Motivation Answers

How can I understand what I want?

First off...thank you for reaching out for answers. Finding motivation and purpose can be difficult, especially if finances and relationships are unsatisfactory. When you consider Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, you can visibly see that if your fundamental needs are met, but not satisfactory, successfully connecting with others, feeling you 'belong,' or working on areas of esteem and self-actualization are feasible, but will also be impacted by your dissatisfaction of basic needs (physiological and safety). The best way to combat dissatisfaction in these areas is through the researched method of keeping a gratitude journal. According to researchers, there are three ways of experiencing gratitude - it is an emotion, it is a trait, or it is a practice. If we consider the latter, through the use of a daily/weekly gratitude journal, where you would identify three new/different things for which to be grateful that day or in general life, never repeating these three daily gratitudes throughout the year, your brain begins to identify and cherish new and unique things throughout your day/week. This chemical change within your body is shown to boost your overall well-being, increase your ability to deal with stress/trauma, widen your perspective, increase your mood and motivation, and help you connect with other people. (Source: "The Healing Powers of Gratitude" by Carolyn L. Todd, https://www.self.com/story/gratitude-benefits). I wish you the best in your self-exploration. “Positive psychology is focused on cultivating well-being and human flourishing. The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania describes it as ‘the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive.’ The American Psychological Association (APA) defines it as the study of the emotional states, individual traits, and social supports that ‘enhance people’s subjective well-being and make life most worth living.’” Additionally, Judy Moskowitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of medical social sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern, and president of the International Positive Psychology Association, explains, “Positive emotions aren’t just the inverse of negative emotions, they actually have unique functions…and can actually help us build our resilience and help us cope.”
(MA, MBA, LPC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I push myself to get help so I can do better for myself?

Hi Sunny, the first thing we want to do is to figure out where we want to go. You said you were unhappy with yourself and your current situation. The first step is deciding where you want to go. This can be accomplished by clarifying our values. Everybody has values and they have guided you throughout your life. Unfortunately most people are just not aware of their actual values.  So what are values? Our values are those things that mean the most to us. Values are your guiding compass or North Star and are the things that matter most in your life. Values are not goals. Goals have a ending where as your values are permanent. An example would be the difference of getting married versus being a loving spouse.  Values are not things that we receive from others such  because your values are controlled by you. They reflect the the way you want others to see you. Values are not feelings. One of the biggest things that people say is that they value happiness. Happiness is not permanent and is based many times on what is going on around us. For example, if we got laid off from our job or if somebody we love was in a terrible accident, we are going to feel sad, angry, or frustrated and that would be expected. How could be expected to follow that value during such a difficult time. Our values usually do lead to happiness but that is based on pursuing our values not the feeling of happiness.  Values usually fall in four broad categories of relationships, career/education, hobbies/recreation, and health. Values with relationships may be loyalty, trust, or respect. Some values for career might be growth, integrity, or dependability. Your values for health might include persistence, dedication, or balance. Finally, your values for hobbies/recreation may be curiosity, fun, or adventure.  Once we decide what our values are we set goals to start moving towards those values. We do this by setting SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time specific. So if your value with your career is growth, we might set a goal to increase our knowledge about our job by reading some training material 30 minutes a day, three times a week for the next week. Research has shown happiness comes from pursuing our values instead of just trying to pursue happiness. I hope this helps to get you moving forward. 
(LCSW, LADC/MH)
Answered on 10/18/2021

what are some practical things I can start to do when I feel stuck and unmotivated to do anything?

Hi Zo. I would start with gratitude---not the regular normal gratitude we all experience but gratitude on a smaller level such as being appreciative of a good parking spot or a green light. Purposely feeling joy for little things the same way you would if you won the lottery or achieved your great dream. You can practice gratitude for the past, present or future. You practice future gratitude for goals you want to achieve including how you want to feel as if it you've already accomplished it such "I am so happy and gratitude now that I've bought my dream home."  (Check out the Greatest Tool of Transformation  on dailymotion.com) Also check out the 21-day mental diet by Brian Tracy  and The Grateful Project by Hailey Barthelomew on YouTube and Google 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude. Another useful practice is meditating. You can start with a short 3-minute meditation but be consistent in doing it daily. You can find 3-minute breathing exercises on YouTube or try an app like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer. It's normal to have a lot of thoughts when you first begin to meditate but as you continue you will go from maybe 100 thoughts in a minute to 75 to only 30 thoughts, for example. Meditation means to focus on purpose without judgment. If you have trouble with formal meditation check out Mel Robbin's Can't Meditate? 3 Meditation Hacks on YouTube. Also, feeding your mind daily with inspirational, motivational or educational material daily will expand and rewire your mind. Educational material would include books or videos on finances, success principles, health, wealth, relationships, goal-setting, etc. Subjects that you can apply to your life for a more quality life. One book to check out that is fairly short is As A Man Thinketh by James Allen. The audiobook is also available on YouTube. Feeding your mind can also including listening to interviews of people overcoming or on topics such as health and wealth. Tom Bilyeu and Lewis Howes have a good interview on various topics. They have podcasts as well as YouTube channels. Marisa Peer has very good information on goal-setting, reprogramming your mind and collaborating with your mind on YouTube. Her TEDx talk is called Collaborate with your mind. Finally, addressing unresolved trauma may be helpful as well has going for long walks and focusing on things that are far away. 
Answered on 10/18/2021

Do I have any mental issues?

Hi Danny,   I am glad you decided to reach out during this time where you may be struggling and look for additional guidance and support.  Not everyone has the courage to do so and I am glad you are able to advocate for yourself and what you think you may need.  I am also glad you decided to hear the feedback your boyfriend provided and decided to do some more thinking on it--it sounds like you have done some thinking on what he shared with you and have some insight into it.   There are so many emotions out there and it is often difficult in the moment to identify what one may be feeling because there are so many things rushing through our brain at once.  One thing I would like to suggest to you is to do a search on line for emotions and look for the list of emotions with the faces next to them.  That may assist you in identifying how you feel.  You can also complete a search of emotions and look up definitions of any emotions you may be unsure of.   There is also something called a behavior chain.  A behavior chain says we have a thought, that thought leads to a feeling or emotion and the combination of the two lead to an action or behavior.  We have 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day so often it can be difficult to identify every thought a person has.  I am going to both challenges and encourage you to identify your thoughts that may lead to the behavior of not doing tasks or feeling low motivation.   There is also something called the Circle of Control.  If you were to draw a circle and write everything inside the circle that is in your control and everything outside of the circle that is out of your control, what would fall where?  Your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, including motivation fall inside the circle, meaning it is in your control.   When it comes to motivation, I am not sure if you are referring to things like day-to-day tasks that include taking out the trash or bigger tasks like work.  I would ask yourself, is it something bigger, what interests you?  What gets you excited?  What do you see as your purpose?  Those may be questions you want to try and answer.  If it is something smaller, ask yourself, how do you want to live (even when it comes to day-to-day tasks you may not like to complete)?   I hope you find this information helpful and I wish you the best on your journey and in moving forward.   Best, Erica
(LISW-CP, LCSW-C, LCSW)
Answered on 10/18/2021

Life's full of sad and happy moments ! Why ?

Hello, good morning, and thank you for your question! I do not have specifics connected to your situation; I will give you a general idea on how to possibly manage your situation. Motivation is a tricky subject because it could be linked or connected to different elements. For example the pandemic, your mood, your emotions, your eating and sleep habits, stressors, internal concerns or doubts, thoughts that you may have connected to yourself and the future, among others. I would encourage you to consider all these, in terms of a self-assessment, if you will. The more you look within yourself, the maybe hopefully, clues you will have about where to go and what to focus on as a possible answer or area to work with. Regarding motivation, there may be also an element of burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress. Though it’s most often caused by problems at work or school, it can also appear in other areas of life, such as parenting, caretaking, or romantic relationships. Related to this point, you may want to consider, for example, your expectations of yourself, the social support you have, and the balance you have between school or application process, and other parts of your life, among others. In a general sense, you may be able to increase motivation by simplifying tasks or duties; focusing on the positives; setting specific and concrete goals; creating positive habits; taking care of yourself, among others. This that I briefly explained may be related to the way you see and understand the moment you are in; the cognitive perspective. There is also the behavioral perspective, which deals with the -what do you do about-, the things you do to increase your motivation and energy level. For example sleep, exercise, socializing, among others. From the limited information you are presenting, I think it would be worth considering if you are open and interested in exploring these and other possible connections as to how you are feeling with yourself or and possibly others? In all fairness, it is possible to get to the root of your concerns and to discover and understand where this motivation circumstance is coming from. A mental health professional is prepared to assist people with concerns such as yours. At the minimum, you will be able to clarify how you are feeling, and at the same time you will be able to acquire coping skills to deal and manage with your emotions, ideas, and behaviors. In the situation you are presenting, there are multiple coping skills that you could acquire that could prove beneficial. I have tried to expand on your question by tackling different issues that could prove useful. Hope this helps! Good luck!
Answered on 10/18/2021

how do you break out of avoidant behavior?

Thank you for putting this question out here because it is a really good one. I think it is important to know that your avoidant behavior has a root cause that you would probably benefit from exploring with a therapist. At some point, your brain has labeled these issues that might seem like "normal" life stressors as dangerous and now seeks to avoid them at all costs. A lot of the time when we engage in avoidant behaviors we can become highly critical of ourselves, which in reality actually makes the issue worse over time. I would not be surprised if you had a significant memory (or even a bunch of memories) in which you tried to do a task and were harshly criticized or even hurt because of it. Now your brain simply wants you to avoid those tasks at all cost because it is your brain's (well that part of your brain) job to keep you safe and alive. There are different strategies or therapy paths that might help with this issue. I am going to give you one here but I highly encourage you to meet with someone to help pick apart the narrative that your brain has created and help write a new one because that is probably the key to long-term success. The first step I would recommend here is to identify one small talk that you have been avoiding, it is key that it is a manageable task something that wouldn't take more than say 10 minutes of your day. Once you have identified your task and said "okay we are doing x today" wait for your brain to give you those pushback feelings of avoidance. Here is where you are going to change things up, instead of becoming sad or angry with the pushback feelings you are going to embrace those feelings and let that part of your brain know that it seems scary and overwhelming and that you really appreciate that it is looking out for you. Then you can explain all the reasons why this task is safe and maybe even why it is healthy for you to be able to get this task done today. I know it sounds a bit silly to "talk" to your brain as if it is a different person but it can be a really effective and powerful way to change that self narrative that your brain has built over the years. Now as with all therapy tools this may or may not be the best one for your brain but as I mentioned earlier there are lots of tricks and tools to explore this is just one to try! I hope it helps!! 
Answered on 10/18/2021

Feels like I'm stuck in development, I'm 20 years old and I've got nothing to show....

Thank you for the question as I think this is a question on a lot of people's minds.  I would offer that I continue to see curiosity as you seek to find something that you are called to stick with.  I would be curious to see a list of all of the activities you have tried, what you liked and what you didn't. Literally, take a sheet of paper and just randomly complete, what I call a brain dump of activities tried, not caring about the sequencing of them.  Then go back and write beside it, what drew me to this activity?  Was it a friend, was it a commercial, was it something I saw on YouTube, etc.  Then go back through them all, and write, what stopped it.  Was it money, time, I failed or wasn't good enough at it, not what I thought, etc. My guess is that a theme will emerge as a direction for the next step.  The curiosity question is directed at self about what drew me to this, what just did not feel like it was mine, etc.  I am happy to work through this with you should you want to engage in some coaching around this. This time in your life should be a time of discovery as you figure out the next steps.  Developmentally, the human brain is not fully developed until 25 and yet, we all feel pressures to get life right so far before age 25.  It is an interesting dilemma. A great question to lead after the list you create is, when I was little, what did I want to be when I grew up?  Write all of the names of the professions in a brainstorming activity.  No qualifiers, just again, do a brain dump.  Again there will be themes that emerge that can provide the next steps.  For me, I wanted to be a veterinarian.  While that is not my chosen professional field, there are similarities in that I am a helper when things are well and not well in someone's life.  And I do tend to always be the one to rescue animals...  Let BetterHelp know how we can support you! ~ Dawn Rochelle MSW, LCSW
(MSW, LCSW)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How can I find the motivation to do my job when I don’t see myself working here by the end of 2021?

It seems like you are having a difficult time feeling motivated at your current job. This is a problem facing many people and there are some things that can help. Let's take a moment to talk about the two main forms of motivation, we, as people have. First, we have what is called Exstrinsic Motivation. This type of motivation can be thought of as deriving from rewards outside of yourself. These rewards can include financial stability, notoriety, awards, and even peer recognition. Examples include working over-time to see a larger paycheck, or going to a University for the degree and opportunites associated. The other side of this is Instrinsic Motivation, a type of motivation coming from within yourself. These are often feelings that we strive to find from doing an activity. Examples include doing charity work for the joy it gives you, or joining a sports club for a sense of community. Note that the examples included for each type of motivation could be modified to be attributed to the other motivation type. For example, some go to school not for the diploma, but for the passion of learning. And some may do charity work for the amount of social recognition they recieve. This said, both types of motivation are important factors for people in carrying out their goals and day to day lives. Even in your case, while you say that you do not feel motivated while at work, there are the thoughts of your financial situation, vacation days, and progressing in your field. These would both be extrinsic motivators in at least getting your feet in the door. This said, based on your own thoughts at work that "I don't want to be here anyway", it seems that you lack any amount of Intrinsic motivation. You may not feel that job gives you any feelings outside of agitation or boredom. This is actually perfectly normal and ok. It is quite alright not to be in love with everything you do at all times. Many people, particularly at entry-level or near entry-level positions, find no great passion for what they do but rely on extrinsic motivating factors to get the job done. And yes, they too likely ask themselves why they are there from time to time. But the ones that stick around to reap the benefits of the job they applied for in the first place are the ones that challenge their initial thoughts of agitation with ones of reason. "Why bother doing this?", "Because I need the financial stability", "Because I want to do the job well to help my career goals", "Because I enjoy the benefits of vacation time to spend time with my spouse". Reminding yourself the positives of having the job when you're in a testing environment can make a difference. It may not make you love the job but it can help it to become more tolerable or even a bit more enjoyable until you reach your next goal. I hope my response was informative and helpful! 
(LPC, LCDC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

Why am I the way I am ?? Why can’t I change ?? Why can’t I just believe in myself and be confident??

Hello from a friendly stranger,  let me start by saying thank you for reaching out and seeking answers to these very important questions. It appears you have been struggling to figure out now for some time your predicament of not wanting to stay the way you are, but also not having the motivation to change. Change is very difficult because there has to be a strong desire, commitment, and motivation to create and implement a new plan or vision for yourself. This is were having a savy and caring counselor may be a good choice. The job of the counselor is not to do things for you but to help motivate you to do things for yourself. A counselor is a little bit like a coach that stays in the background and gives you the spotlight by championing you into action.  You have been using negative self-talk for most of your life, some of which came from the environment in which you grew up. You heard negative things and you internalized them as "ultimate truths and proof that you cannot change things", a good counselor can provide lots of positive feedback and help you recognize and change the negative talk into more positive and hopeful messages which then can be put into actions to take your life into the direction you desire.   I hope that you listen to your internal voice which obviously has recognized that it is time to turn things around in your life. This is the right time. The right time is NOW.  You have a chance and hope to join the Army. Then let's put in some work to get you ready for it. The Army may be a good place for you to thrive and learn new skills. It can be an opportunity to give yourself a good foundation for the rest of your life or become a lifelong career, whichever one it ends up to be is up to you, but it is still a great source of strength, perseverance, and pride.  When you begin your journey of healing from the depressed state in which you appear to be, summed up energy and motivation to change, you may be surprised how smoothly it may all go once you put it into work. You can do it all on your own, but having a counselor can and even should make things easier for you.  Best of luck to you on the journey of healing.
(LCSW, BCD)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I commit to something long term consistently?

First, to be consistent, select a goal that you realistically want to do and then do it in a way that works for you. Many people set goals that are unrealistic. For instance, I want to lose 12 pounds in the next two weeks. While that might work in the short run, developing a consistent routine takes more time and less pressure to succeed quickly. Secondly, make sure that you are reasonable in what consistent means for you. For instance, I know I need to exercise more just because it is good for me mentally and physically. I have to ask myself how often, what kind of exercise, and where can I fit it in during my day. Far too often, clients set unrealistic and unreasonable goals for their life, and they want it to happen quickly. So, instead of saying I am going to go to the gym every day and work out for one hour. I might say, I can fit in a walk during this time and then go to the gym two times a week. Consistency becomes harder when we set the bar too high. Start off in ways that will give you a sense of accomplishment, and that tends to motivate you to add more on later or continue on with your current goal. If you can, make it as enjoyable and as fun as you possibly can for the goal. Thirdly, accept that you will have set backs and moments where your goal for the day does not happen. When things get in the way, and you lapse accept that it is a lapse and tomorrow is a new day. Beating up on ourselves does not encourage consistency, but it has the opposite effect. Finally, find ways to reward yourself when you maintain some degree of consistency. For instance, if I eat better this week, then I will allow myself that ice cream at the end of the week. Once you maintain a fairly reasonable, realistic, and consistent pattern over time, then it becomes less of a "chore," and more a part of your daily routine.
(LCMHC, LPC, NCC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

Ways on how to keep being motivated and having driving force towards studies and future?

Motivation is defined as the general desire for someone to do something. Motivation is unique to each individual. Everyone has their own reasons to be motivated, just as everyone has a different set of goals. In order to stay motivated it is important to define your goals and progress. Here are some common ways to stay motivated so you can reach your desired outcomes.  It is very important to define your goals. By doing this it will you will put your ideas in to action mode which will get you motivated. Then you should create a clear vision on what you would like to do. This is key if you want to succeed. In your case it would be attaining your degree and using it to help you obtain a job in something you enjoy doing.  Always remember to keep things positive. Positivity leads to positive actions. If you make self-affirming statements this will help you achieve your best. If things get difficult approach tasks in new ways. Don't be discouraged!! Different approaches can give you more energy and perspective.    Concentrate on one goal at a time. Multitasking will divide your attention and may overwhelm you. Concentrating on one goal at a time will keep you focused and motivated. Make sure to make things fun. Staying motivated is a lot easier if you are having fun. Fun is a great motivator!! Be optimistic. If you believe you can accomplish something your motivational level will increase. Optimism is the foundation for progress and accomplishing things. Also reward yourself as you accomplish small achievements towards your ultimate goal. This will motivate you to tackle mundane tasks head on. Knowing there is a reward in it for you will help motivate you. For example you can treat yourself to a special desert or latte.  Remember to look at things as establishing goals not chores. If things are perceived as chores you will not be motivated to move forward. Following these simple guidelines will help you in your journey towards attaining your goals and ignite the inner fire within you to keep driving forward. Good luck in your Journey!!
(LCSW-R, CLC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How Can I Find Meaning In My Life?

Unfortunately, your questions is one that has no simple answers.  Philosophers, Scholars and Religions have attempted to answer this question through the ages.  Meaning in life is a struggle that can vary in intensity depending our circumstances, environment, and history.  To your point, you seem to be making a lot of negative comparisons to people around you.  Although you may not realize that you are doing it, you are expressing that your life just isn't measuring up.   To be honest, there are plenty of people in much worse circumstances in life that would likely feel more comfortable walking in your shoes.  I'm sure that doesn't provide you with much comfort, but it might if you take a minute to think about it or act on it.  As cliched as it sounds, meaning in life is often directly linked to the people that share our lives.  Happiness is not often found by acquiring possessions, completing some career goal, or achieving some milestone.  True happiness is finding a way to feel comfortable in your own skin, helping and loving others, and being content with the things you have...not the things you want.   You mentioned in your post that you are not sure who you really are, so I think you might start there and explore that question more fully.  Was there a time in your life that you could answer this question easily?  If so, why?  If not, why not?  Self-awareness is one of the greatest feelings a person can achieve.  Sometimes it happens all on its own, but sometimes we need a little help to get there.   Helping others also provides a lot of people with a feeling of happiness, so maybe that might do the trick.  Often this works because it allows you to experience the joy of helping someone that is experiencing difficulty and make a difference in their lives.  Volunteer, be a mentor to a child in need, call an old friend and reconnect, or find something that makes you feel valued by another person. I hope that this reply can provide you with some thoughts to ponder, but mostly, I hope that you might feel better about all that you have done....not what you haven't done.  I wish you well.  
(LCSW)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I get over the overwhelming feelings of inadequacy and failure?

Hello and thanks for reaching out to Betterhelp for support. Based on what you have shared, it seems like growing up did not offer the validation and support you would have hoped for to recognize your worth and value in life. You grew up as the oldest child feeling like nothing you did was enough or acknowledged which makes it harder to be that person who has to provide validation for yourself as an adult. It sounds like even though your dad has not offered the verbal acknowledgment that you are on the right track, you are doing well for yourself! Finishing up your university studies in the next year or so, starting your own business, working on your mental health, etc. We are all responsible as adults for being our own internal cheerleaders and working to shift our internal dialogue from judgemental and critical to supportive and encouraging.    Think about the way that you communicate with yourself internally. Are you just as critical as you perceived your father to be? If so, challenge yourself from today forth to catch these unhelpful thoughts as they present and then visualize a Stop sign to remind yourself to pause on them. Then challenge yourself to identify a more appropriate/ productive replacement thought for what you are thinking about. By trying to make a cognitive shift, you are focusing on taking your power back and being the positive voice of reason to encourage motivation. Sometimes we take negativity to heart and have to be mindful and intentional with adding productivity. Just because you did not grow up speaking kind to yourself or hearing those encouraging words does not mean you can't create it for adulthood. If you choose to have a partner and family of your own, then you can possibly receive positive feedback from them as well. It all starts within you though because your relationship with yourself will always be the most valued one in your life. You are the only one who goes to sleep in your mind each night and you want to feel confident in your resilience as a person. You got this and you are worth it! 
(LMHC, CRC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How to get better at self-control?

Cory, you asked a very important question! Thank you for the courage it took to reach out and ask this question. To answer your question we need to look at two things: first is this a habit that I'm just trying to engage in more like healthier diet, exercise, yoga, saving money, etc. Or secondly is it that I don't have the ability to not engage in a negative behavior that is spiraling my life out of control. For the first set we can learn to set smaller goals  like "walk 1x week" instead of "gym 2 hrs a day 5 days a week." We can eat an elephant if we eat it one bite at a time. For the second group which would qualify as an addiction we have to look at what is driving the behaviors. Typically this can be an inability to express our thoughts & feelings to others, unhealed trauma and abuse, genetic propensity for addiction, or if we have learned to use this negative behavior as a coping skill when we feel lonely, angry, anxious or depressed..  Counseling can help both of these sets immensely because it helps us not only have someone to who we are accountable to it also helps us learn and practice better communication skills with. Counseling can also help us deal with trauma and abuse which results in shame and shame is usually the number one driver in any addiction or sense of low self-worth. Last but not least if we tend to self sabotage any success we could have in life or relationships we can identify these negative core beliefs and start changing them.      I hope this is answered your question adequately and I also hope that you're able to find a counselor that you feel comfortable with working towards your goals be it increasing positive habits which would benefit your life and or getting help to be free of addictions which could be negatively impacting your life and relationships. You have taken the first step by reaching out and asking this important question. At the end of the day you are worth achieving the life of your dreams!
(LPC-S, LCDC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

Why do I have such an issue with holding down a job for more than 6-12months?

Thank for reaching out to Better Help to help assist you in finding wholeness and getting better perspective on things that might be troubling you. I hear you have been feeling lack of motivation to do work at times. I also hear you feel like you have been cycling in your jobs, from getting really excited and going 100 miles an hour to kind of crashing and burning. This can be a difficult cycle to go through and have us feel like we are "running a treadmill" and not getting anywhere we want to be. To answer this question and help provide you some resolve we would first need to examine what was life like growing up for you. There reason this is important is because we need to identity where any possible negative seeds were planted in early childhood that could have contributed to this type of thought process in later years. Sometimes this can be due to unrealistic expectations being placed on us or self-imposed. Sometimes we might feel and extreme sense of wanting to be successful and please others, when we could be negating our own values and self-care. Life is more like a marathon and not a sprint. We need to be able to not only pace ourselves but also live our lives doing things we enjoy so it can also bring satisfaction in other areas of our lives like our careers and our relationships. Sometimes were chasing happiness in all the wrong places. In example is, if I feel like my job will bring me happiness and I reach the pinnacle and I'm still not happy I might look at myself as a failure or wonder why I'm feeling the way I'm feeling. In this instance it is because it's not career that would bring me happiness it's the other things that are on my values system. In therapy what will need to do is understand how past and how out thoughts, feelings, and actions are connected. Once we can identify the connection between our thoughts, feelings, and actions then we can work on challenging them.  
(LPC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I enjoy life right now and get motivated to participate in the development of my life?

Hello-   I'm so glad that you decided to reach out for support. Honestly that is half the battle and you should commend yourself for that victory no matter how small. First I would like to start off by saying this year has been difficult for so many of us and has a community as a whole. With that being said, it's not uncommon given the circumstances and you are most definitely not alone in the situation you are going through.  From what you are saying, I do believe you are suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression: the uselessness, being bored and overwhelmed. Ask yourself has this ever been a problem for me before or is this just in response to something? Either way I would encourage you to make sure that after you read this answer you seek to find support with a one on on therapist.   It most definitely be difficult when we see other people's excelling at what they set out to do- but with that being said, when possible is, allow that to be a part of the passion that drives you! Start small and map out or write down the things you believe you want to accomplish until the end of the year. If you are comfortable, I would recommend that you reach out to one of your friends who you know will keep you accountable and cheer you on in order to reach your goals and get out of this funk. Think about what are the things that makes you feel of use.  Before you set out to do anything, make sure you know exactly what you are working towards. I like to share SMART goals with my clients in order to help them make sure the things they are working on are clear and attainable.  Also if these symptoms are ones that have presented itself post COVID it may be important to go and chat with someone in order to debrief and chat about how not only the pandemic affected you but how much it has also impacted your motivation.  I would encourage you that even when you don't feel like it, go and take a walk in order to get some fresh air but also challenge yourself to being consistent on a daily basis. I would also love for you to think through the following: if I could wake up tomorrow and everything I was experiencing was fixed, what would those things be? How would my situation shift? This things may help you to put into perspective the way you would want to live; start there.   Untimely it does sound like you would benefit from the support of a licensed professional to maintain your consistency, motivation, and dedication.  I truly hope some of this was helpful.  All the best. Shaquala
Answered on 10/18/2021

I feel upset about life and I don’t know why

Hey Rey, thanks for sharing your truth and asking your question.  It's important to be mindful of what you can control vs what is outside of your control.  It seems that you are placing a lot of attention and energy on aspects of your life that is outside of your control (ex: no money, no motivation, living with your mom).  This is where you are currently, but not where you will always be.  I admire your ability to see how toxic things are around you and your desire to remove yourself from that situation.  You have everything you need to get what you want, it just won't happen will you want it to which is causing you more stress and anger.  Trying to control what's outside of your control.  My challenge to you is to start small by deciding to place more focus, energy and attention on what you can control instead of losing your cool over so many aspects in your life currently that are completely outside of your control.     What that looks like is taking advantage of the opportunities around you such as spending more time away from home, creating a new network of friends and supportive people that you can lean on.  Searching for a job or creating an exit strategy of how to escape living with mom and creating your own space that’s healthy and supportive.  The options and opportunities are endless you just have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.  In order to grow and change you have to be willing to be comfortable being uncomfortable and that’s when change will occur.  So in regards of your situation what are some uncomfortable things you’ve done or willing to do to find more balance and peace in your life? What can you begin to do differently to take care of you? How can you begin the process of investing in yourself and what you can control instead of investing in external things that are outside of your control?    Also consider how often you place your attention on “what if” scenarios instead of “what is” scenarios. Often times we develop the paralysis of analysis where we create so many stories and assumptions in our minds that may not be true but we make it true to us.  The what if is everything bad that can happen from making a decision.  If I think the outcome is bad then I will choose to do nothing, besides complain of course.  On the other end to focus on what if is to actually take risks and do things you’ve never done in order to get things you’ve never had.  Either way you get to choose! My challenge to you is from today moving forward choose yourself and choose wisely. 
(PhD, LPC, NCC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

What do you when there is no motivation to do anything?

Hello,   Everyone struggles with motivation issues sometime or another. The way you respond to this is what matters!  Be kind to yourself, experiment with strategies that increase your motivation, and ask for help if you need it.   You mention you struggle with letting go of past issues and being concerned about what people say and do - I can see how this may be impacting your motivation.   Whether you can lack motivation to meet up with friends or you are not feeling motivated to do attend to tasks - this can be a big obstacle in reaching your life goals.  When you lack motivation consider possible reasons why you are struggling. Then, develop a plan to help motivate yourself to tackle this.   Just know not every strategy works for everyone, in every situation.  See which strategy best helps you.   Lack of motivation can be a symptom of a bigger issue.  EG, if you are a perfectionist, your lack of motivation may be fear that you will not complete your task flawlessly.  Until you address this need to be perfect, your motivation is unlikely to increase.      It is important to consider why you might have trouble motivating yourself.   Common reasons for lack of motivation:    1. Avoidance of discomfort. Whether you do not want to feel bored doing the mundane, or you are trying to avoid feeling frustrated by dodging a tough challenge, sometimes a lack of motivation stems from a desire to avoid uncomfortable feeling.  Being let down in the past by friends and not wanting to take that chance again.   2. Self-doubt. When you think you cannot do something or are convinced you cannot tolerate distress you may struggle to get started.    I am curious if you are experiencing self-doubt when you mention not being able to let go of the past?  If so, seeking some professional counseling would be my best recommendation for you (see below).   3. Lack of commitment to a goal. Agreeing to a task because you felt obligated may mean your heart is not in it.  You are unlikely to take action when you are not committed to your goal.   4. Mental Health Issues. Lack of motivation is a common symptom of depression or anxiety.  Consider whether your mental health may be affecting your motivation level to move on from your past let downs.   If you are unable to let go of your past you may be experiencing some depression.  You might find your lack of motivation stems from other issues, like the fear of what people think or because you have been hurt in the past.  So carefully consider any underlying thoughts and feelings that are affecting your drive and if it is too much to manage by yourself - seek help (see below).   5. Act Like You Are Motivated   Try tricking yourself into feeling motivated by changing your behavior. Act as if you feel motivated -  your actions may change your emotions.  Ask yourself, “What would I be doing right now if I felt motivated?”   6. Argue the Opposite   When you are struggling with motivation, you may come up with reasons why you should not take action - EG., “I will get hurt".  This type of thought will keep you stuck.    When you think you may fail, argue all the reasons why you will succeed.  When you think "you cannot get past something" - list all evidence that shows the opposite.  It can remind you that an overly pessimistic outcome is not completely accurate.     7. Practice Self-Compassion   You might think being hard on yourself is the key to getting motivated. But harsh self-criticism does not work.   Self-compassion is much more motivating, especially when struggling with adversity.    Self-compassion may improve mental health - which can increase motivation. So rather than beat yourself up, create a kinder dialogue. Healthy self-compassion balances self-acceptance with self-improvement. Acknowledge your flaws, mistakes, and failures with honesty. But do not indulge in a pity party.  Ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who had this issue?” You are more likely to be kind to someone else than yourself - treat yourself like a good friend.   Coach yourself in a helpful manner. Practice self-talk that encourages recovery from setbacks, the past.   8. Exercise  Exercise does wonders for motivation.  Walking is known to have a calming effect on the brain - which helps motivate through tough times.   9. Pair a Dreaded Task With Something You Enjoy   Emotions play a huge part in motivation levels. If you are sad, stuck in the past, bored, lonely or anxious, your drive to tackle your challenge to let go will suffer.    Boost mood by adding fun to something you are not motivated to do. You may feel happier and you might even look forward to your challenge.    10. Manage Your To-Do List   Being over-extended. When you have a lot going on in life, you may feel overwhelmed - this feeling can zap motivation. It is tough to feel motivated when your to-do list is overwhelming. If you feel like there is no hope in ever getting a task done you might not try to do anything.  Review your list - determine if it is too ambitious. If so, shelve unessential tasks. Prioritize important things - move those to the top.  A small change in your list may help you to see tasks as manageable, then, you might feel motivated to get it done.    If your to-do list is related to letting go of your past - break the big issue into smaller, achievable steps.   11. Practice Self-Care   You may struggle with motivation when not caring for yourself. Sleep-deprivation, poor diet, and lack of leisure time are a few things that can make getting through a difficult day.   12. Create a Self-Care Plan: Exercise regularly. Get adequate sleep. Drink water, eat a healthy diet. Make time for leisure and fun. Use healthy coping skills to manage stress. Avoid unhealthy habits, like binge eating, drinking excess alcohol.   13. Rewards for Achieving Create small rewards that you earn for taking a positive step EG. to call a friend. Focusing on the reward may help to motivate you to reach your goal.   Experiment with a few strategies until you discover the best for you.    14. Seek Help   If motivation remains low for more than 2 weeks, or your lack of motivation affects daily functioning consider seeking professional help.  EG,  you are unable to go to work, work performance is suffering, or you are unmotivated to leave the house - these may indicate something more significant is going on.   Consider a mental health professional to determine if your lack of motivation might be related to poor self-worth resulting in depression. If so, treatment may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.   Consider online counseling options to address any underlying issues and tackle why your struggle to find motivation and why you cannot let go.  I suspect they are closely related.   In Kindness, Gaynor                                                                                                 
(MA, LCSW)
Answered on 10/18/2021

What do I do to better my situation

Hi Johnny, I can see from your request for some guidance that you might be feeling in a rut with your life.  I would like to offer you a different perspective to consider today. Life Is An Experiment Look at your entire life as an opportunity to experiment. With each new experience, learn something about yourself. Notice what you are drawn to and what you do not like. With your next experiment, do more of what you are drawn to. There is no such thing as “failure” if you are experimenting. You are always learning.  If you are not sure what to do next, just do something – anything.  Action brings learning and more actions.  It doesn’t matter which direction you choose. Try many things - some may work, some may not. You may learn a lot about yourself in the process. Whatever you choose to do, consider something that feels right for you and pushes you a little out of your comfort zone.  No need to worry about making other people happy. It is your job to live your own life and make yourself happy.  There is no race or finish line.  Experiment to discover your unique gifts and find ways of sharing them with the world. That is your only job. Expectations Are the Root of All Unhappiness - consider dropping any expectations that you may have or that you think others have of you. Unmet expectations create most negative emotions. How would you love to spend your days?  The way the world works these days it maybe possilbe to find a way to make a living in more creative and uniques ways. A Google search may reveal others who are already doing what you dream of.  Reach out and connect with those people.    Being “successful” doesn’t mean having lots of money, a “good job,” a big house and so on.  Those are stories that our culture soemtimes perpetuates yet has often been proven to be false. Success can mean, first and foremost, loving and accepting yourself just as you as right now.  Success means loving what you do and using the gifts that you were born with to help others. Simple Steps to Create Your Own Amazing Life: 1. Help other people If you’re struggling to figure out what to do with the rest of your life, my initial suggestion is to stop focusing on yourself and all that is going wrong or is wrong with you!  Find people who you can help. What are you good at that you take for granted?  What are things that others compliment you on that you think are “no big deal.”  Those are your gifts.  Find ways to share them. 2. Find your happiness My next suggestion would be to find the happiness that is buried inside you. Let it out.  Avoid telling yourself that you cannot be happy until everything falls perfectly into place.  Even if that happened, the happiness would be fleeting. Being happy is a decision.  It does not matter what your situation is.  In every moment, you’re choosing how you feel.  Practice mindfulness by taking a deep breath and noticing how you feel in the moment.  Do you want to feel that way?  If not, make a new choice. 3. Let go of expectations Feeling like you have let others down is a story you tell yourself.  I am guessing that it is probably not working very well for you. How about writing a new story that creates more positive feelings in your life?  If others are telling you that you have let them down, ask yourself if you happily agreed to live up to their expectations.  Trying to live up to others’ expectations is hard to achieve.  It is the sure-fire path to unhappiness. You cannot make other people happy.  Your job is to make you happy and that comes from inside. If you say, “I’ll be happy when….” then you’ll never be happy.  Smile a big smile right now and hold it for at least 30 seconds, even if (especially if) you do not feel like doing it - weird as it seems, it can work wonders.  Do that a few times a day, every day. 4. Express gratitude Find things to be grateful for throughout your day and write them down. Carry a journal or record them in your phone somewhere. Things you can be grateful for now: You have people in your life who love you; You are free to change jobs; You are alive and healthy; You are free to start over and make new choices whenever you want You have eyes with which you can see the sky, clouds and people around you; You have food, clean water and clothes. Whenever you see something beautiful, say “thank you” for the opportunity to experience that little bit of beauty.  If you are grateful for something about another person, let them know.  Do not assume that they already know.  You might make their day. 5. Experiment while you at a job you are not happy with or while you are not working and have plenty of time on your hands, experiment a little every day.  Journal your innermost thoughts.  Ask yourself lots of good questions like - What Should I Do With My Life?  Consider taking classes that interest you, not ones you think will lead to a job. Moving from where you are to a different place in your mindset is unlikely to happen overnight.  It happens when you decide to make changes. Take small steps each day toward how you want your life to be.  Experiment.  Some days will be better than others. Keep taking consistent small steps in a direction you choose and allow your happiness and satisfaction to grow. You might want to explore seeking a counsellor who is experienced with working with life changes and understands where you are coming from.  They are out there and would I feel sure would enjoy working with you as you explore your potential and help you to find something that you consider of value and want get you on the path to experiement with your life. Best of luck, Gaynor
(MA, LCSW)
Answered on 10/18/2021

I feel low and high all the time i cant able to maintain it , and high only for some time ?

Good evening Noob,  It sounds like you're very competitive and that you get pleasure out of doing better than other people but that you also add pressure to your life. You asked about ways that you can manage that trait so that you can improve your overall functioning.  First of all, I would encourage you to reflect on why you are wanting to be better than other people. What motivates you? Are you driven to be the best? Has there been a time in your life when you struggled or didn't do well? What happens when you fail? What coping mechanisms do you possess to cope with loss and defeat?  Secondly, what does winning or doing better than other people mean to you? Do you derive pleasure from outdoing the competition? Do you feel happy and for how long? Do you ever experience feelings of emptiness when you have reached a milestone? Are you capable of feeling grateful for your accomplishments?  Thirdly, why do you think that being competitive prevents you from living your life seriously? Does your competitive nature distracts you from reaching your goals? Are you having a hard time staying focused and following through?  It is understandable that someone who is competitive might experience setbacks in various domains if he or she cares more about winning that gaining a sense of enjoyment. The quality of one's life can be measured through accomplishments but also through the ability to take a minute to reflect on one's practices and journey.  Competition is good as it helps individuals grow but it can become toxic if people care more about being on top than having a good quality of life. There are many things that one can do to improve their overall life enjoyment:  1. Becoming mindful and be in the present moment.  2. Taking a minutes to fully celebrate oneself not only for winning but also for participating.  3. Learning to derive pleasure and happiness from being part of the experience regardless of the outcome.  4. Finally becoming flexible and willing to redirect one's energy and goals to grow and learn new things.  I wish you well and I hope that my answer will satisfy you.  Have a good evening!
Answered on 10/18/2021