Let Go from exhibit of Thich Nhat Hanh's "Mindful Art"

Let Go from exhibit of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Mindful Art”

Here’s How to Keep Heavy Stuff from Zapping Your Motivation

We’ve all been there. Inner turmoil, distress with a partner, a fight with your BFF.

They send you into a tailspin and totally drain your creative reserves. You’re not only drained, you’re depleted and burnt. You even play around with the question “what’s the point?” What’s the point of staying on top of that client outreach, or paying attention to that deadline, or that going to the networking event to which you RSVP’d?

Sometimes there’s no point and you just need to wallow. Allow yourself to feel depressed or angry. Cloister yourself in your safe space. Cry it out. But then there are times when you just have to keep going. Bills gotta get paid. Presentations must be made. You have to show up. So how do you keep the personal stuff from bleeding into and infecting the professional goodness you’ve got going on? Don’t neglect the other good habits in your life: If you fancy the gym, don’t skip. If you always feel clear-headed after a long walk, go on and take your long walk. Treat yourself well, as much as you can. As Kit, in Pretty Woman said, “Take care of you.”

Bargain: Say no to what you can say no to, so that you feel a little less stretched and can focus on doing a good job on the things that absolutely must get done. It’s okay to put yourself first. And right now, you need some TLC. You deserve that much.

Use it: Like I just did.

Sometimes, in the right company, it’s cathartic and endearing to share. Channel your hurt into your work in some productive way. Write about it. Let a close colleague into your inner world. Make a piece of art for your website or next blog post. When you lay yourself bare you give people the privilege of seeing and understanding you a little better. And you also give them the opportunity to see themselves and their issues a little more clearly. You give them the gift of recognizing they are not alone. How do you deal with issues that zap your motivation? Share with us in the comments below.