6 Absurd Ways to Motivate Yourself

In case you thought that repeating affirmations in the mirror wasn’t awkward enough, keep reading.

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

We’ve all been there. You want to have the energy, inspiration, and dedication necessary to achieve your dreams.

And sure, there are times when you feel motivated, but it’s never enough to propel you to completion. It’s never enough to finish that portfolio, that essay, that project. Heck, it might not even be enough to push you to get started.

Chances are, no one else is just sitting around waiting to give you that push, so it’s up to all up to you now.

It’s time to get creative when it comes to pushing yourself to achieve your dreams, and who better to motivate you than you?

1. Post a Giant Banner

My personal banner

The tackier, the better. Bonus points if you add some random stickers that you have no other use for. You want to be able to look back on this moment in your life when you resorted to posting a tacky banner to give yourself the inspiration you need. You’ll want to see how far you’ve come.

I’m not saying this will inspire you finally write that novel you’ve been wanting to, but every little bit helps and it may serve as that little push you need to get started.

2. Dance

I honestly do this all the time. By myself, of course, and with the window blinds down. It really gets me into a free-spirit, I’ll do what I want, to heck with what other people think kind of a mood.

If you think I’m joking, here’s some proof and inspiration for you:

Kristen Wiig Dancing GIF via https://giphy.com/gifs/dancing-free-kristen-wiig-RWtytw1cRmstG

This is not me, of course, because there is no way I’m posting a GIF of myself dancing. Just trust that the absurdity level of my dancing is equal to or greater than what is depicted above.

3. Try Subliminals

Photo by Miguel Luis on Unsplash

I admit, this is a weird one.

Subliminals are like covert affirmations. Their claimed mechanism of action is that by muting the affirmations and blending them into music or nature sounds, your subconscious will register and integrate them better than your conscious mind can.

Basically, you’re intentionally listening to subliminal messages that are positive, motivating, and life affirming, in hopes of bringing them across the barrier that exists between your conscious and subconscious mind.

Sounds strange? It is. Is it legit? Maybe, maybe not, depending on who you ask. But here’s why I think it can work, even if you don’t believe that this is a legit thing:

The placebo effect. Honestly, listening to subliminals have made me feel better about myself — enough that it has motivated me to take action towards goals that I lacked the confidence to pursue before, even though I don’t necessarily believe they work the way they are touted to work.

I think they can work simply through believing that they have some nominal power, even if you can’t explain their power, and even if you don’t believe they work the way they’re supposed to work.

4. Admire Your Own Work

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Take a brief moment to be vain. Pick what you consider your best work and review it, admire it, even if it didn’t gain the recognition you felt it deserved. If it meant something to you, then let it deserve your own recognition.

There’s a post I wrote a while back that completely bombed. No one read it. I wasn’t expecting a Pulitzer Prize or anything for it, but I hoped for at least a few views or claps. Zero.

I poured my heart and soul into it, and no one read it.

But you know what? That zero-views article is the proudest I have ever been about something that I wrote. I still read it. I re-read it, because I believe that it was one of the most authentic, inspiring, beautiful things I’ve ever written.

It’s okay if it didn’t resonate with others, not everything I write has to appeal to a mass audience. I can still be proud of it and learn from it.

So look back on what you have accomplished, even if it’s not much, and find something that you think is valuable, that came from you, the source.

5. Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Transcript of my pep talk

I recently discovered the power of giving myself pep talks. Above is an example of some of the things I say to myself. You can also record yourself on your phone and play it when you need some motivation.

Again, not the end-all be-all, but a helpful tool to have, and one that I’ve found extremely beneficial.

6. Blow Yourself Away …

… by giving yourself permission to produce complete crap. This one is particularly helpful if you’re having trouble taking action on your goals, especially creative work like writing. If you find that you can’t even open up your laptop or notebook or put your shoes on to go jogging to even start, just say the following words to yourself:

“I give myself permission to produce the worst piece of crap the world has ever known.”

Because everyone has to start somewhere. Everyone’s origin story is riddled with sub-par productions. Lean into it. Relax against the fact that your early stuff might be utter garbage, and that’s okay.

You know why? Because it will make it all the more satisfying when you produce something brilliant and look back on how far you’ve come.

I hate to make sweeping generalizations about things, but I can confidently say that 99% of the time you will exceed your expectations, if you frame it this way. And in doing so, you get rid of the weight of the enormous expectation that you’re putting on yourself.

Now, become your own muse and get started.

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