We’re all human. Our emotions ebb and tide, life circumstances strain us, we lose focus, and sometimes…the spark just dies out, no matter how hard we try to keep it lit. None of us are immune to the various factors that seek to throw us off-course and so we can’t avoid the inevitable loss of inspiration along the way.
However, that light can always be lit again with a little creative thinking.
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
– Jimmy Dean
I’ve worked hard for years to pursue what I love, despite how hard it has been at times. However, sometimes, when life is being particularly difficult, I’ve lost my focus.
At times, that meant slowing down. Others, it meant losing focus and dropping off to reevaluate what I’m doing. In every case, it was a loss of excitement that was rooted in either no longer being deeply connected to what excited me or losing faith in myself to execute on that goal.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re going through something very similar right now. Take a minute to run a little reassessment on yourself and gauge your progress towards your major goals. How are you doing? How motivated do you feel? A little trick is to look at how you wake up in the morning. If you spring up with life then you’re likely connected to this sense of excitement and energy for what you do. If it’s difficult to pull yourself up every morning? Yeah, you probably need to get reinspired.
If this is you, it’s time to get reinspired. Depending on the circumstances around your loss of energy and excitement, getting reinspired is going to be different. Luckily, there’s a pretty simple process for finding out what works for you.
There are three main ways to get that spark back and each is connected to what I mentioned above, so it’s pretty easy to tell which applies to you:
1. Get in touch with what inspired you to begin with
This is probably the most common scenario. If you’ve been following your passion for some time now, you’re likely to have lost that initial spark you once had for your craft or profession. But how do you get it back? You get in touch with what inspired you in the first place.
Travel back to when you first discovered your passion and visit some of those original elements that got you so excited. Think back to when you started creating or running your business and try to conjure up some of those old feelings by visiting any elements you still have. Physical or digital things you can look at help here. Pictures and old work are perfect because we tend to attach the emotions we felt while we were going through said experience to that memory of it.
And don’t rush the process. This is important enough, so take a day, week, or longer out (however much you think you need and can reasonably do) to really steep yourself in these feelings until you start to feel the energy again. Really distill things down to their essence – what really excites you.
Sometimes, as our profession or business grow, we start having other responsibilities like payroll and budgeting that were never a part of our passion. These things can sap the life from us and require a regular retreat to find your inspiration again. Once you’ve done that, take some time to create a plan that will allow you to focus more on the work you love and are great at and delegate the other tasks. This will serve as a more permanent long-term solution to the problem.
2. Get inspired by something new
Sometimes, things really do change. Sometimes, what inspired us before no longer does. This one can be particularly tricky to identify, but if you’ve tried the first method and it’s just not working, that’s likely the most effective way to know that you need to move on and find something new that inspires you.
Clearly, in such a situation, there’s a sense of being lost. You’re now questioning what you once thought was your major life goal, so you feel like you’ve lost your aim and are confused as to the right direction to take.
I’ve been there and I know what this is like. To get the clarity you’re searching for, use an exercise that’s been invaluable to me for finding what I wanted to do with my life in the past – look back on your entire life and everything you’ve ever loved to do (including things you’ve never tried which seem interesting), dive in and experience them all again or for the first time, and report what you find. It’s a bit of a long-term exercise but one which has helped me immensely when I felt without a sense of direction in my own life.
3. Study people
Lastly, sometimes we haven’t really lost our inspiration. Instead, we’ve lost faith in ourselves or our ability to succeed.
When this happens, take time out to study other successful people – preferably those with stories most relatable to your own – to gain a sense of perspective. Oftentimes, we get so engrossed in our own struggle and challenges that we forget these are necessary evils on the path to achieving our goals.
By studying other successful people you can relate to, you’re reminded of your own ability to persevere and see first-hand examples of people who have pushed through the same feelings you’re experiencing to a better place, a place where they realized their dreams just as you’re trying to do.
No matter why you’ve lost your spark, it’s time to get up, brush yourself off, and get it back. Use the above as a guide for getting that spark back and generating the inspiration to move forward towards your goals with a new positive energy.