Beating Burnout – re-kindle your motivation3 min read

by Dr Olivia Ong

Why a lack of motivation feeds those burnout blues

Feeling burnt out can lead to a whole raft of issues, one of which is a huge decrease in motivation.

This can lead to a feeling of frustration that things aren’t changing, or to feeling down because you can’t seem to get yourself going.

It’s circular, this lack of motivation adds to the feelings of being burnt out.

How would it be to have the willpower back, to reinvigorate your motivation, to be able to get things done again without the sense of struggle?

Willpower refers to your level of motivation to make the conscious choices that serve you best. It’s that simple.

Three simple steps to increase motivation

Following these three simple tips will increase your willpower, and hence your motivation, making you more effective in getting the results you want.

1. Start by identifying something small that you’d like to achieve every day.

Keep it simple, such as writing for five minutes in your diary, or meditate for 10 minutes, or exercising for 20 minutes. Make it easy to do.

If you bite off more than you can chew, you might activate resistance to making the right choice. Once you get going, you can always choose to increase the effort. For now, you just want to make it easy to get started.

2. Reward yourself on the inside when you do it.

It’s important to feel good when you make good choices. Develop a simple system to congratulate yourself and feel positive when you succeed. For example, when you succeed, you might recite a simple affirmation:

“My willpower is increasing and it feels great!”

You don’t need to use these exact words, but making sure you recognize the effort you have put in and allowing yourself a feeling of being rewarded is an important part of the process.

Give yourself a pat on the back – you deserve it!

3. When you fail, be honest with yourself, without self-criticism.

Failure is part of the process. Don’t be afraid to fail. And never criticize yourself for failing. Just be honest.

For example, you might say to yourself.

I failed today. It’s part of the process. I’ll begin anew tomorrow.

Self-criticism for failing will motivate you away from willpower. It attaches negative feelings to the effort.

It’s all about using your conscious intention – that’s what willpower is!

If you find having an overly self-critical voice is an issue, then have a look at my blog ‘Are your self-critical voices running your life?’ for a few tips to help keep negative self-talk at bay.  

What if I don’t achieve what I set out to do?

If for some reason you didn’t manage to achieve what you wanted, then figure out why.

That’s where the learning is, learning how not to do something is sometimes just as important as learning how to.

How can I help my motivation even further?

Bonus tip: Begin by choosing a limited time period within which you will work on your willpower, this simplifies the effort.

For example, choose to work on a specific new behaviour for a period of just five days. Short time frames reduce the potential overwhelm that can come with really large goals.

When your five days are up, celebrate and renew the effort!

Feeling great with increased motivation

With your willpower restored, your motivation will return, and you can address all the things that may have previously had you feeling overwhelmed.

Once your willpower is back you’ll find your new, empowering and positive approach will get things done in no time, reducing what once looked like an overwhelming list to something much more realistic and manageable – having you feel a whole lot better


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If you have any questions or feedback regarding this article and any of the issues it raises, or if you’d like to get in touch to find out more about fulfilling your true potential I would love to hear from you.

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