Motivation Answers

Why are there moments where I feel like I'm not in control of my body?

We can have moments in our lives where we can feel like we are not in control of our bodies and minds.  And moments when we make decisions that are not right for us. This can leave us feeling disconnected to who we are and in turn may leave us feeling isolated, scared, and lonely.  We may have disconnected from our bodies or minds as the emotions or events feel like they are too much to manage, we may be feeling, low in mood, stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. We may have also disconnected from our own body or mind as we feel we need to put others before ourselves or feel a need to please them. When we feel disconnected, we may have lost touch with who we really are and begin to find that each day, week, month becomes almost like an auto pilot, we are plodding along or feeling like we are being dragged in a direction, but we may not even be sure that this is the right direction or know the direction at all. Before we realize it, we are already on our way in that direction and it may feel hard to gain control, think about the right direction and move forwards in the right way for us. When we come to therapy and begin to talk and think about our daily life, we begin to connect again with experiences that are real to us and be in the moment with experiencing them.  An example of this might be that we stop and think and make an active decision or spend time allowing a feeling that we may have denied before. When we are able to share how we feel and how we think this understanding can help us to feel more in control and things may begin to feel a little easier to manage and understand. It can also help us connect with others, feel less lonely and isolated. An example of connecting with others so we feel more in control might be to use assertive communication to share how we feel and what feels right for us, so that we have a choice.  
Answered on 11/15/2022

How can I find meaning in the work I do as a highly sensitive person?

Hello Emmy, As a fellow empath, I'm happy to answer this question for you.  To begin, have you ever taken a career test?  They are usually available to college campus students, but you can probably take one online these days.There are many amazing jobs that will allow you to be an empath, but let's decide which type resonates with you.  To begin, empaths use animals, natural, etc. to feel recharged.   Do you have a close connection to animals?   If so, it would be good for you to venture in their route such as a vet, vet assistant, or even boarding and taking care of animals.   I have a friend that tends to animals and started her own business for people who have older animals and need to be loved when their owners are at work.   You can also take it a step up and be a park ranger if you are drawn to earth energy for healing and there are many places that rescue wild animals that need workers.You can also venture into spiritual healing arts such as:  reiki healer, massage therapist, acupuncturist, etc.  that helps you heal people.  To take it a step further- a social worker, therapist, etc.  There are many jobs that will fit an empath, but be careful, some jobs may be draining too so you need to assess which area makes you feel good and not drained after.You can always volunteer and do community work to see if that resonates with you.  Many fire departments take volunteers if you have a desire for a little danger.  If you need more help deciding, it might be good for you to work with a therapist to help you decide would work best with your energy.  There are a lot of seasonal jobs that are available if you still are not sure and you want to venture out and see what is out there.  My best advise is pay attention to your energy and see what you are drawn to doing.  Do something you love and money will come next.  Whatever you put your time and attention in that makes you happy and it's something you love doing, is a good start. So maybe asses what you like to do on your off-time, as a hobby, etc.I wish you the best and hope this helps :)
Answered on 11/10/2022

How do I increase discipline to where I can reach goals and finish tasks I have planned?

Hi there! Thank you for reaching out for support. I want to encourage you for taking this step, as I know that can be a scary thing to do. I want to preface this answer by saying that I am only given a certain amount of information from you. If we were meeting for a session, I would want to ask clarifying questions and gather more information from you so that I could give more feedback. Therefore, I apologize if I have misunderstood anything that you have disclosed here. First of all, I have to commend you for saying that you want to do "great things". It sounds like you are feeling motivated in your life, but I would want to know more about what "great things" really mean to you. Each person has different goals in life, and I would encourage you to try to break down your goals and what classifies as a great thing in your life. I know it can be discouraging when we make mistakes or take steps back from the plan. But, I want to also normalize this for you and let you know that you are not alone in this! Unfortunately, nobody is perfect, even if we do try to be! It sounds like you are describing that you value high achievement and that you especially valued this when you were younger. That is such a great thing, and even if you have made mistakes, it doesn't mean that you don't value high achievement still. I would encourage you to reflect on what has gotten in the way of motivation lately. Often times, there are underlying reasons for a decrease in motivation or discipline. It is so important to recognize what those reasons are. I would encourage you to work through this with a therapist/mental health professional if you have access to one. I will provide some suggestions for increasing motivation and/or discipline, though. One way you could increase discipline is to establish a daily routine if you do not have one yet. I would encourage you to establish a set wake-up time so that you can hit the ground running at a consistent time each day. I would also encourage you to establish a set bedtime to get a healthy amount of sleep each night. It is amazing how much a clear and healthy sleep routine can help with motivation and discipline. I would also encourage you to find time for breaks during the day so that you can have a moment to take a step back during work or school. Breaks can really help with motivation so that you can avoid burning out during the day. It is also important to have healthy coping skills and tools that help with avoiding burn out. What are some things you enjoy doing for fun or for stress relief? Examples are exercise, dancing, painting, reading, etc. These can help get you back on track when you are feeling tired. I would also encourage you to think about what your long-term goals are for you life - where do you see yourself in one year, five years, ten years? Now, what are the shorter term goals that you can work on right now? What do you want to accomplish this week, this month, and in three months? Try to break it down so that it is more realistic and manageable for you. This can really help with motivation, since it can decrease feeling overwhelmed. I would also encourage you to listen to motivating podcasts/audio books that are focused on building positive habits and discipline. You can listen to these while you are working, studying, or exercising. Also, don't be afraid to lean on your supports in your life when you are feeling unmotivated. I would encourage you to think of someone who motivates you to do your best and maybe use them for feedback if needed. I want to thank you again for reaching out for support today. I hope this was helpful, and I hope that you are able to establish more discipline in your life like you want to! Warm regards.
(LCSW)
Answered on 11/09/2022

How can I regain motivation and focus?

I'm sorry to hear of such struggles that you are experiencing.  First of all, thank you for sharing this with me, as it must have been really hard to bring it to reality, other than just thinking about it.  It sounds like, from what you have mentioned that you may benefit from some target setting by perhaps creating a plan, to help boost your motivation. Maybe start with one single thing that feels challenging but also manageable. Once that feels okay, challenging yourself to take each piece of your life back, one thing after another. Not flooding yourself with things that you can't manage, always being mindful of what you can do. Allow fear to be with you and don't push it away, as fear is a normal emotion, that we feel as human beings. Avoiding things in our life makes us feel overwhelmed with anxiety, so if there is something that you want to do and it makes you feel a little scared, do it as often as possible. As your body will habituate to your own environment and makes it feel less 'scary'. The more you repeat a behavior that makes you anxious, it becomes a part of your comfort zone.I'm wondering from what you have said, about the bad thoughts and the fear of failing taking over, what is the worst that could happen? Another solution could be thinking of the pro's and cons of difficult situations, thinking through if and how it will affect you, if it will - within, a week, a month, a year. I can't imagine how you're feeling to be in this predicament. But if you are willing to help yourself through it, there is no harm in trying. And if, after trying and it doesn't help, we are here to help, even more by communicating with you, to try and help you, help yourself. As you are the master of your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors. You know best! Thank you for your time and I wish you all the best in your life, moving forward in a more positive way of living. 
Answered on 10/30/2022

I was wondering how to find a purpose in life, something that drives me to be better and happier.

Hi there, thanks so much for reaching out.  What a great question you've brought up!  Finding motivation in life can be a challenge.  Sometimes that is because we are experiencing something like depression or anxiety, or even just burnout and exhaustion. Other times it can be because we are not in touch with our inner value system.   It is important to recognize that what motivates you might not be the same thing that motivates the people around you.  There are several "motivators" we come up against throughout our lives.  Most can be placed into one of two broad categories: external and internal motivators  1. External motivators come from outside of us and are often helpful when we are struggling to find motivation from within.  These external motivators include things like: parents (in childhood/adolescence), rules (at school or at work, or the law), societal norms and expectations (such as feeling motivated to work because we need a place to live, or wearing clothes in public because we can't enter a place of business without them, etc).   2. Internal motivators are usually linked to our internal value system. An example of this would be something along the lines of what you described as feeling proud when you got the manager position at the bowling alley.  Perhaps that pride was a guiding motivator to show up to work and do a good job!   In order to get in touch with our internal motivators (which we need for those times when the external factors aren't strong enough to create that motivation we are seeking), we need to connect with our values. I want to take a minute to talk more fully about values because they are vital.   Values are defined as "a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life." We usually form these by internalizing the values our parents held when we were children.  For example: if a parental value is achievement, a child might internalize the importance of accomplishing goals or reaching for great heights in life.  Sometimes, however, our parents have their own struggles and what they value is unclear even to them.  This is when we start to look to people in the outside world to define our value system. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but it can lend itself to confusion as a person's value system is complex and has many layers.  We can ask two people the same question: how do you define success?  Someone who values achievement might answer that success is linked to accomplishing goals, whereas someone who values connection might answer that success is linked to having deep relationships with friends and family.  Neither are wrong, just different.  This is why it is important that we connect with our own value system.  How do we do this?  One way is to find a list of values and determine which ones resonate with you.  Some examples of values include: honesty, adventure, courage, family, wealth, safety, trust, compassion, humor, authenticity, community, friendship, justice, leadership, knowledge, kindness...the list is endless.  More examples can be found by googling "values list."  Getting in touch with our values increases independence. This is because we typically make decisions based on what we know and what is important to us.  If we do not know what's important and/or we are looking to others to tell us, we end up confused and uncertain of our own ability, which decreases confidence and leads us to uncertainty.Further, knowing what is important to us in life and being in touch with our value system is a powerhouse for motivation and leadership.  No longer do we need another's opinion or approval to make a decision that feels right to us.  Not that we want to operate in a vacuum, we still need each other to help us stay balanced and grounded. We still want to ask for counsel when we need it, ask for opinions when we want them.  The difference now is that we can take the information from people around us, set it against the backdrop of our own value system and then keep what resonates with us while letting go of what does not.  In doing this, we are no longer at the mercy of what the world around us thinks.  We are connected to ourselves, filled with greater confidence and able to make decisions that honor our own needs.  We MUST honor our own needs before we can be effective anywhere else.  Ultimately, this is how we live a life of fulfillment--by choosing what we do or don’t do, what we will or will not tolerate, who we will or will not allow into our lives—based on how these things align with the things we value. When we do this, we are often able to then connect with the motivation that previously has been lacking.   Try it Out—journal prompts for values exploration The following exercise can be beneficial for many reasons.  --One, it can help us get in touch with what is important to us.  --Two, it can help us distinguish what we SAY our values are vs. how we are living/not living them.  --Three, it can help us take action to more fully live in accordance with our values.  --Four, it can ground us in our own truth amid the many changing opinions of others.  --And five, it gives us a framework to build on as we make decisions that shape our lives.  We can begin exploring our own values by asking ourselves these questions:  1. What are the top five things I value in life?  2. What is it about each of these values that feels important to me? 3. Why do these values feel important?  4. How do I imagine each of these values manifesting in my daily life?  Once we have gone through our list of values and written out the answers to the four questions above, we can then examine our lives and ask the following questions:1. Am I living this value today?2. What is the evidence that this value is represented in my life?3. How will I recognize it if this value is NOT being represented in my life?4. If the value is not currently part of my life, what is one action step I can take to move toward a life that does incorporate it? Not knowing your life story in detail, it will be hard to speak specifically about what might be motivating to you, or why you are not experiencing the lack of it. One thing that stands out to me in your writing is that you felt proud when you got that job as a manager.  Ask yourself, what contributed to that sense of pride?  What did you enjoy in the beginning of that career path?  Perhaps that can be a key to connecting to some of your values, which can then help with that internal motivation we need for life. I do encourage you to consider the journaling prompts above for your own self-reflection.  I also encourage you to consider if you are experiencing depression or even burnout.  If so, getting evaluated can be helpful as those have a big impact on level of motivation.   Finally, therapy can be a helpful tool in exploring your lack of motivation as well as some of the other struggles you've noted.  It is a great way to show up for yourself and connect with someone who can assist you as you explore.   It is brave that you reached out.  Be kind to yourself and give yourself lots of credit for doing so.  
(LCSW)
Answered on 10/29/2022

Can I see a therapist every other week?

Hello! The short answer to your questions is yes, you can see a therapist every other week. However please allow me to explain this answer a little more in detail. You and your therapist will work together to determine how often you should be checking in for therapy. Some of the reasons for variations of frequency is because of the severity of your symptoms, or because of the type of treatment you are participating in with your therapist. For example- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) requires learning skill sets and this may take a longer time to learn these skills. If you are currently in a crisis situation you may find yourself seeing a therapist more frequently to help you process some of these emotions. In general, you may be seeing your therapist more frequently at the beginning of your therapy experience. This is because your therapist may be interested in learning about your history and background so that they are better able to understand exactly whom they are working with! It also helps you to better know your therapist and helps build a trusting rapport with that individual. Another reason for regular sessions is to keep the momentum going-especially if you have had a great session with your therapist and are ready to hit the ground running! It is also important to remember that it is important to not go too long between sessions, as you may find your progress being stalled. A therapist may often give you things to think about during your time between sessions- and it is important to know how well your new coping skills are working. There are times when life events and responsibilities occur and you may find yourself in therapy every other week. If this is the situation, then your therapist may suggest "homework" such as worksheets or readings to help you continue to work on your care even when you are not actively meeting with your therapist.  I know a person can have a lot of commitments in their life- but remember one of the most important commitments is for you to maintain your own well-being!
Answered on 10/27/2022

I'm feeling unmotivated and pressured these past few weeks.

I do not believe that any attempt to achieve a goal, even if not fully accomplished is a failure.  Did you try your best to accomplish the coursework and were vigilant in attending your classes?  I'm not sure how could you possibly see that as a failure?  Any challenge that you accept is brave in and of itself.  Many times when we try something that we know that it is going to be difficult, it is a risk.  Why would you try to accomplish it if it were easy?  There would be no challenge.  Applying for college and getting in is an accomplishment.  Signing up for the classes to get a college degree is a planned event working towards the goal of a degree.  Many times when starting coursework, we take classes that we may find interesting.  They are not always what is best for us, but we may pick them because it is popular or it is what we think our parents want us to have a certain career in.  Eventually, you will find out what is meant for you.  You would be very fortunate if you knew what you wanted to do from the beginning.  Going through trial and error is often the way to find your direction.   I'm certain that some of the classes that you have taken can be used for the general education credits.   So you see there is no failure, just learning experiences.  Enjoy every minute of your time in school, because it will go by so quickly.  Take the opportunity to know yourself and find your niche.  Oftentimes we focus on the negative of a situation, when we should focus on the process.  Everything in life is a process.  How could we know success, if we did not know failure.  They are mirrors of themselves. I know that sometimes we are not ready for the challenge, or we do not enjoy what we are doing.  When you enjoy what you are doing, then you know you have found your career and major.  It needs to be somewhat of a challenge and achievable at the same time.  You will find it, keep going.
Answered on 10/26/2022

How can I stop procrastinating?

Dear Jess, Procrastination can be a difficult barrier to being able to work on assignments for school. I think the first step in addressing procrastination is to reflect on what has recently been going on for you. You mentioned that you usually would get your assignment in on time even if you procrastinated so you might want to make a mental note of what has shifted for you in this area lately. Have you encountered any additional stressors? Are you experiencing disruptions in your sleep or eating routines? Are you taking on more stress associated with school or other responsibilities? Are there certain assignments or classes that are harder than others? These reflection questions might help in determining if you are more mentally drained right now because something in your routine or life might be different. Time management and procrastination usually go hand and hand. Are there certain parts of the day when you are more productive? Is there a certain time of day when you can sit down and focus on assignments better? It is also important to consider where you are when you try to work on assignments for school. Do you have a certain area in your living space where you usually sit to work on assignments? Are there a lot of distractions in this area of your living space? Try to limit distractions by putting your phone away or wearing headphones.  When it comes to working on assignments to hand them in on time, it might help if you have a planner or some sort of calendar you can use to write out the assignments and when they are due. If you do this on a weekly or monthly basis you might have a better gauge of the timing for your assignments. There are also steps you can take to work on individual assignments. For example, if you have a paper due for a class you can take the following steps: A week before the paper is due you can pick your topic.; Then after you pick your topic you can find your sources.; Then establish an outline.; Write a rough draft.; Revise your rough draft.; and Hand in the paper.  If you have any questions about the paper assignment or run into any issues, consider talking to your professor or another student in the class. If it is hard to find the motivation to start the paper try rewarding yourself each time you complete a step of the process. For example, after you establish an outline treat yourself to something that you enjoy. I hope you find this information helpful. Best, Jasmine
(MSW, LCSW)
Answered on 10/24/2022

How can I get more productive at work?

Productivity is essential, and it serves many purposes. Not only does being productive get the job done, but it can also boost your self-esteem and improve your work environment and atmosphere.  It is hard to be productive when there are multiple distractions around us or you lack the motivation to be effective. An excellent way to prevent those days where you don’t feel up to doing the job or completing the task is by changing your perspective and thinking about what you do daily. Being more organized and creating some structure may be something you need.    Structure and organization can be beneficial.  It can decrease the likelihood of external noise and distraction.  It could eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety and clear your mind so you can absorb information that you are required to take in and help you to maintain focus on the task at hand.  Here are some tips that can help with being productive and achieving your goals:   On being Productive and Achieving your Goals   1.     Create a list of daily tasks you would like to complete. These elements stress as you are not carrying it all in your head, trying to remember, and feeling overwhelmed by constantly thinking about everything you must do. It is out of your head, off the mind, on paper, and in front of you where you can actively see it. 2.     Stay committed and focused on completing only one task at a time. You’d be surprised at how accomplished you will feel by doing so.  After completing that task, check it off. When you look at you to do look and see how you are progressing, you can’t help but feel accomplished and motivated to make it to the end. 3.     Use mindfulness to notice the moment you find your mind wandering. Try 5, 4, 3,  2, 1, notice. This will help to bring your mind back in focus. a.     Five: things you can see b.     Four: things you can touch c.     Three: things you can smell d.     Two: things you can hear e.     One: thing you can taste      Don’t get distracted by the noise of external factors. Noise can be anything like: a.     paying attention to what others are doing or saying – (use noise-canceling headphones) b.     cluttered surrounding – (clean the area) c.     disorganized atmosphere – (remove yourself) 4.     Don’t get stuck thinking too much about what should be done or what you need to do. Get out of your head and out of your way. Just do it.  Start. Once you get in the groove, you will find your flow. 5.     Stay in your lane. Your journey is yours. It was uniquely created just for you. Know your gifts, talents, and skill set. More importantly, know your limits.  Everything is not meant for you. You don’t have to say yes to everything, be a part of every activity, and be “in the know” all the time. It is okay to say no, create timelines and deadlines and stick to them. Taking on too much sometimes overwhelms us to the point of not being able to get anything done. Take what is yours and nothing else. You will know when the time is right to add more. 6.     Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. This is not a task of comparing. You do yourself a disservice when you look at what others have and compare it to yours. Always remember the race is not given to the swift nor the strong but to the one that endures until the end. 7.     Always remember there is progress in the process. Each step you take gets you closer to your goal, and you’ve made progress. Don’t minimize the crawl or take baby steps for granted. They are building blocks to strengthen you to walk.  Each phase in the process is necessary and brings you closer to accomplishing your task. Keep going; you are almost there. 8.     Always affirm yourself and believe in what you are doing. Start your day with an affirmation to get you motivated. Feed your mind with uplifting words, food for thought, and words of wisdom, and use positive self-talk throughout the day. Taking a strength-based approach to empower yourself to believe in yourself, no matter the task, mask you as a winner. If you don’t believe in you can, you won’t. But, if you think you can, you will.  Nothing will get in the way of you making it happen. The belief process starts with you. 9.     Faith plays a role in all of this. It is hard to achieve what you don’t believe. Faith believes in what you cannot see and hopes for evidence of the finished product. Believe in the outcome and stay in faith! 10.  Journaling works. Keep a good record of what you are doing, the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Writing out your thoughts and feelings helps to empty what you carry all day, and it serves as a way of processing what you’ve been thinking and problem-solving or coming to a resolution.  Also, the best thing about tracking and or journaling your process is that you get to visually see what you’ve achieved when you look back at where you started.   These non-traditional strategies are taken from the perspective of cognitive behavior and solution-focused thinking. I hope you find these tips to be helpful.
Answered on 10/23/2022

I've been working through deep feelings of regret

Greetings Ryan, Let me start by saying you did the best you could with the knowledge and resources you had at the time.  Instead of regretting, let's reframe and ask empowerment questions. What did I learn that I did not know at the time? What will I do differently? How can I make this situation work for me now? Are there resources around me to assist me in correcting, if possible? Who can support me as I witness the consequences of this decision? What can I do to improve my situation now? Asking these questions can help you troubleshoot the after-effects and help you work toward a positive outcome or support the weight of experiencing the consequence. There are times when things do not go as planned; therefore, taking extra care of yourself is a must. Utilize positive self-language, for example, use "I am" positive affirmations like, "I am human and sometimes make mistakes, and I find solutions to my problems." Be compassionate and empathic with your thoughts and feelings. Find support, people who listen to you and help support your growth by asking you questions to help you problem solve. I can't stress enough that breathing is essential and the most effective way to reset and start over.   Here is how you can take care of your mind. Use your breath to clear the negative thoughts and reduce the anxiety associated with the feelings. I understand that it is hard to witness the results of your decision. However, it is an opportunity to learn and grow. Self-reflection is an essential part of learning and encourages self-mastery. Continue to trust yourself, take your time and collect all the necessary information, and utilize support when necessary, even when you believe you have made a mistake. Talking out your thoughts and feelings can assist you in understanding and exploring favorable resolutions that you may not have thought of before. You are human and making mistakes is part of the learning process. Breathe, Reflect and Learn. You can also go to www.thetappingsolution.com. They have free tapping meditations to help you work through depression. Peace
Answered on 10/21/2022

How can I start to feel ready to re-enter the workforce/my career after a burnout/sabbatical?

Hi CL. Thanks for your question, which I'm guessing will be interesting to many people out there.  Before 2020 and the Covid pandemic, we were thinking differently about work.  The pandemic and generational shifts have caused a reimagining of what is possible in the world of work, and lots of people have decided to prioritize mental health & wellness over financial gain in a way that wasn't as possible several years ago and in recent history.  Nonetheless, there are some realities that remain despite our new relationship to work.  Even though there might be more understanding among employers that people sometimes take "breaks" from their careers, the fact is that it can be more difficult to re-enter the workforce after a break and especially after a break of six months or more.  And career breaks can sometimes affect our short and longterm earning potential; there is quite a bit of research that the longer a person is out of the workforce, the more difficult it will be to find a job at a higher, or sometimes even at an equal, pay rate to the last job.  While money isn't everything, it is certainly a consideration for most people, as it seems it is for you. But I'm going to assume that you intellectually know all this, and yet are still finding it difficult to motivate yourself, which suggests some psychological forces at play of which you are possibly unaware.  I have some theories about reasons you might be finding it tough to start your job search, but of course without meeting and exploring these possibilities together I have no way to know for sure.  On your own, I'd suggest exploring where in the job search you're getting stuck.  Is it in the most basic step, looking for job openings that are interesting to you?  Or is it later in the process, when it comes to sitting down and re-writing your resume/CV and cover letter?  Or is it later still, at the point of the interview?  And what do you mean when you say that you have a "negative reaction" to conversations with colleagues?  Even reading over these questions as I've written them down, what fears are evoked?  Are you afraid of whatever happened in your last position happening again?  Are you ambivalent about what you want to do?  Where you want to live or work?  What your family or people in your personal life will experience when you return to work?   Practically speaking, it sounds like you are waiting to feel motivated, at least in part because that is the way you are accustomed to being (you refer to your old self as motivated and ambitious).  But if a new position is what you want, you don't need to feel motivated to start the process.  Sometimes, the feeling follows some of the initial job search steps and starts to set in when we land a great interview.  So, practically speaking, I'd suggest that waiting to feel motivated might be a backwards way to look at the problem, and your expectation that you will feel or should feel motivated and ambitious is likely resulting in a cycle of expectations and disappointment and alienation from your old self.   I hope that this insight helps and that you find the success you're looking for, in and out of work. Gabrielle
Answered on 10/21/2022

How would I go about boosting my motivation?

Dear Ian, This is a complicated question, I would say that you need to look at your schedule and look at what is taking your time. I would also want to have you look at what barriers are preventing you from completing work when you currently have the time to do so; are you tired, have you been attending to your basic needs. There are multiple factors that may be involved in this lack of motivation. I would say that talking to a therapist to explore these possible barriers and topics would be beneficial for you. One thing to keep in mind is that motivation follows action; we cannot create motivation out of nothing.  Based on the small amount of information presented in this question, I would suggest planning out small and manageable tasks for yourself to complete when you have the time to study. Doing small tasks can in turn increase your feelings of motivation and show yourself that you are capable of completing these tasks.  Here is how to start working on small tasks: look at the assignments that you need to complete and the timeframes. Once you have completed this task, then you need to select one task from the list to complete when you have those times to work on the school work. Once you have completed a task then you will be able to look at that accomplishment and you will be able to focus on your ability to complete tasks, which you can then use to increase your motivation to complete other tasks. This skill works due to our natural ability to learn new skills. As we get older however, we can become stuck in routines and patterns of behavior that do not provide the same level of difficulty which can reduce feelings of mastery and motivation as well.  This is a DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skill called building mastery, a therapist who has experience with DBT can help explain this skill in more depth and also provide more skills that are also supportive of your goal of increasing motivation as well.
Answered on 10/20/2022

I keep too much inside, I don't talk things through out loud with others much, but think I should.

Hello there Reggie! Thank you for asking this wonderful question and I am glad to hear that you are starting to explore other options to process your problems and personal concerns rather than just internalizing them on your own. I would like to start with "talking it out" with a therapist or counselor is referred to as Talk Therapy. ANYONE at any age can find assistance with this and I would like to give a few important benefits of this talk therapy: Clarity~by talking to someone and "letting it out" you can better explore and clarify your "triggers" for negative thoughts or behaviors and discuss more effective ways of coping with stress and anxiety-related issues Support~talk therapy adds more support besides your friends or family to your support system and it is a "safe space" to share your deepest thoughts and concerns in a non judgmental environment Self Care~participating in talk therapy is a positive way of performing self care activities. You can clear up any negative thoughts and explore various coping mechanisms that will serve you better than maybe your current ones are. It is important to remember that the mind and body are connected and it is encouraged to not only take care of your physical self but also your mental self The goals of becoming involved in talk therapy are to improve your mental health, invite overall wellness into your life, find more valuable insight into your problems and concerns that you might not discover on your own, clarify your emotions and clear out any negative "mental baggage". There are many ways that you can find talk therapy, it can be in person locally in your community, an online platform like Better help in which you can have sessions that are either messaging, phone or video.  Be aware that with talk therapy, you may encounter many approaches to dealing with your issues such as psychoanalysis in which this therapy is longer term and explores the inner mind to have more positive reactions and behaviors in life. Another common approach in talk therapy is CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In this one, your counselor works with you to change your thoughts, have a better understanding of your feelings and learn to modify your behaviors in a more constructive, healthy manner. There are many others but I thought I might mention some common approaches for a light introduction into talk therapy. This a a brief overview on what talk therapy is, what it can offer and what to expect from it. Again, I am glad that you are considering "opening up" to other options and suggestions in your life so that you can achieve your best mental health status and improve your life overall! Best of luck to you Reggie and consider starting Talk Therapy soon to begin your self improvement journey! All the best, Debi~
(M.A, C.R.C., L.P.C.)
Answered on 10/20/2022

Is it possible to need help for something you don't know?

The presenting issue appears to me that there is a belief that somehow you are 'broken' and need fixing. I understand that at times it may feel this way and yet we humans are tremendously resilient. Our traumas & elations, dark & light experiences, flaws and strengths bring diverse beauty to our being; a wonderful gift to the world. I am left wondering what is your measure? How do you view the world and yourself as part of it? We may also experience a sense that something is missing, that we somehow are not having our needs met and we lack fulfillment. The exploration of meaning and purpose in all that you do will help guide and inform which path is more suitable for you to move along. What do I need, what serves me to become the best possible version of myself? Sitting and allowing the felt sense may be a way to getting closer to your truth, I believe C G Jung states, 'Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes'. Where within the body do you notice the angst residing? Does it have a color, shape, smell, taste or name? Acknowledge and face the shadow; 'I see you, I know what you are'.  What would you like to say to this feeling?  We can also reframe and choose to view it as an opportunity to overcome one of life's challenges and transition to a new epoch of existence. Whatever you are experiencing, may be the internal tension created when societal introjects become a barrier to your congruence and authenticity; sometimes we can become stuck and feel a little lost, hindering our growth. Our body, mind and spirit want to achieve a balance and strive towards actualization. Stepping into your power, taking responsibility for who you want to be and what you want to achieve will allow you to thrive and flourish.  Take the time to observe yourself, allow yourself to be curious. What does it look like to be 'fixed'? When you feel you have found a little more clarity to the questions posed, you must act to initiate a shift to change. An ounce of action is worth a ton of theoretical process. Prioritize the things you want to quit and the things you want to do. Keep what is useful and discard what holds you back. Separate yourself from the mob and be extraordinary.
Answered on 10/18/2022

How do I get my life back together?

Hello, thank you for reaching out. It's important to recognize how you are feeling and you have been able to put a name on some of those feelings. Being unmotivated can stem from a number of reasons and it's important to take the time and explore exactly what has motivated you in the past and what may have changed over that period of time.  Low energy can also be indicative of some other underlying concerns. Doing a self assessment with a counselor may be very beneficial. It's important to start somewhere and when life at times seems overwhelming, baby steps are necessary.  You need to be able to come up with real concrete objectives which will lead to goals. Strategies and other tools need to be developed and then implemented.  Whenever starting therapy, please come with an open mind as much as possible and then you will most likely be able to receive some of the different practices, ideas and suggestions. It's not easy but you have taken a start.  You mentioned that you are behind in your studies and the lack of focus and concentration may involve some distractions that you may or may not be aware. It is so important to practice self care. Working out and attempting to have a healthy diet is all connected to the mind and spirit. The desire to get your life back together is  something you will need to take a look at and decide for yourself exactly what that would look like. You can work with a counselor to discover some things you have tried but maybe did not help you solve your concern. You can also work to find out some things about yourself that you may have overlooked when taking these things into consideration.  Lastly, it is important to not be hard on yourself and try to stay away from the negative thinking. It's important to try to find some real joy and happiness that is uniquely you. Do not measure yourself against someone else because you are a unique Individual with unique needs. There's nothing wrong with feeling a particular way about things but it's important to speak about what drives your soul and spirit to a place that you feel the most alive and secure.
(LMSW, ACSW)
Answered on 10/18/2022

How can I get my motivation back while I have anxiety?

Anxiety can often times be incredibly overwhelming with its impact on our personal lives, motivation and personal development. It is easy to feel like you are in a never ending cycle that can often lead to frustrations, disappointment and damaged views of yourself. "Why can't I seem to manage the small things?", "Why can't I just make these changes to help my life?", "Why do I always seem to fail at these things?" Oftentimes, it can feel like that little voice in your head that tells you that you are not good enough, or you will fail anyway so why try. It doesn't ever take a day off.  When it comes to managing and maintaining motivation while also managing anxiety, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, allow yourself grace and room to breathe. You are human, and in being human, not every day is going to go exactly as expected. It's about progress, not perfection. It's okay to have bad days. It's ok to have days where you didn't make the home cooked meal, you left dishes in the sink, you didn't make it to the gym. It's ok to be human. That does not erase all of the progress that you have made all of the other days. It's about recognizing that you can have a bad day, but not unpacking and living there.  Second, it's important to remember that Rome was not built in a day. Often times, we see all of the big life changes that we want or feel we should make, and we allow our anxiety to tell us we have to change all of these things at once. When, inevitably, we can not sustain all of the changes. Our anxiety and that voice in our head tells us that we have somehow failed, and we jump right back in the cycle. Building different habits takes time, change takes time. Much like when we are little, we must learn to hold our head up, roll over, sit up, crawl and stand all before we can learn to walk, changing our habits in our lives is very similar: we must build strong foundational skills and build from there. What this looks like in application is to makes one or two small changes at a time, allowing those changes to become habits in our routine, and then building with additional new changes. Sometimes when we look at everything that needs to be changed, it is incredibly overwhelming, but by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable steps, it feels attainable.  Lastly, it is important to remember once again to give yourself grace through this process. While no one likes not being our best selves to the people we love the most, oftentimes the world gets the best of us and our loved ones get whats left of us. It's important to remember that you can not pour from an empty cup. Self-care and self-love, especially on the days the you feel that you may not deserve it, is incredibly vital to refilling your own cup. Take the time that you need to refill your cup, allow grace for yourself through this process, and remember that it is truly about progress, not perfection. 
Answered on 10/17/2022

How do I navigate through unlearning an attachment pattern?

Thanks for reaching out!!  Your concerns are important to us.  Always remember in anything; Learned Behaviors can be Changed Behaviors and the steps to getting there are Practice, Practice, and More Practice of Self-Love!!  Attachment and abandonment issues are scary to us and makes us clingy; our focus tends to be on others more than ourselves. There are at least four attachment disorders and a person can display a blend of symptoms from each. Being aware and knowing your attachment style is your major hurdle for healing. Know your style of attachment and do the work with a Therapist to develop skills for success and for a plan to reduce symptoms that are of concern to you.  Self-Love is a beautiful concept; it makes us to see the beauty of developing our own sense of belonging.  You might use self-reflective journaling to identify triggers that are root causes; make note of feelings - good ones and bad ones. Know your needs and practice reactions to those needs. Be ok with exploring past traumas with a Therapist. We have found through research that early childhood life experiences do affect our adult life experiences and choices. Explore with a Therapist of your choice. You deserve to be safe, secure and loved.  Be ok with going out of your way to plan dates with yourself, have alone moments whereas you can meditate and focus on your own Happy Place in Mind, Body and Spirit. Finding things that interest you and that make you happy.  Focus on making changes to learned habits that may be toxic for yourself and to others by exploring Positive Self-Love GOALS and ways of CELEBRATING YOU!! Sometimes we have to take baby steps to get to where we need to be; but with practice we get there. As you develop goals and practice self-love, you will definitely see changes in your life.  Therapy is important for our mental health and working together with a Therapist you will receive the skills and strategies for reducing your symptoms.    Thanks for reaching out and I hope that I have offered you something that might change your life!!     
Answered on 10/10/2022

What can I do to regain my drive and ambition after losing them?

Hi, I'm sorry to hear about what you are going through right now. I know it must be tough to feel that way. I work with many clients who have dealt or are dealing with very similar symptoms. I know how hard it can be to even get up and do the things you have to do to meet your needs when you feel this way. During these times, it is important to remind yourself of what is important to you and what your goals are. When you have a goal it can give you motivation to get out of bed every day. Try to find a goal, even if it's as simple as brushing your teeth daily or getting out of the house twice a week. It's also really important that you lean on your support group during this time. Share with them about how you feel. Sometimes just venting can go a long way towards healing. Therapy might help you to get to the bottom of why you are feeling this way. With therapy you can find the root of the problem and learn coping skills to deal with your triggers. In therapy, you can learn to identify your symptoms, identify your triggers, and change negative patterns of thinking. It can be really difficult for clients to think clearly when they are experiencing a low mood, so therapy can help a client to identify why they are having these patterns of thinking and how to change those patterns. Once you learn to challenge negative thinking and look at life from a positive perspective, it will greatly reduce the negative symptoms you are experiencing. I think another important thing to remember is that alcohol is a depressant. I know you said you are drinking, and I understand you most likely are using it as an unhealthy coping mechanism. But, when you drink, even though it may provide relief in the moment, it is most likely going to cause you to feel more depressed afterwards. That's why it's so important to try and stay away from substance use, especially when you are already feeling low.  I hope this information was helpful and I hope you consider getting into therapy. It can be very beneficial. Good luck!
(MS, LPC)
Answered on 10/07/2022

I've been feeling unmotivated, what should I do?

Hi, and thank you for your question. There are a number of things to consider... Normal Human Range of Experience You mentioned that you "have moments" where you're depressed, lethargic, unaccomplished and not motivated" and "have been for awhile." A important question to ask is, "What standard are you judging yourself against?" Are you comparing your experience to the media's portrayal of what "should be"? Your peers on social media? Your own personal history of behavior and experience? What your friends and family are telling you you should feel like? It's normal to feel the way you've described sometimes, and depending upon the underlying cause(s), there's no specific timeline for when such things might resolve. Developing self-awareness can go a long way toward helping to decipher what's really going on. Physical Activity If you're relatively healthy but don't get regular exercise/movement of some sort, it can negatively affect your mood, behavior and choices in ways you might not expect. Our bodies rely on regular movement to help regulate all of our systems, including the neurotransmitters that directly influence our mood and levels of motivation. No, you may not *want* to get up and get going when you're feeling unmotivated, but sometimes we all need to do things we don't necessarily *want* to do even though we know it's good for us. After a little while of "forcing" yourself to do what you know to be right, it will become self-sustaining, as you'll start to reap the benefits of your efforts. Routine All creatures (and even plants) benefit from structure and routine to their lives; it adds a sense of stability and connectedness to the world around us that allows for our continued growth and expansion in life. If your daily life is on a whim (in its entirety), you may be feeling directionless and a bit unhinged. Try creating some structure in your day (*what* you do isn't as important as *doing something* at various points throughout the day and week that you can rely on); it will also help to give you a sense of accomplishment that can increase positive feelings in general. Define and Live Your Values Are you living a life that's in accordance with your own individual, unique values and priorities? Are there any values you're either unsure of, ashamed of, or suppressing out of fear of judgment from yourself or others? Many times, if we're denying aspects of ourselves and what's really important to us, we will feel exactly as you've described. And in that context, it's absolutely *normal* and even *expected* that we'd feel the way you described, because we've deviated from what's important to us. Those feelings then become a kind of "early warning system" that we're not living to our potential or our purpose. Each Therapist is Different ...and rapport is everything. There are SO many different theoretical orientations that therapists might bring to session and so many different personalities that therapists might have and so many different clinical areas of focus a therapist might specialize in, it's possible that you just haven't found a therapist that's right for you. If that resonates with you as a possibility, it's okay -- perhaps you've grown past your initial therapist and need someone who's area of clinical focus is elsewhere. Process that with them, and develop a plan to keep moving forward. This happens -- we understand. Each person's circumstances are different, and you'll only know what's right for you by investigating all of the possibilities. Best wishes!
(M.A., LMFT)
Answered on 09/18/2022

Do you provide mentorship or professional coaching?

Hello and nice to meet you! I understand that you are looking for someone that can be a mentor or a coach to you.  Therapy focuses on healing the past while coaching helps clients to build a future. Imagine you are getting ready to climb a huge mountain. You could either hire an expert guide (coach) for your expedition or a doctor (therapist). Which would you choose? If you are in fragile health and would be in physical danger if you attempted the climb, a guide wouldn’t make the situation better. But a doctor would help you get back into shape before attempting the challenging feat. However, if you are already healthy and just need someone to help you with climbing strategy, carrying the load of supplies and finding the best path, the guide would be the better choice for you. A therapist supports someone to get into excellent mental and emotional health before they attempt to achieve ambitious goals, while a coach leads them over the mountain. It is very common for people wanting to make changes in their lives to invest in therapy first to work through past trauma, and then hire a business or life coach. A therapist is a licensed healthcare professional trained to diagnose and resolve destructive beliefs, behaviours, relationship issues and responses. They focus on helping their client: Recover from past setbacks and become aware of behavioural patterns. Explore why past relationships (business or personal) have been destructive Work through depression or anxiety Move forward after grief or loss etc. A coach, on the other hand, offers dynamic guidance for the client on: Clarifying personal and professional desires and goals Creating business plans or starting a business Designing systems to support performance, productivity and wellbeing Working to improve communication or marketing skills Increasing financial stability Depending on the depth of the trauma and pain to overcome, therapy is often conducted until the client feels they do not need it anymore, which could be anything from a matter of months to many years. Whether in groups or in one on one settings, coaching usually takes place over a shorter period (1 month to 1 year) and is a lot more goal-oriented, often with specific results in mind to reach during the coaching program. While I am a licensed clinical social worker, I have worked with clients in the past to coach them and motivate them to be the best versions of themselves. I am very solutions based and utilizing that approach is all I do. Let me know if you are interested in working together! Best, Hannah
Answered on 09/05/2022