Staring out the window again? Eating chocolate… avoiding pressing ‘send’ on a pitch to a new client?
If you’re running a business that’s based on a passion, the joy can be overwhelmed by the immensity of the day-to-day tasks that require you to use your brain in a way that doesn’t feel natural. Most of my clients love using their artistic skills but feel a sense of dread when translating that into money.
As a creative person myself, I love the spaciousness and inspiration of coaching, I adore coming up with ideas or running events. However, anything to do with administration or self-promotion can feel like I’m stepping into a dark cupboard of doom!
I used to motivate myself by simply pushing through on these tasks. I would bark at myself, like an army major if there was a hint of procrastination.
However, in 2021 I had symptoms of long covid and I felt depleted for months. I could no longer motivate myself through force. I needed another way.
I trained to become a somatic coach, which is all about listening to the body’s wisdom.
I began to learn what my body needed to feel good. Whenever I tried to push through on a project, my body would desire a lovely walk or to experience something nourishing.
It surprised to me that life could be more relaxing, however, I wondered how I would achieve my full potential if I didn’t find a way to find motivation for those trickier tasks.
Which has led me to this topic. How can we get motivated in supportive ways to our nervous systems with jobs we honestly don’t enjoy?
Here are some of the more somatic and creative ways I’ve learnt that genuinely help me to get fired up again when it comes to the ‘must dos’.
· Planning with a pal each week
Every Monday morning, I hop onto a Zoom call with one of my best friends, Samantha. I feel a sense of joy hanging out with someone I care about, but we don’t sit and chat, we sit in silence for 20 minutes and plan our week. At the end, we share our top priority. In my planning, I always have a ‘goal for the year, goal for the month and goals for the week’. I then look honestly at my diary, and can make a better assessment of what I can achieve. I also block out time for pleasure projects. This job becomes so joyful when I’m connected with my friend, and I genuinely haven’t overcommitted myself. It creates instant joy.
· Reframe challenging tasks into meaningful language
Most of my clients hate self-promotion. Even saying the phrase can create feelings of discomfort. I’ve discovered that finding language around your challenging tasks that links to something motivating can really change the experience. For example, I’ve started using the phrase ‘love letters to new friends’ to remind me that marketing my business is an act of love.
· Hire someone you like to do the things you find hard
Doing my tax return is not my idea of fun, so I genuinely love paying my accountant each year. I like him and appreciate how he makes my life easier. I trust his skills and feel supported. There are so many people with unique skills, so hire people to do the things that you don’t enjoy. It’s never been easier to find someone who has specific skills.
· Connect with nature before those tasks
A few minutes in nature is such a healing way to lower the nervous system and connects me to something bigger. A walk around the park before a tricky job, or I find a place to work where I can see trees to help me relax and focus.
· Create first thing
Most of us wake up and the first thing we do is to check our phones or listen to the news or other people’s ideas. Instead, use this precious time of the day to cultivate focus and creativity. I’ve started doing writing for the first hour of my day with a free online writer’s group. Here is their website: https://community.londonwriterssalon.com/home if you want to join. I write blogs, design content, or even write for pleasure. I do the work that expresses my ideas so that I’m in my own lane. So, do the most important job first thing in the day, as then you’ll feel as if you’ve achieved something. This boost of motivation makes it easier to do other things.
So – what about you?
I’m curious if you’ve found ways to motivate yourself to do those more challenging tasks in nourishing ways?
If you’d like to get some support to help you with one of your projects, then I’m a brilliant support and love collaborating with people to get their most important work done in ways that are nourishing.
Send me an email at email@example.com if you’re like book a chat to explore more.