Remind Yourself That Emotions Don’t Matter To Muster Motivation

Remind Yourself That Emotions Don’t Matter To Muster Motivation

“I’m not feeling up to it” is a known killer. This phrase has gotten away with the brutal murder of countless hours of productivity and accomplishment. Yet we keep allowing it to do so, because we fail to acknowledge a simple truth: you don’t need to feel like doing something to do it.

Picture: Steven Depolo/Flickr

As productive lifestyle blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains, we often let our motivation to do something get sapped because of how we feel at a particular moment. However, if your feelings were necessary to getting a task done, many people might never go to work at all. You push past those negative feelings because you have to. Do the same when it comes to the things you want to do, as well:

Next time you don’t want to do something, stop, pause, and ask yourself this, “Since when did I need to feel like doing something in order to do it?” And then just do it. It’s very very powerful. If we needed to feel like doing something in order to do it, we wouldn’t even get out of bed in the morning, right? You just bear that little mantra in mind for a month, and your life really changes.

The most important part of this strategy isn’t how it applies to things we genuinely don’t want to do, but to the things we do want, but fear doing. Having a bad day at work can ruin your motivation to spend time with your loved ones, or work on a personal project that you’ve been looking forward to. You don’t need to feel enthusiastic to get started on those, either. But getting over that initial barrier will start you on the snowballing path that leads to exactly the kind of energy you’re seeking.

3 Things Psychopaths Can Teach You About Being A Happier Person [Barking Up the Wrong Tree]


  • Absolutely. About a year and a half ago, there was something I needed to do that required going out at around 4am, and doing some dexterity- and physically-challenging things related to a goal whose success was not guaranteed. I woke up ill. Not quite puking, but with a huge migraine, sinus issues, and just in general not feeling good. I still had to get my ropes organised for the activity, which required concentration I didn’t feel like engaging in. Plus, it was kind of cold. I was tempted to bag it. The only problem was, it was the last possible opportunity I’d have to try for that goal. With no small amount of disdain at myself for being really tempted to not bother, I insisted to myself, “Get your ass out of bed and go do it. A few hours of pain will save you a lifetime of wishing you’d bothered.” I did. I succeeded. It was worth it, although it was highly annoying at the time.

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