Shout Out to All College Students!
The semester is coming to an end and likely, so to is your motivation to keep on task. Oh how I remember the semester end so well. I just lost all my drive and energy to conquer the intense feeling of being overwhelmed all the time.
I would go through rapid cycles (and sometimes still do) of “ok, I can do this, no problem, I got this” to “I just want to quit!!!!” I was consumed with thoughts of wanting the relentless pain, and lack of sleep, to end. I just wanted a life without constant negative mental chatter, the mental nagging (“you should, should, should…”) and immense pressure to do well (or at least finish).
I thought the timing was right to share the various things that have worked for me during these very challenging times. Yes, I still do all of these things at various times in my life, because they work. I am defiantly not one of those people who gives advice that I do not take. I walk the walk. I suck it up and do what it takes. I feel stronger and better for having pushed myself. The more I rise to the challenge, the easier it has been to deal with future challenges.
Take a moment and grow your resilience, lean into your life, roll up your sleeves and move toward strength and resilience. Below are some Tips, Tricks and Hacks that I recommend for getting you through this heinous, painful, overwhelmed moment in your life. Yes, moment…it will not be forever….feels like it…but…feelings are not facts 😉
I will start with organizing the motivation enhancement hacks into two categories: Mindset and Perseverance.
You can’t get anywhere if your mindset is working against you and your mindset alone in not enough, you actually need to stop thinking about something and just do it.
- Wise Mind: Foster a Wise Mind. Get your Thinking Mind and Your Emotional Mind to smarten up and be friends and work together toward the wisdom it is going to take to get stuff done.
- Tweak Your State of Mind:
- Do things deliberately to change your state of mind. If you are feeling low, do things that elevate your mood. Get Started with the Following Ideas: “22 Ways to Change Your State of Mind“.
- Use motivational quotes to shift your thinking and offer a wider perspective.
- Use positive imagery. Imagine yourself at the end of exams. Are you proud of yourself for persevering? Imagine all the times that you wanted to quit and didn’t.
- This pain is temporary! “This too shall pass” is what I hear when my inner 4 year old starts tantruming and saying “I don’t wanna…whaaaaaa”. I move to “seriously, Heather, you are way to old for this whining, stop this, get it done, you are being a baby”. I would feel way worse, in the long run, if I just quit. I know this because I have quit in the past and regretted it.
- Opportunity Focus: This is an opportunity to build, grow, become more resilient and to see what you are made of. I believe that we are who we are in the tough times, so work on building your strengths and be awesome in the times where adversity comes along and sucker punches you.
- Personal Responsibility: Show up in your own life. Be the main character in your story. Work first, play later. Start adulting! Yes, this is not just a message for young people because many of us 40+ year olds fight being an adult too sometimes 😉 Do what you know you need to do, not just what you “feel” like doing. Don’t wait for others to do it for you, or to motivate you. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, do it now.
- Bolster Your Self-Efficacy: This is about building a positive believe about yourself and your abilities. Carve out a moment in your chaotic life to reflect on what you have done well in the past, examples of where you wanted to give up but you didn’t, take an inventory of what comes easily to you and just take the time to purely notice what is actually going well in your life.
- Make a Plan: Set goals, big and then smaller steps toward those goals. Take on bite sized pieces, take breaks and reward yourself. If you try to do too much too fast then you will burn yourself out or you will make so much work for yourself that it will be hard to even get started.
- Stay Active: When you keep your momentum going by keeping yourself on track, following your plan, you will find that the momentum you have is much easer to maintain….because science says so 😉
- Newton’s first law of motion – sometimes referred to as the law of inertia. An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. BE THE BODY IN MOTION! Avoid the unbalanced force of distraction, doubt and negative thinking.
- Hang Around With Motivated People: Study with people who are good for you, that you can learn from, that are feeling overwhelmed like you but work hard to remain in their wise mind and just get work done. These people can become role models who inspire you to push yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of. This is the quintessential story of my life. I am a people watcher (a.k.a vicarious learner) and I have managed to take what I witness and put it into action in my own life.
- Do The Hardest Thing First: Seriously! It is the thing that you dread the most that is killing your confidence. That BIG chunk of work that is sapping your motivation to get started. Often this is just in your head and how you see this task. Shut off your judgemental and fearful thoughts and get going on this task, in small manageable pieces, step-by-step, until it is done. Just do your best in that situation, with the time that you have. It is better to hand something in rather than nothing.
- Make It Fun: check out a previous blog post: Pain + Fun = Motivation
Some of My Favs
Motivational Quotes That Kick My Butt into Action
“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow” – Unknown Author
“Fall down 7 times, Stand up 8” – Chinese Proverb
“Dont’ stop when you are tired, stop when you are done” – Unknown Author
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” – Unknown Author
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.” —Mark Twain
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” —Jim Rohn
“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” —Wayne Dyer
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” —Margaret Thatcher
“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or
control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” –Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“There is no traffic jam along the extra mile.” —Roger Staubach
“Adversity can change you for the better, if you let it”
Known to be said by me, to many of my students. Sometimes they roll their eyes, but sometimes they take the advice and become the main character of their story.
Now get out there, shut off your critical mind, get some momentum, work first and play later and just get ‘er dun!
*Today’s blog post was brought to you by a very under motivated person who used GRITTY strategies to make it to the finish line 😉
Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)
eSuccess-Coach * Counsellor * Passionate Advocate for Student Success
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