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5 Actions to Get Your Mojo Back

5 Actions to Get Your Mojo Back

“If you look at the world one way what, it takes from you – it’s a thief of time, energy and your creative mojo. But if you look at the world another way, it gives you an endless supply of motivation” Julianna Baggott

When you have your mojo, your view of  the world is positive, optimistic and hopeful. You are full of energy and have an endless supply of motivation. You have your spark in life and people feel it and are attracted to you.

The reality however is, at some point in your life, you will lose your mojo. How long you lose your mojo for depends on how long it takes you to figure out how to get it back. For some of us, it can be a matter of a few days and for others, it can be months or years.

The reason why it takes so long for many of us to get our mojo back is because we don’t know how to or even where to start.

To get your mojo back into your life, you have to be prepared to change the way you think and the way you do things. This all takes energy and motivation and you don’t have much of either when your spark in life has gone out.

I know this to be true because this was how I felt when I lost my mojo about three years ago. When I lost my job for the 3rd time in 18 months, I lost my mojo big time – no energy, no self-belief, and no self-confidence. For about 6 months I was miserable and I shut myself away from the world. I was still functioning in life but my “spark’ had gone. I did not feel alive inside.

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I like to think I am an optimist and I like the feeling of being energised and hopeful about life. After spending six months of my life feeling the opposite, I realised that if I didn’t get my mojo back, my quality of life would be bleak.

I decided to take action to get my mojo back in my life. I knew it was going to be hard work because the biggest obstacle I had to overcome on this journey was going to be me.

I have a record of giving up when the going gets tough, so I decided that I would focus on bringing back into my life six positive feelings that I had lost along with my mojo. These five actions below brought back into my life, energy, a positive attitude, hope, optimism, a sense of purpose and joy. This is what I did to get my mojo back.

1. I Got Active – This Creates Energy

I have always been an active person and attended the gym regularly. I gave up all physical activity when I lost my mojo.

I once read an article that said that the key to sustaining motivation with any type of physical activity is to focus on doing an activity that you enjoy. The article then went on to say that once you identify that activity you enjoy, write down and memorise the 5 benefits/feelings you get when you do the activity or exercise.

The next thing you do is: when you are about to start this particular activity you say “I am going to____ and I feel_______________” Name five feelings/benefits.

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When you finish the activity, recite the same 5 benefits/feelings starting with “ I have completed my ______ and I feel_______.” I look forward to doing  ________ on_____” (you name the specific day and time you will do the activity).

This is what I did to help me get back to the gym and yoga. I needed a strategy to help me get started and this worked. I have never looked back and yoga definitely was a huge help in getting my mojo back.

2. I Changed My Thoughts – This Creates A Positive Attitude

The conscious and subconscious minds operate at different levels. The conscious mind is your logic and reasoning. It controls your actions and intentions of the present moment. Your subconscious mind, however, controls your emotions and it is also where all your beliefs and memories are stored.

My conscious mind knew I had to get my mojo back but my subconscious mind stored the beliefs and emotions that supported the fact that I had lost my mojo. For me, to get my mojo back, I had to get my conscious and subconscious mind aligned because if I didn’t, my mojo was never coming back.

Again, I decided not to over-complicate things and so I came up with a practical way where I could start to work toward having alignment with my thinking and my actions.

Every time I had to choose between doing or thinking something that would help me get my mojo back or something that would block me from getting my mojo back, I would ask myself this one question;

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“Is this decision/choice/action/thought/attitude going to get me closer to my goal of getting my mojo back or further away?”

I found this to be a powerful question that helped me to align my conscious and subconscious minds so that they were on the same page. As a result, I felt more positive about life and my thinking and attitude reflected this as well. This, without a doubt, was key to me believing that I could get my mojo back and sustain it in my life forever.

3. I Connected With People Who Had Mojo –This Creates Hope and Optimism

I am very lucky in my life as I have wonderful friends and family who I know love and support me. I realised however that for me to get my mojo back I needed to be with people who lived their lives embracing their mojo.

I set myself a challenge that twice a week, I would engage with someone who I didn’t know but felt they had mojo. The mojo qualities I looked for in people were those such as energy, enthusiasm, positivity, and motivation and had a joyful attitude about life.

This was an amazing experience. I met some incredible people who truly lived inspiring lives. They came from all walks of life. I learnt about gratitude and the gift of life. The more contact I had with people who embraced their mojo, the more energised, optimistic and hopeful I felt about my future.

4. I Clarified My Life Priorities – This Creates A Sense Of Purpose

Writing down what is important to you in your life helps you get clarity about how you want to live your life. When I wrote down my life priorities, next to each one I wrote down one feeling that I felt belonged with that life priority. For example, one of my life priorities that comes at the top of the list is FAMILY and the feeling I put next to it is LOVE.

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I looked at my list every day and, over time, I began to realise that the more I focused on what was important in my life, the easier it was for me to commit to getting my mojo – my spark back in my life. This action was so important when taking up the challenge to get my mojo back, as it gave me with a sense of purpose in my life and also clarity and focus.

5. I Went And Had Fun – This Creates Feelings of Joy and Happiness

When you have lost your mojo, it is so easy to spend days in the doldrums feeling miserable for yourself. Doing any kind of activity, even if you like doing it, is often too hard. All elements of laughter and fun soon disappear from your life.

I certainly felt like this when I lost my mojo. Even though I didn’t like living my life this way, for a long time, I had no energy to do anything about it. One morning, out of the blue, it hit me. I realised that if I didn’t do something about changing my life for the better, I had to accept that living a joyful and happy life was not going happen. At that moment, I decided to do an activity that brought me joy – having a coffee with my best friend. I rang her up and went to have coffee that afternoon.

When I got home, I wrote a list of 30 activities that I loved doing and brought me joy. Every day for the next 30 days, I worked my way through my list and guess what came back into my life? The feelings of joy and happiness. Over the month, I learnt how to appreciate the gift of joy and happiness in the present moment. The more aware I became of the joyful, fun and happy moments, the more joy and happiness came into my life. That was when I felt my mojo was back!

Getting your mojo back is critical for your quality of life. Your physical health and emotional well-being are under threat if you don’t start to take action to get your mojo back into your life. These 5 actions helped me get my mojo back and I hope in a small way, they help you to take action to get your mojo back into your life forever.

More by this author

Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

How to Be Patient and Take Charge of Your Life What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For? How Continuous Improvement Can Enhance Your Personal Life 10 Emotional Regulation Skills for a Healthier Mind How to Always Choose Happiness Even During Tough Times

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

You know how this looks:

  • Parents constantly comparing children.
  • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Adultery…
  • And many others.

For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

How to fix a dysfunctional family

In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

Dysfunctional… Or just average?

Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of interest and time spent together
  • Sexism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unequal or unfair treatment
  • Disrespect towards boundaries
  • Control Issues
  • Jealousy
  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

How to turn it around

When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

Correction is possible

In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

Verbalize it.

All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

Putting it to work in real life

In real life it would be something like this:

“OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

Or:

“Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

Or:

“Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

This is what you have to remember:

1-Stop.

2-Why it’s wrong?

3-What you need.

And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

It’s a family thing

A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

In other words, you will need cooperation…

So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

It’s not a free-for-all battle

In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

The method

1. Drop the ego

Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

2. Not blame, but responsibility

When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

You will do something like this:

“Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

What happened here?

We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

3. Doing the work

What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

“When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

Love is all you need

You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

And what happens if it simply is not there?

What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

There is only one thing you can do:

To break away.

Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

“We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

Putting distance

So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

What do I mean?

Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

I choose my peace of mind.

And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

How to prevent it

There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

  • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
  • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

Priorities and clear thought

You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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