Patient care. ICD-10 coding. Insurance billing. Marketing. Repaying student loans. Staff management.
Equipment maintenance. Meetings. Electronic health record documentation. HIPAA compliance. Paying taxes. Continuing education. With all these tasks plus the demands of a household, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated. It can sometimes seems like you’re expending every ounce of energy just to keep your head above water.
If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Too much stress can cause even the most driven person to lose their focus and motivation. Once motivation wanes, it’s hard to find the energy and internal resources to get back on track. But there are some simple ways to regain your motivation so you can build the practice of your dreams.
What is low motivation?
Low energy, procrastination, and loss of interest are obvious indicators of decreased motivation. However, being passive, not making decisions, feeling trapped or misunderstood, and having low self-esteem are also traits of those with low motivation.
Demotivated people often experience high levels of stress, stagnation, and frustration, and may feel like they can’t get out of their own way. Of course, some of these feelings may come before the decreased motivation (a chicken- or-the-egg scenario), but either way they can continue to feed a negative pattern of behavior.
Some common causes of low motivation are uncertainty (in one’s skills, abilities, and education), feelings of insecurity, and fear of failure. You must figure out where your demotivation is coming from before you can address the cause and turn it around. This may involve some soul-searching and brutal honesty on your part, but once you’ve figured out why you’re losing enthusiasm, you can begin the process of regaining it.
Reignite your passion
First, rediscover your passion. Take some time to consider why you decided to become a chiropractor. What drew you to the profession? Did a chiropractor help someone you love? Did chiropractic change your life? Did you just want to make a difference in the lives of others and this is the path you chose?
For so many chiropractors, a personal experience with chiropractic led them to enter chiropractic school. Remember how you felt at that time—the energy, the passion, and the excitement? How is where you are now different from the career you dreamed of all those years ago? You need to bring those two paths closer together.
Remember why you do what you do. In other words, what’s your purpose? If you feel like you don’t have one, consider this quote by Richard Bach: “Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.” We all have a purpose in life—we just need to recognize it.
Once you’ve remembered your passion for chiropractic and you’ve determined your purpose, there are many tangible things you can do to keep your momentum. A few suggestions: Learn something, such as a new adjusting technique, a new language, or a martial art. Set two or three short- term, realistic, and attainable goals. As you meet these goals you’ll be encouraged to do more.
Find positive role models and mentors who can help keep you motivated. Join a mastermind group to hold yourself accountable. Rebrand your office to reflect changes in your services or purpose, or just to give your practice a fresh look. Admittedly, getting started can be the most difficult part of regaining your motivation. Once you begin the mental process above, you can also start working on the second phase.
Recharge your batteries
We all have different likes, dislikes, and hobbies. Therefore, the things that replenish one person’s energy reserves may be draining to another. Make a list of the things and activities that bring you joy or help you to feel at peace. And incorporate more of them into your life. You may have to start small by adding one enjoyable activity a day or week and build from there.
To help you get started: Spend some time in nature, play with your pet, give a hug, read a book to feed your mind, turn off the TV, plan (and take) a vacation, get a massage, get adjusted, read to your child, take a bubble bath, stop watching the news, go for a drive, meditate, take a fitness class, go dancing, splurge on a favorite dessert, take a nap, listen to a podcast, watch a TED talk, go to a movie, watch a sunrise or sunset, do some deep breathing, go shopping, start a gratitude journal, or volunteer for a worthy cause.
As you’re adding positive activities to your life, remove those things that cause you stress. For example, toxic relationships, commitments that drain your energy, a long commute, or inept staff.
Recognize when you need help
Everyone has times when they need a little boost from someone else. Perhaps you need a coach, a mentor, additional staff, a marketing consultant, or a practice management company.
Decrease your stress and increase your productivity and motivation by figuring out what tasks you can outsource or delegate. Of course, a lack of motivation could be a sign of something more serious such as depression. If that’s the case, professional help may be necessary.
In summary, once you recognize the signs of demotivation, explore where it comes from and take steps to address the root cause. Reignite your fire by reconnecting with your passion and
purpose and take action to generate enthusiasm. Recharge your batteries by taking care of yourself and doing things that bring you joy, peace, and relaxation while eliminating stressors. Finally, recognize when you need help to get to the next level.
In the whole history of humankind, there has never been another person with your unique combination of skills, experiences, and training. You have something spectacular to share with the world—get out there and do it.
Kelley Mulhern (Pendleton), DC, is a healthcare marketing consultant, professional speaker, and the author of Community Connections! Relationship Marketing for Healthcare Professionals. She uses her expertise to help other healthcare professionals build the practices—and lives— of their dreams. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through email@example.com.