Have you ever felt that you have lost your drive? Have you ever felt that you are in desperate need of certain answers… however you don’t know where to look for, whom to ask for help and how to explain it to people around you, since even yourselves, you seem lost for words!
Let me try to explain the problem in a more detailed way… For example, have you found yourself having decided to pursue a specific career, you have worked very rigorously about it over the last year or so, you have told all your friends about it, you seemed madly in love with your work, only to realise that at some point, without any explanation and any warning signs, you have lost your drive? It is the same job for which you thought you were meant to be, you couldn’t imagine yourself doing anything else… But all of a sudden you don’t have enough reasons why anymore???
This could actually happen for many reasons! One of the reasons is that you may have found yourself forgetting about your initial big reason “why”. It is super important every now and then to remind yourself the reasons why you had decided in the first place to become committed towards X, Y or Z. It is totally understandable to get carried away with everything else that may be happening at the same time, such as projects, deadlines, expectations, etc. However if you don’t have a BIG reason why, it may feel like trying to drive a fancy car with hardly any petrol left… Even if you remember your reasons why, it always very useful to update the existing ones with new ones; reasons that will keep you going, they will reflect your current state, the circumstances that may be existing in your life, etc.
Another painful experience is when you may realise that YOUR big why, was not YOURS in the end… It could have been that you have been so caught up in other people’s dreams, ideas, suggestions and expectations that now that the time has actually come for you to experience YOUR decision, it is not what you wanted after all…
Another very valuable explanation could be that your needs have changed along the way. And what do I mean by that? Every human being has the need to fulfill his needs in any possible way. Very briefly I will mention that the 6 Human Needs are the need for Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Love/Connection, Growth and Contribution. The idea is that every human behaviour, and every decision is made in order to meet our needs, either consciously or unconsciously; in a positive or a negative way. It could very possibly be that your needs have changed along the way. You may initially have thought that by doing this X job, your need for significance, growth and contribution would be covered, only to realise that you don’t get the same fulfillment by meeting these needs. It could possibly be that currently you need to meet other needs of yours, and therefore you don’t get the same excitement as you did initially. Your priorities might have changed; it could be that you are more inclined towards meeting your need for Certainty, Love and Connection, so your initial idea – JOB- no longer pleases you. (* I will say more about the 6 Human Needs Theory in another post).
If you have found yourselves resonating with one of the above mentioned ideas, but still don’t have a clue what to do about it – keep reading!
One very effective way that could make you go back on track, could light you up, could remind you of all the reasons why you had decided to do this project in the first place is to remind yourselves of all the reasons why you had it initially in your mind AND try to make it as pleasant as possible along the way. Yes it is important to remember why you want to do it but it is more helpful if you changed your approach from now on. What if you could have little breaks every hour just for a minute of 2 to stretch, or listen to your favourite tune, to speak on the phone to your partner… whatever it is for each of you that will make this process worthwhile, since you will be meeting your target and having more fun at the same time!
Most importantly of all, if you are still feeling that this may not be enough, I would strongly encourage you to spend some quality time with your self, along the way, and think things outside this immediate project. What if you could go back towards remembering in the first place things that you are already passionate about them and you have forgotten about them? What if you remembered what were your childhood dreams? What if you gave to yourself credit about things that you are good at? That way you will be able to find the spark that exists inside of you and it takes no effort to reignite, as long as you remember to use it…
A client of mine was struggling for a long time to find her calling; although she was a mental health professional, and was always able to use her skills, she found herself waking up one day realising that something was missing… She could no longer empathise with her clients, she had no longer the drive to grow, to go to conferences, to keep up with her work. It was the first time that this was happening to her and she was feeling really guilty; but most importantly it had taken a toll on all other areas of her life. Because she wasn’t getting fulfillment through her work, as she used to, she was moody with her partner and her family; she would find it difficult to motivate herself in doing any sort of activity, whereas in the past she was very energetic, etc.
After having discussed already some of the same points mentioned above, I invited her to spend some time answering to a couple of questions, such as what does she like to do generally, what are the things that she is good at, what kind of job would she be doing if money was no issue, etc. Allowing to become in touch with her true self, with her genuine qualities (that she had forgotten that even existed!), but most importantly allowing herself to imagine what her passion would look like, and not focusing on the actual job, enabled her to get clarity! It ultimately allowed her to appreciate how she could use her existing skills, passion and knowledge to her existing job; that a small shift in herself made ALL the difference in the world, both on a personal and a professional level!
The idea is for you to be able to stop focusing so much on the presenting difficulty, (especially if you have done unsuccessfully so for a couple of times) but instead focus on other important components of yourself. The more time and energy you spend sometimes the more difficult it becomes to be able to appreciate other important qualities, skills, and areas of your life. By doing so, you will be able to become more aware of your hidden strengths and skills, and use them productively if possible, towards your presenting problem, otherwise don’t be surprised if you realise that there is a great passion waiting to be discovered and used differently maybe…