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  • Melanie Lopes, MFT

Finding Inspiration

new ideas

Have you been feeling stuck in a rut? Bored? Stagnant? In need of a change or a spark of some kind?

You’re in need of some inspiration.

The thing is, when you’re feeling stuck, your energy and motivation can be low, and this can lead you to take a more passive approach - hoping that inspiration will just miraculously come to you.

At the same time, you can get caught up in fear, doubt, uncertainty, or a sense of urgency, where you think that you need to you have it all figured out right now.

But of course, those feelings, beliefs, and expectations can keep you stuck and set up obstacles to inspiration.

So how can you shift out of negative thinking and stuck energy and find your inspiration?

Let’s start by taking a look at what it means to feel inspired. The word inspire comes from the Latin word for breath so to be inspired is to take in a breath. You can think of inspiration as breathing in vitality and a creative energy that leaves you feeling energized, motivated, excited, and enthusiastic.


You feel the most inspired when you can…

  • Set aside negative and fear-based thinking

  • See the potential

  • Believe that it is possible and

  • Believe that you are capable of making it happen

And although you may have had the experience of inspiration that seems to come of out nowhere, there are some key actions you can take to pave the way toward inspiration and tap into the enthusiasm and creativity needed to propel you forward.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Go with what you know.

Think about what has inspired you in the past – when was the last time you had a really good idea, a solution to a problem, or when you felt excited or motivated to get started on something? What inspired you? What factors contributed to the inspiration?

Perhaps you received encouragement from someone, or you witnessed someone overcome a challenge or work really hard to accomplish a goal. Or maybe you heard a song or a listened to a podcast or saw something really beautiful. Thinking back on what’s given you that spark in the past can give you some clues as to how you can find some inspiration now.

Take a break and clear your mind.

Have you heard people say that they get their best ideas while in the shower? This is because a shower is a calming activity that allows you to step away from the world for a few moments and relax. When you can take a break from your problems, worries, and challenges, you can clear your mind, and this allows for new ideas and solutions to bubble to the surface.

Meditation is a great way to help clear your mind. For access to FREE guided meditations, follow me on the meditation app Insight Timer! CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT.

Change your scenery and get perspective.

Step away from what you’ve been focused on or go outside to get some fresh air. Spend some time in nature, if you can. It’s even better if you can go somewhere with an expansive view to give yourself a visual reminder that the world is much bigger than you and the challenges in front of you.

Play, enjoy yourself, and laugh.

Get out of your rut and do something silly or playful or spend some time with children to spark your imagination and playful spirit. Doing something enjoyable and seeing the humor in things also helps clear your mind, lift your mood, and allows you to think outside of the box and see more of what’s possible.

Get creative.

Let go of any ideas that you’re “not a creative person” and remember that creativity is simply the ability to make something new or think of new ideas. We all have this ability. Brainstorm and write out any ideas that come to you or devote some time for creative expression – drawing, painting, writing, dancing, or whatever you’re drawn to - and don’t worry about how it looks or what other people might think of it, just allow yourself to create something.

Turn to other people’s tales of resilience, hope, and inspiration.

Whether it’s watching a movie or a documentary, reading a book, or simply listening to someone’s story of achievement or overcoming hardship, you can be inspired by other people’s inspirational stories.

Connect with inspiring and motivated people.

Be in contact with people who have similar goals, those who have achieved their goals and those who are motivated to achieve them. Find a mentor, a mastermind group, or a support group of peers where you can share ideas and successes.

Manage your expectations.

It may be that you are hoping for some monumental and life-changing inspiration to come your way, and in the meantime, you are disregarding the smaller moments of inspiration that show up. If you shift your expectation of what inspiration will look like and how it will show up, and you start to recognize the smaller moments of inspiration, you may find that inspiration is easier to come by than you once thought.

And along the lines of managing expectations, it’s important to remember to be patient. The truth is, there are times when you just aren’t going to feel inspired. Applying pressure on yourself to find immediate inspiration can cloud your thinking and add unnecessary stress to your life. In the meantime, don’t give up or passively wait for inspiration to come to you. Try to do something to meet it half way (and yes, taking a break to clear your mind counts!).

"When inspiration doesn't come, I go halfway to meet it."

~Sigmund Freud



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