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Monday, November 12, 2012

Developing Inspiration and Motivation to Accomplish Your Goals

At some point in most of our lives, we go through times when we feel like we're in a rut. We feel like we're stuck. We might feel stuck in our relationships or our career. Maybe we're having problems coming up with new ideas for a project. Maybe we're having financial problems. Whatever it might be, it doesn't feel good. It might feel like things will never change.

So, how can we get out of this rut that keeps us stuck?

Where can we find the inspiration to try something new or to look at a problem in a different way?

Finding Inspiration

First, let's define the word "inspiration."
There are many definitions. My favorite is "to breathe in deeply." Why do I really like this definition? Well, when I think of being stuck or in a rut, I associate that with shallow breathing. Often, when people are in a rut, they don't realize that they're holding in their breath. Sometimes, their breathing is so shallow that they are barely breathing at all. Has this ever happened to you?

Try taking a deep breath and as you do, notice the quality of the air as you breathe in deeply filling your lungs. How does that feel? Most of the time, we notice how good it feels as we exhale all the air and feel the tension leaving our bodies. Usually, we feel so much better when we learn how to breathe--more relaxed and, at the same time, more energized.

So, aside from learning how to breathe, what are some other ways to become more inspired?

Read a biography or a story about an inspiring person:
When we read about someone who has overcome difficult circumstances or kept at a new or different idea, despite all the naysayers, we can begin to look at our own circumstances differently. There are so many examples of inspiring people, whether they're historical figures or current or former political or religious leaders--or even ordinary people who found themselves confronting obstacles that they had to overcome. What can we learn from their lives?

Watch a movie about an inspiring person:
Can you imagine yourself in this person's shoes? What lessons can you apply to your own life?

Listen to music:
When you listen to music that you really enjoy, relax and feel the music wash over you. Allow yourself to open up to the experience and, without even trying, often you'll find that you'll open up to new ideas, maybe a new way of looking at your circumstances.

Find a mentor:
Listening to someone who inspires you can change the way you think. It can open up new ways of thinking and feeling that were not available to you before. If you don't have a mentor and there is no one who is available to you, imagine how someone you admire might handle the same problems that you have. It could be someone that you know, a character from a book, a movie or a TV program. What would this person say or do to get out of a rut? Imagine yourself talking to this person. What advice would he or she give you?

Go for a walk:
It sounds so simple, maybe too simple, but going for a walk can clear your head and get out the "cobwebs. " If you're able to walk in an area that you really enjoy, whether it's a park or at the beach or in your favorite part of town, take time to notice what's around you. Notice the colors and the shape of things. Just notice any sensations you might feel. If you can go to an area where there are plants and flowers, notice the cycle of life. Everything has a beginning and an end. Flowers bud, bloom and then they fall to the ground so that new flowers can grow. Breathe in the fresh air. Open yourself to the experience. You might find that it clears your mind and that you might come up with some new ideas or a new way of looking at a problem.

These are just a few suggestions. You probably can come up with many more, depending upon what you like to do. Are you spiritual or have you been thinking about bringing spirituality into your life? Spirituality can be about organized religion, but it doesn't have to be. Maybe you like to read poetry or you like to write or draw. Maybe you like animals and you'd enjoy going to a dog run and watching dogs play. Whatever it might be, there are so many ways to find inspiration if you're open to it. Often, taking the first step is the most challenging part. After that, often you'll find yourself more in the flow of things.

Developing Motivation to Accomplish Your Goals

Developing Motivation to Accomplish Your Goals
There are times when you might feel like you're in a "slump" and we feel unmotivated.  Sometimes, it's a matter of being overworked, too tired, having too many goals at one time and feeling overwhelmed, or being not eating properly.  Self care is important.  Whenever you feel unmotivated, ask yourself if you're taking care of yourself in terms of getting enough rest and nutrition.

Making a Commitment to Someone You Trust
One of the best ways to get motivated is to make a commitment, first to yourself and then to someone in your life that you trust.  It's surprising, at times, how much of a difference it can make when you've verbalized your goal to someone in your life who is supportive.  Sometimes, just saying it out loud helps.

Taking Baby Steps to Your Goal
Breaking down a larger goal into smaller, more manageable steps can make all the difference.  As you complete each step, it can have an upward spiraling effect.


Visualize Yourself as Having Accomplished Your Goal
Visualization can be very powerful.  Visualize yourself as having accomplished your goal.  Notice how you feel emotionally with regard to your success.

When I'm working with clients in my psychotherapy practice in NYC, I combine clinical hypnosis and visualization to help them accomplish their goals.  This can be a powerful combination.

Getting Help:
Sometimes, if none of these things work, you might benefit from talking to a mental health professional who can help you understand and overcome whatever is getting in your way. I've helped many clients who feel stuck or who are going through difficult times and they can't see their way out of their currrent problems.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, please feel free to call me at (212) 726-1006.

photo credit: Mara ~earth light~ via photopin cc

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photo credit: Severin Sadjina via photopin cc

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