Feeling Stuck? Here’s How to Find Your Drive
By: Tajiya Holland
Do you feel stuck in the place you’re at in life, as though you’re incapable of changing your situation? Do you find yourself feeling guilty for aimlessly scrolling through social media, napping, or missing out on opportunities that have come and gone? No need to hold on to that guilt—sometimes times of rest are needed to prepare you for your next endeavor.
Why do we feel stuck?
After facing hardships, whether they’re global or personal to you, feeling stuck is common. Knowing that you want change in your life is a great start, but figuring out how to get there can be tricky. To reach the goals you’ve set out to achieve, the first step is finding your motivation.
Many situations can cause you to feel stuck such as not progressing fast enough on your fitness journey, a lack of spontaneity in your personal or career life, or being financially unstable for a long duration. Essentially you’re going through the everyday motions, but it doesn’t seem like you are getting anywhere. These stressors can lead to procrastination, anxiety, and depression which furthers the toxic cycle. While there is always the advised option to seek professional help, discovering personal motivators can improve your situation.
Different sources of motivation
Motivation is what puts you in action. Motivators can be intrinsic (coming from within) or extrinsic (driven by external rewards). Intrinsic motivators include values, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. They help to sustain your ambition while external things manifest themselves. Extrinsic motivators are physical rewards like money and social status. They aren’t always a constant and can cause you to lose your drive. To pursue your short-term and long-term goals, knowing which type of motivators you have is essential.
How to find your drive
Start with a brain dump—get everything out on paper and see which side your motivators lean more towards, extrinsic or intrinsic. Take a look to see if any have a negative connotation. For example, jealousy or fear of failure can be thoughts that prompt action but hinder mental health. Next, ask yourself or journal the following questions to find your initiative and gain momentum.
- What do you want and need in life?
- The first step is knowing what to chase after in the first place.
- Are these external or internal wants and needs?
- Having more internal desires can lead to optimal success and fulfillment.
- What has been holding you back?
- Observe what does not work to eliminate those barriers.
- What are your expectations of others?
- Contentment should not heavily rely on others, but maybe more support is needed to be sought out.
- What are your passions?
- What brings joy inevitably promotes the eagerness to do them.
- If you had all the confidence in the world, what would you do?
- Taking what-ifs and doubt out of scenarios can build self-assurance and determination.
- How do you want to feel every day?
- Remembering these wishes creates a habitual mindset.
- What actions could you take that lead you in the direction of your wants and needs?
- It all comes down to following through to keep up the motivation.
Apply this to whatever you seek, whether you would like to help with widespread impact issues or personal ones. Have a goal that you feel comfortable trying to attain. For example, wanting to lend a hand in environmental issues, you could only shop second-hand, shop zero waste, grow a backyard garden.
Answering these questions doesn’t need to happen in one go. Sitting with yourself and being present to search for these answers will create a sense of empowerment as you become more self-aware and help you figure out how to balance your time and efforts.