You thought you'd feel more alive, excited, enthusiastic than you do. You used to feel enthused about the thing you're working on, the goal, the job, the project, but somehow your enthusiasm waned and you're left with... well, a pile of work you don't really want to do.
What to do?
You either need to find another way to bring it to life again or back out of the commitment.
Get fully in or get fully out.
Enthusiasm is the word we use when we feel positive expectation of something we are working on going well and we feel motivation to do the work required to make it happen.
It provides us with the fuel to get through the uncomfortable bits that are inherent with any task, goal or project.
If you're working on something that you used to feel good about, excited about, enthusiastic the sooner you can have a solid conversation with yourself about your lack of enthusiasm, the better.
Do you want to ditch the thing: the goal, the project or the job?
Or do you want (or need to) find a way to stay with it?
There might be any number of reasons why you want to ditch the thing.
Maybe you said 'yes' for the wrong reasons. Maybe you thought you wanted to do this thing but once you started you realised it wasn't really for you. Maybe your life circumstances changed and something much bigger and more important showed up and you would much prefer to put your time and energy into that instead.
There could be a million good, legitimate, totally sensible reasons you no longer want to do the thing and sometimes it is more sensible to walk away from something than see it through. Sometimes seeing something through may actually hurt you and your precious body because that deflated feeling is your body saying, "I don't have the energy to do this thing. Don't make me."
Only you will know if that's true.
If you're feeling this way--you're lacking enthusiasm and you do want to give up on the thing but you're struggling to do so--then you might like to check in with yourself about who you might upset if you were to walk away from the said thing.
I say this because I've seen, over and over again in my coaching practice that, for most people, this is the number one thing that makes them keep pushing when they really don't have the genuine desire to do that thing anymore.
And sometimes you might really want to persevere with the thing you started.
I know when I was training for ultra marathons several years ago my enthusiasm to do the training required often waned. But I wanted to do these races, I just had to find a way to rediscover enough enthusiasm to do enough training that I wouldn't hurt myself (by undertraining for such hard races).
At other times, or in other situations, you might need to stick with the thing.
Maybe it's a job you don't like but you can't quit until you find something better because that's how you feed your family. If so, this is a totally legitimate reason to stick with something even if you really don't feel like it.
Whether you want or need to stick with the thing but you're feeling deflated (i.e. lacking that enthusiasm you once had) then the solution is the same:
Find your "why". That is:
- Why do you want to continue doing the thing?
- Why is it important to you to continue?
- What will keeping this commitment bring into your life (or allow you to keep having or doing)?
Yes, these questions are designed to manufacture enthusiasm and it's not as ideal as spontaneously and organically just feeling enthusiastic without even trying. But if you have to use your clever mind to find a way to re-create some enthusiasm, it will sure as heck feel better than going through life feeling deflated every time you need to do that thing.