiering on, regardless of any hints our bodies may be giving us. Let alone those around us or the world at large. It’s also why we fall back on the time honoured solution of grit, determination and will power, making life even harder for ourselves in the process.
So, instead, it’s time to change your focus to doing anything small AND – here’s the crucial bit – you feel you can do easily. In other words, without having to rely on grit or willpower to do it.
For the simple reason that it’ll easily get you moving again which, in turn, will make you feel better AND back in control of your life. Equally important is that whatever the small thing is, it’s probably something you’ve been meaning to do for ages but, somehow, it’s never got up to the top of your priorities or to do list.
Then simply rinse and repeat with other small jobs – or good intentions (!) – and notice how good it feels to have finally done them. How you’re starting to feel more inspired about life generally.
Now here’s the crucial bit. Continue to leave the larger jobs – or those you think you should be doing – for the time being. And, if you’re using the word “should”, it’s always a sign that you’re not really inspired or motivated about doing them (!). If you need a quick reminder about why this is, click here.
You’ll know when you’re ready to tackle anything else as you’ll start to feel inspired – or, perhaps, even excited (!) – about doing them. They’ll feel like the “right” thing to do or you’ll suddenly have a bright idea about how to achieve them easily.
So, not only have you regained your momentum, but you’ll have cleared a surprising number of small jobs and good intentions, all with minimum effort. Even better, you’ll have avoided all the stress and struggle associated with relying on will power to get things done, which never achieves the best results.
Life is all about flow. Sometimes fast. Sometimes slow. Occasionally almost static or becalmed. Whichever is the case, the quickest way to get things heading in the right direction again is to accept that’s how it is – for now at least – and then doing whatever you can in the circumstances to gently get moving again.
As always, the choice is yours.
Photograph by unknown author
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