What is it with the scatter brained fidgetiness that seems to take hold on certain days? Those days when despite our inner desire to make things happen, we just don’t settle in. Those days when our ambition is overtaken by a gravitational pull toward pretty much everything except toward what we expect to accomplish.
Even if on the majority of our days we are fully engaged, and even if, overall, we live in a space of consistent and steady momentum toward our objectives and goals, that rudderless, floating, and meandering feeling on “those days” can be maddening and disheartening. What we may not realize is that the thoughts and feelings that we let arise on these days can also impact our overall belief in ourselves!
When we just can’t seem to focus, when we’re just not getting anything done, or when we are avoiding what we know we need to do, our goal-driven, achievement-oriented selves tend to default to super critical thoughts and internal commentary. We hand down harsh judgment upon ourselves for what we deem to be attentional and motivational failings.
As soon as we have categorized what is happening for us in that moment as bad, we feel bad. That thought we have that labels our inaction as a failing, breeds a host of other feelings and thoughts, some of which get pretty darned personal. It’s the proverbial spiral effect in action. When this happens we can become our own arch enemy.
But contrast how we treat ourselves in these situations to how we might approach them with a close friend or a dear teammate. Whereas with ourselves we are nit-picky and focused on every bump, crack, rut, and pothole on the road immediately ahead, with others we’re far more likely to show empathy, encouragement, and enthusiasm for the journey as a whole.
What if we could be more like that to ourselves? When you notice that you’re in a space of de-motivation, or having less than optimal focus in your day, can you reframe that experience? What would it be like to recognize what’s happening and accept it as real AND impermanent? How might things change if you were to label the experience as a natural lull, or a dip in your energy, and not a reflection of your character or your potential?
When we consciously notice low motivation or lack of focus as a legitimate part of our path, we can then be open to accepting it as part of our experience as human beings. Practicing the ability to face and acknowledge that with kindness, reassurance, and support toward ourselves could change the mental and emotional trajectory of those otherwise uneasy and days. You might even come to appreciate those days!