Thoughts & Thangs

Brain Spiral: What’s Your Motivation?

Every time I stop writing and get back to it, I make a promise that I’m going to keep up with it. And here we are, a solid two months since my last published piece. So this year, I won’t make promises. I will just do my best and create a plan (and stick with it) that will help me get to where I know I can be (because I did it before).

I don’t know about you all, but I struggle with consistency in most areas of my life and as I was standing in the kitchen, I went into a thought spiral so I want to share some of it and maybe there are others who feel a bit like I do at times.

As much as I talk to my students about moving past motivation and into discipline if they want to get things done, I’m a bit of a hypocrite since I’m not living by that mantra. I get really excited by my ideas and the vision in my mind of what I imagine as the end results. But somewhere between fear and always falling off, is where I land. As I sit and write this I wonder if all those dreams I have about preparing to go somewhere and I never make it because most of the dream time is spent packing and unpacking, changing clothes or getting so caught up in all the minute details…were those dreams trying to tell me that this is my life if I don’t get it together? The thought makes me anxious and feel like I’m failing.

I know that it is important to move past working based on motivation. Motivation is a fickle thing because it’s a feeling and we know that our feelings about things can change as quick as seeing an erroneous tweet from our faves.

I think I need to hone in some more on understanding the why in why I do things. Why do I feel much more inclined to do things that are attached to others versus things for myself? When it’s just me by myself, I can be slow and slothy in getting things done, but when my husband is at home I feel an internal inclination to be up, be more active. Am I trying to avoid even the appearance of being lazy? Am I a people pleaser even though I really don’t seek out praise?

I read somewhere in these internet streets that discipline is self-care. It is us showing up for ourselves. I never skipped school and unless I’m ill, I show up for work each day so I know that it’s possible. My 70-day streak in Duolingo for French tells me that I can do it too. But I feel like I’m letting myself down. Is it self-sabotage? Is it an unaddressed or deeply repressed feeling of not thinking I deserve to be my best self in all her fullness and greatness? Is it because I’m just meant to be a small town person aka an island girl? Did I inherit my dad’s don’t-worry-be-happy gene in being okay with putting off things for a tomorrow that never comes? Am I the person that is truly okay with living in my mind’s dreams, looking up in the sky waiting for the plane to land? Am I not dreaming big enough for myself and therefore not being disciplined is doing just enough to live in what I subconsciously feel is all that I’m worthy of?

I wasn’t going to do another vision board this year because I wasn’t having a clear sense of what I wanted to achieve this year, but I think I’m getting there. I want to be a better version of myself, someone that is capable of showing all the way up for myself. For me, showing up looks like being disciplined in things I set out to do and pushing past fear, doubt and uncertainty. It means not quitting when things get tough and setting myself up for success by using the tools and systems that I know work for me.

We are still in this pandemic and these few years have been transformative in so many ways. I still think about death daily as I continue to process the losses from last year. I’m still very much grateful for the opportunity to work safely from home but I know that I know better, so I need to push myself and just do better.

Here ends the reading.

If you made it to the end, do share, what goals are you working on this year?

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