What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Showing Up

7min read
European arena ruins
Multi-passionate Creative

In the pursuit of our goals, there are days when motivation seems elusive, and our inner drive falters. Perhaps we’re tired that day. Maybe we fell into the trap of comparison or are fearful of what others will think of you pursuing your goals. Or we could just be stuck. It’s during these challenging moments that showing up becomes all the more crucial. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of showing up for your goals, even when you don’t feel like it, and share some practical ways to motivate yourself to take that essential step forward.

The Man in the Arena

Showing up consistently, especially when your enthusiasm wanes, is a testament to your dedication and determination. It’s acknowledging that even in moments of doubt or fatigue, you’re willing to face challenges head-on and keep pushing towards your dreams.

One of my favorite writings about this idea to keep showing up, this powerful call to courage and resilience, is called “Citizenship In A Republic” which was a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 during a European tour. Commonly referred to as “The Man in the Arena,” Roosevelt emphasized the importance of being an active participant in society, willing to contribute to the greater good and embrace challenges instead of being a mere spectator or a passive critic. In the same way, it is important to contribute to your great goals instead of living life passively on the sidelines.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

“The Man in the Arena,” Theodore Roosevelt

This famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt reminds us that it’s not the critics or bystanders who matter but the individual in the arena. You are the protagonist of your journey, and your efforts are what truly count.

Ways to Build Motivation

But what if you don’t feel like showing up? What if you just can’t get yourself moving? These times are going to come often. It’s not a sign to give up. It’s a sign to fight through. Below are some simple ways to help you get unstuck and build some new motivation:

  1. Go for a walk outside: Stepping outside, even for a brief stroll, can clear your mind and invigorate your spirit. Nature has a way of rejuvenating us, sparking new ideas, and offering a fresh perspective on our goals.
  2. Go to a coffee shop: Sometimes, a change of environment can make a world of difference. Head to a coffee shop, treat yourself to your favorite beverage, and immerse yourself in a more stimulating atmosphere to rekindle your motivation.
  3. Make a to-do list: Break down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks, and create a to-do list. I encourage you to limit your to-do-list to just five items in order to not get overwhelmed. Crossing off items as you complete them will give you a sense of accomplishment and momentum to keep going. If you’re in need of a to-do planner, you can download free daily planner sheets one on BrandRoots.
  4. Listen to music: Music has the power to uplift your spirits and energize your mind. Create a playlist of motivational songs that resonate with your aspirations and play them whenever you need that extra boost.
  5. Reach out to someone: Don’t underestimate the power of support from others. Reach out to a friend, mentor, or fellow goal-pursuer to share your aspirations and seek encouragement. Having someone to lean on during challenging times can make all the difference.
  6. Reflect on gratitudes: Gratitudes are a great way to remind yourself of positive events. The uplifting emotions of remembered and felt through gratitudes can give you a boost of energy to take on your first task with confidence. If you haven’t wrote gratitudes before, you can download a free weekly reflection sheet on BrandRoots to give it a try.
  7. Surround Yourself with Strong Work Ethics: Surrounding yourself with individuals who have strong work ethics can be a powerful motivator in pursuing your goals. Their passion and dedication are contagious, pushing you to show up consistently and give your best even on challenging days.
  8. Schedule a Work Block: Set a consistent time to show up. Put it in your calendar. Even if you only put in five minutes during that slot because that’s all you have to give, show up. Just keep showing up. Once you get started you’re very likely to keep going.
  9. Get an Accountability Partner: Sometimes you need a nudge. Find someone who can provide this for you. Whether it be checking in with someone through in-person meetings, Zoom, or text, get someone important to you on your side. You won’t want to let them down, and you won’t want to let yourself down.

Remember, the journey towards your goals may not always be smooth. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard, and I’ve been in more moments of not feeling like showing up more than I care to count; but the act of showing up is an invaluable act of self-belief and commitment. Embrace the spirit of “The Man in the Arena” and dare to persist even when the odds seem daunting. By incorporating small motivational actions into your routine, you can stay inspired and focused on your path, inching ever closer to your dreams. So, show up, be persistent, and let your passion guide you to a fulfilling amazing goals.

Explore More

Maria Gosur is a multi-passionate creative who loves to learn, design, make a difference and inspire others to do the same. With education and experience in all areas of creative work, Maria is passionate about sharing her knowledge and encouragement to others who are trying to expand their skills, pursue big goals, and be a resilient creative.