You have a dream you've decided to pursue.
You set yourself a road map of goals to follow to get you there.
You've been following your plan and navigating the ups and downs.
You've been reaching your targets.
BUT.... Now you've hit a wall.
It feels like you dropped motivation off a cliff somewhere and don't know how to find it again! Each day feels like a chore and you realise that you have also lost your joy for this dream along the way. So, when motivation and joy seem to have deserted you... what do you do? How do you keep going? Do you keep going? Or, do you see this as a "Sign" to ditch this dream and to look for something else?
Here are 3 tips to help you find your answer.
1. Go back to the beginning.
Stop for a moment and go back to the beginning. Those early days when you recognised you had this dream. What did the dream look like then? What was it specifically about this dream that excited you? What was your real "Why" behind wanting to pursue this dream?
There are 101 reasons to check back in at the beginning...but here are a few:
-Going back to the beginning helps us to get perspective around how far we've already come.
-Maybe it helps you see that somewhere along the line you got side tracked and somehow changed direction or went down a rabbit hole! This detour may not be where you actually want to go at all...and that's why you've lost your joy.
-Maybe this helps to see that you are not the same "you" who started pursuing this dream. As we grow and mature, our priorities change, circumstances change and different things become important. Maybe this dream is stale and just not important any longer... and that's okay too!
2. Check in with your values:
Speaking of growing and maturing... as we develop and grow, we'll find our values may also shift. One of the most valuable exercises I was given early on in my coaching journey was to figure out my values. Your values are the foundation of everything you do. When you have a clear view of your values, what's important to you and also understand how you measure these, you then have something concrete to base your decisions on.
So, once you've checked in, then take step back to consider whether the goals you are pursuing do still in fact match your values and what's important to you. If they do, then it's time to dig deep and move to number 3. If they don't, then maybe it's time to close the door and search for the new dream that's waiting for you to pursue.
3. Tenacity and perseverance:
You've considered number 1 and 2 above and recognise that you do actually want to finish what you've started. Now what? How do you find the strength, joy and motivation to keep going? I have been pondering this and then came across this letter written by Christine Caine.
She says this:
"The ability to stick-with-it-no-matter-what is one of the secret ingredients to staying the course, to getting from “here” to “there.” It takes courage to begin something, but persistence to keep going. It takes tenacity.
Tenacity will help you to keep pushing and working hard when the novelty has worn off.
Tenacity will keep you on the path when it looks bleak, full of challenges and drudgery.
Tenacity is the muscle that needs to be developed in your head and so you can finish—and finish strong.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, “Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
In whatever area we want to develop, to achieve our goal—whether it’s something personal or professional—we have to stay with it: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
God promises us the win if we stick with it. So, pull on that tenacity God’s placed inside of you today. Then you can finish—and finish strong!"
So lovely, know that when you do lose motivation and joy, you are not alone! It happens to us all at some time. In my case, after pondering number 1 and 2 above, I realised that YES, I DO want to stay my course and push through. And then after reading Christine's letter I feel my resolve to push through is strengthened. I put on my "Tenacity" T-shirt (don't you just love that word!!) and resolve to keep going... and magically, once I've made this decision, I notice a touch of motivation has found it's way back to me once again! And yes, joy followed soon after too!
I hope this has helped you as much as it did me!