Lacking motivation and feeling uninspired? Read this!
Many times in my life, I’ve found myself lacking motivation, feeling uninspired, and generally not nearly as creative as I usually am.
If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you may also be lacking motivation or feeling a little uninspired.
I believe that motivation is a desirable feeling or a reason to WANT to do what you need to do.
Some people say motivation doesn’t exist, and if you really wanted it, you’d simply do it, but I don’t believe it’s that simple. We are complex human beings, and we do not all function the same way, nor do we want to.
Sometimes when we lack the motivation to do a task, let’s say something for your boss or a chore for your neighbor, you may not feel the motivation, but we ‘do it’ because we feel obliged or simply ‘need to do it’. Something is behind the motivation, such as “If I don’t finish this work for my boss, I could lose my job” or “If I don’t help my neighbor, they may resent me and cause problems for me” therefore, you act due to the motivators/reasons/outcomes.
“When we are being creative, we don’t always have a reason to do it, sometimes we create just because we are in the mood, it’s almost like breathing to us, it’s our second nature”
Other times we create because we have an obligation, such as being signed to a label or simply needing to make money as an Independent Artist.
Many years ago, I read an amazing book called The Artists Way: A spiritual path to higher creativity.
I wasn’t struggling creatively until the last couple of years, so I decided to re-read the book and wanted to share some of my favourite quotes in hopes that I might inspire or encourage you back into your flow.
So what happens when we’re not in the mood to do anything, our motivation has disappeared, and our creativity has died in the a$$? (a typical Aussie saying)
Well, we need to take a step back and try to find the root cause because lack of motivation is a symptom, not a cause. The good news is that once you find the root cause, you can eradicate the symptom!
What is the cause of my lack of motivation?
Using some of my favourite quotes from the bookBy Julia Cameron, I will show you how to ask yourself the right questions so you can try to figure out why you’re lacking motivation.
Low motivation, in general terms, can sometimes be a common symptom of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, so it’s really important to seek professional help if your lack of motivation is affecting your quality of life. Never feel afraid to reach out. ♡
Lack of motivation can be a symptom of so many things or lots of things combined which is why it’s important to try and figure it out.
It could be caused by mental health issues, self-doubt & negative self-talk, worry, stress, external environmental factors such as your current living space, relationship, or family issues… the list goes on!
About a year or two ago, when I was really down in the dumps, I realized that I wasn’t putting in any effort to even get out of my pajamas and shower because I worked from home and didn’t see any point. So this act alone was one of the contributing factors to my lack of motivation for the day and my general feeling of ‘yuckiness.’
I always tell people that on the days when you feel your lack of motivation is the worst, make it a priority to have a shower, even if that’s all you can do when you’re feeling down.
And if you can shower AND get dressed up nice, then it’s a bonus. Some form of motivation usually appears shortly after because you’re generally feeling fresh and ready for the day!
The next thing I like to do is get my home or room in order, clean, freshen it up and make sure your area is clutter-free so you’re ready to welcome new energy.
Do whatever you need to do to inspire creative vibes in your space. I wrote an article on decorating your home studio here.
Quotes that will inspire you
This quote is one of my favourites, and it’s a hard pill to swallow. It really takes some deep self-reflection to question the WHY behind your lack of motivation.
“Boredom is just “What’s the use?” in disguise. And “What’s the use?” is fear, and fear means you are secretly in despair. So put your fears on the page. Put anything on the page. Put three pages of it on the page.”
So instead of asking yourself why you’re not motivated, you can ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” “What is bothering me right now?” It may be a personal issue that’s consuming most of your mental space, and it will give you the clarity to know exactly what needs to be done in order to free up your mental space to feel creative.
If you’re feeling unworthy or have low self-esteem, take a look at my article on Self-Worth and getting results!
Difficult as it is to remember, it is our work that creates the market, not the market that creates our work- Julia Cameron
I love this quote because it touches on the marketing side of what we do. Do you ever worry that there won’t be an audience for your style of music?
“There’s a corner of the internet reserved just for you” is something I like to tell people when they tell me they don’t think there’s an audience for the style of music they are thinking to release, and sometimes you don’t even know if you’ll enjoy something until you’ve tried it right?
I’m sure I’m not the only one with a cringy Spotify Playlist full of a completely random mix of songs that I’m almost too embarrassed to show because there are so many songs in there that aren’t really my particular style, but I fell in love with the song itself. No one really knows what they’ll like until they try it and decide if they like it or not.
“Serious art is born from serious play.”
This quote is pretty self-explanatory–you NEED to enjoy the process!
Work on something that makes you feel so excited that you can’t sleep because all you can do is play the unfinished version on repeat until you can’t even mix properly because it’s all just a blur! (And then outsource your mixing to a pro, haha)
My most successful releases were songs I was absolutely ecstatic about during the process. I could just FEEL that I was working on something special from the very first few chords.
Other songs I had created and thought were ‘good’ songs just didn’t perform well. Good isn’t good enough. It’s a lesson I learned a few years back and one of the reasons why I stopped releasing music to rebrand myself.
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. –Margaret Young
You might ask what this particular quote has to do with motivation. Let me explain.
My personal interpretation of this quote in relation to motivation is this; often times when we feel unmotivated, we beat ourselves up over it, which really makes things worse. So, instead of worrying about your lack of motivation, go back to the roots of who you are and make peace with yourself and your life situation first.
Do whatever you need to do to get back to being YOU. Maybe your life isn’t as balanced as it should be right now?
Maybe you’ve got too much on your plate, and your brain has switched into flight or fight mode? It’s really difficult sometimes to feel creative when we are in an anxious state.
Maybe you haven’t completely embodied the person you want to be, therefore, you don’t feel ready to create as the persona you are currently constructing?
Or maybe you simply need REST, and by rest, I don’t mean doom scrolling in bed for hours then feeling guilty for wasting time.
I mean real regenerative and restorative rest, which could be taking a nap with no distractions, meditation, lying on the beach, or a relaxing picnic in nature free from digital distractions.
You’d be surprised how many of us are not well-rested.
Are you celebrating the small wins in life?
I can’t even begin to stress how important it is to celebrate things in life. I’ll briefly explain why; Dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pleasure, motivation, and learning.
Being on our phones and on social media wears out our Dopamine receptors, here’s an article by Harvard on Dopamine and Smartphones
Why am I telling you about this chemical?
Well, the main reason is that it helps us feel pleasure as part of the brain’s reward system. Think of how that ties in with everything I’ve been talking to you about.
If you’re not celebrating any wins in life, no matter how small, it’s almost as if you’re training your brain NOT to feel excited when you achieve things. Crazy huh?
How many wins in life have you NOT celebrated? Write them all down, and be prepared to be shocked!
Sadly, when I think about it, I have a very long list of achievements I didn’t celebrate, which included being featured on BBC Radio 1 and landing 10 Official Spotify Playlists.
I had planned to go out for a drink with my best friend and ended up canceling because I was overwhelmed with Imposter Syndrome. You know, that feeling like what you achieved isn’t good enough to be celebrated, and it would be stupid to celebrate it because there are people out there doing way better and bigger things, and in reality, It’s really nothing, and you should strive to do better… Sound familiar?
This is a really unhealthy way of thinking. I’m definitely guilty of it, are you?
Negative self-talk is so destructive!
I came to the conclusion that I got tired of achieving things because I kept shelving it and telling myself I needed to do better instead of celebrating what I had achieved. It no longer became fun to achieve things because I almost felt nothing afterwards.
You can celebrate your wins in any way that you like. You can buy your favourite chocolate or flowers. You can bake a cake, you can host a party, or simply have a couple of friends over for a drink or dinner, making it clear that it’s a celebration for your achievement.
I really believe we need to be doing this more and really disconnecting from social media in the form of small detoxes and make effort to spend time being in the moment, not only for the sake of your mental health but for the sake of your creativity as well.
Hopefully, this inspired you in some way. Feel free to reach out or leave a comment if you enjoyed the blog 🙂
About the Author
Noella Nix is a Music Producer, Songwriter & Artist from Australia. She teaches Sound Production, Music Business & Social Media Marketing at University and has written 4 Music Industry eBooks. Connect on Instagram