• Audrey Prisk

5 Ways to Reignite Inspiration When Work Sucks

inspiration for work
Photo by Leon

Ambitious souls go through seasons. Dry patches, overflows, and ah-ha moments dot and color the landscape of life for entrepreneurs, artists, and anyone making their way in a career. So, what happens when a couple of dry patches turns into a dry spell? Let’s talk about ways to go after fresh inspiration when it’s hard to come by.

Make something that sucks

Get that awful rough draft out of your system. Sometimes, the fear of making something “bad” chokes out the possibility of what comes after.

Write it, and then write it again.

Design it, and then re-design it.

Surrendering to the process of mastery yields a better, more fine-tuned product and gives way for the freedom to freely create, bringing new life to tired places.

Replace hopeful thinking with hopeful vision

How are your inner thoughts influencing your performance? Are you relying on affirmation from others to be the blood supply to your own inventive heart?

Time for a transfusion.

Steve Backlund, Senior Associate Director at Igniting Hope, shared five bible-based affirmations that can kickstart life-changing beliefs.

Do something you've never done

Take yourself out for a multi-course meal without your phone. Book a weekend in a city that you’ve never explored. Ask your closest group of friends deep and meaningful questions and share your own answers. Nothing gets inspiration pumping through your system like doing something unfamiliar or outside your comfort zone.

Find what that adventure might be for you and see how a renewed sense of human experience leads you to unexpected discoveries.

Move your body

Prioritize exercise. On Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith and Christina made a habit of “dancing it out” after long hard shifts.

We all know that exercise produces endorphins and endorphins make you happy. If you don’t have the time or the freedom to hit the gym at any point in your day, try making a game of moving:

  • 10 squats every time the phone rings

  • calf raises in between calls

  • a walk around the office for every 30 minutes of sitting

If you’re really having a “day”, close the door and dance it out. If you have Bluetooth headphones, they’re practically begging you for a silent disco moment.

Take a break

You’re not going to like this one, but try taking a break. A real break. Set a timer and walk away. It may seem counterproductive to finding inspiration, but what all of the above options have in common is that they bring life to the other areas of your life so that you can come back to work with a clearer vision for what you are doing.

Studies show that taking a break actually restores your motivation. "We propose that deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused," psychology professor Alejandro Lleras told Psychology Today.

In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

What are you doing now that is not causing a revolution in your heart? Re-discovering inspiration should feel like play. It should feel like waking up to what has been stagnant and doing something revolutionary - it’s a hard realization that simple things like taking a break, moving your body, and granting permission for crappy rough drafts to come out of you are revolutionary, but sometimes being called back to where we started is the fertile ground inspiration is waiting to spring forth from.

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