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Five ways to inspire yourself at work.

By Ruth Tearle

dont-pushHow do you inspire yourself at work when you are feeling bored, demotivated, irritated or just weary? How can you motivate yourself when your work life is a series of boring meetings and mind numbing tasks? What do you do, if your boss has a habit of finding fault with whatever you do and the people you are working with are negative, cynical or obstructive? How do you survive in an energy depleting culture filled with blaming, excuses and constant frustrations?

Being a working person, trapped in an office environment, means you can't just travel to some exotic location to find inspiration. And maybe the often quoted techniques of meditation and positive affirmations don't appeal to your pragmatic nature. If this is the case here are five practical ways you can motivate yourself at work.

1. Switch off - for a few minutes.

Inspiration needs space. For a few moments, switch off your cell phone. Shut your laptop. Move away from negative people who make you feel weary or irritated. Find a place where you can be alone with our own thoughts.

Get comfortable and let go.

  • Let go feelings of anger or betrayal.
  • Let go irritations about what others should or should not be doing.
  • Let go anger about what is and isn't fair.
  • Let go expectations about what should or shouldn't be.

Empty your mind of everything that has been bothering you. Your focus for the next few minutes is on you - and nothing else. You have now created an environment for inspiration at work.

2. Build your own confidence

The best friend of motivation is self confidence So think, feel and act in ways that builds your confidence.

  • Think about someone at work who inspires you. Someone who makes you feel good about yourself. What do they say to you that made you feel good?
  • Think of your biggest achievements or accomplishments of your life. How did you start your journey to success? What obstacles did you have to overcome? How did you feel at the beginning of your journey? How did you feel at the end? What does that accomplishment say about you?
  • Make a list of your strengths. Now think of someone who inspires you. Someone wise, who looks at things from a different viewpoint. If they had to make a list of your strengths, what would they say?
  • What is the best compliment you have ever been given?

3. Energize yourself - think differently.

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but…for the eye which sees the possible.

Gerald Lai.


The best friend of inspiration is energy and enthusiasm. To energize yourself, experiment with new beliefs. You can find new inspiring beliefs in articles, in quotations or words of wisdom, in books, in positive affirmations or in motivational cards.


  • Read motivational articles such as those recommended at the end of this article.
  • Take a set of motivational cards and pick a card at random.
    Think about the unleash-the-magicmessage on the card.
    How can apply the message to your work or life right now?
  • Now go through the set of cards. Find a card that 'speaks to you.' Why do you like the card you've chosen?
  • Instead of concentrating on what is wrong - think about what is right with your world. What is good about today?
  • Think of your life as a story. What chapters have already been written? What chapter are you now in? If the next chapter of your life were to be the happiest chapter so far in your life story, what themes would it cover?
  • Look at what is happening around you with a different lens. If you were a writer, what would you find interesting about how people around you are acting? See everything you are experiencing as a valuable part of work experience. Buy a blank journal and start recording what is happening to you at work on a daily basis, and how you feel. Then as you get insights, record those too.

4. Energize yourself - feel differently.

  • Play or sing your favorite song.
  • Think about when you last felt happy. Try to remember what made you feel joyful. Where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing? What were you talking about? What made you feel good about yourself? Try to recapture the feeling of happiness.

5. Energize yourself - act differently.

  • Meet different people. Go out of your office or cubicle. Go into an area of your building that you don't usually visit. Meet someone new. Talk to them. Find out what they are doing. Offer them a magic card and watch how they respond. Go outside of your building. Watch what is happening outside. Pretend you are from another planet, and watch people moving with a new perspective. Greet anyone you see, and watch how they respond.
  • Do something that allows you to grow.

    blackboard wisdom cards

    • Do something that requires an act of courage. Do something that is difficult for you. Conquer a fear.
    • Take the first step towards something that will help you to improve yourself. Sign up for a course. Buy some running shoes. Read a book.
    • Do something spontaneous. Try a different route home. Phone a friend you haven't spoken to in a while.
    • Be kind to yourself. Think of a wise mentor. How would he/she talk to you right now. What would he/she encourage you to do to grow yourself.
  • Be creative.
    • Decorate your office or meeting room. Download and print out some motivational posters from
    • Think of a project you are working on.
      • Add a theme to it.
      • Find a inspirational quotation that reflects what you are trying to do.
      • Go onto You tube. Look for great orators - like Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Churchill. Listen to what they say and how they say it. How would they approach the task you are working on. How can you incorporate their speech into what you are doing.
      • Think of companies with great mottoes. For example Nike's "Just do it." Create a motto for yourself. One that reflects the type of person you want to be. Create a motto for what you are working on.

Now you are feeling inspired, go and inspire others.

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