Episode 74: Waiting for Inspiration to Strike? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Instead

March 21, 2022


Most of us get a start in our businesses feeling so inspired by the possibilities ahead of us. That’s why we start in the first place. But we come up on these seasons throughout the years where we wonder where that spirit of possibility went.

Are we just spread too thin and we can’t feel it? Was that season when we were inspired before we had the demands of also raising a family? Are we too in the weeds of being in our business that we can’t even feel inspiration because we have so much we have to get done? 

In today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through a simple diagnostic checklist with 10 tests to take you from lacking motivation and wondering where that good feeling went in your business to truly inspired leadership that will infiltrate every major category of your life. 

We’ve all been there, but the difference maker is what are you going to do about it? What are you doing with this opportunity to become more aware that you are not feeling the same level of inspiration and how can you get it back again?


[2:30] We’re Seeking Inspiration, Not Motivation

The checklist that I’ll walk you through today was born out of necessity when I was walking through a season where I really truly did not feel inspired. And the funny thing was – I should have. Everything was great on paper – my dreams were coming true within our family, we had just moved out to a farm property which was a big inspiration and driver for us years prior that we worked so hard for,  and our business was growing. But I was not feeling inspired. 

The mistake I made was I was mistaking motivation for inspiration. I think that’s the difference between people who do “fine” in their lives and find some level of success and the people who become really inspired and fulfilled leaders who are actually making a profound impact in the world. The latter group doesn’t chase motivation, they don’t try to just generate their own motivation. They seek to be inspired and that inspiration is what creates motivation. 

So, when you’re in periods of stress or exhaustion, don’t try to manufacture motivation. Instead, walk through today’s process and grab a hold of inspiration. That’s what’s going to take you through the roughest seasons and through the greatest hardships.

We’re seeking inspiration. We’re not just looking for motivation. 

[5:55] Aligning Your Personal and Your Professional Vision 

The first thing you need to ask yourself is: Does my personal mission align with my professional mission? 

Here’s what I mean by that. You are an individual, you are not your business. You were put on this earth, this period in time for a reason. Have you taken the time to identify why you’re here? And does it align with your professional mission? 

If your work is not allowing you to live out your personal mission through it, you are going to feel this lack of inspiration because you’re doing work that you might be fully capable, competent, or even great at but it’s not what you’re called to do. You have to make sure that your personal and your professional missions align.

One of the key ways that I’ve learned this was by witnessing it in my mother, in her life that embodied both and included both entrepreneurship and raising a family and serving people. If you haven’t yet listened to the episode with my mom, I highly recommend that you go back and listen to it.

[10:51] Getting Clear on Your Priorities, Your Values and Your Vision

The second thing on our diagnostic checklist is: Am I living in integrity with my most important values? 

If the answer is no, you are not going to feel inspired. You are not going to come alive to show up every day and put all of this time, energy, effort and oftentimes money, if you have to be completely out of integrity with who you’re called to be. 

Getting crystal clear with your priorities and your values and then juxtaposing it against your business is going to make decisions easier, it’s going to teach you what the right “yes” is and what the right “no” is, it’s going to take you out of this space of just trying to compartmentalize yourself so that you think you can operate one way in your business but a different way in the rest of your life. My strongest suggestion is to leverage the free workbook that we have that helps you do exactly this, that you can get at https://luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth/  

Next is getting clear on your vision. 

Sometimes nothing is really broken, your vision is just blurry. You aren’t crystal clear on that anymore. Maybe you sought out after a vision three, four or five years ago and it really inspired you then but you’ve changed and your life has changed.  Have you revisited that vision over and over and continued to cultivate it so that you feel inspired by where you’re going?

If you don’t know where you’re going, that’s the number one thing you have to focus on. Because if you don’t have a vision, if you don’t have a direction, you cannot be inspired by what you’re doing. No matter how awesome what you’re doing is, if you don’t know what it’s leading towards, and the purpose behind it, you’re not gonna be inspired by it.

[14:29] Are You Leading? Are You Innovating? 

Number four: Am I leading or am I managing? 

So often we start with a vision, and we’re super inspired by it. We get into it, and we galvanize people behind it. They get excited about it and we lead but then we get into the thick of what’s actually required to run a business, raise a family and run a home and we naturally shift into management mode, because someone’s got to manage. Someone’s got to steer the ship. But when you are trapped in a world of management, do not expect to be inspired. 

That’s not to say that there aren’t things in your life that have to be managed, things that have to be taken care of –  but how can you do it from a place of leadership? If you’re not leading and you’re not stepping up inspired and showing people the possibility and you’re just trying to manage and manufacture your way there, it’s going to be an empty ride with a fruitless ending. 

Number five is: Am I innovating? 

For me, innovation is huge during those moments that I feel uninspired. If I’m just doing the things that work because they work and I can just do it over and over again, I lose inspiration really quickly.

Innovation is creation. How are you creating? Innovation can come in so many forms. It can be how you lead your team, it can be how you run your events, it can be the content that you’re creating or the books that you’re writing, it can be how you take care of yourself or what you do within your family that excites you. 

[17:25] People Around You and Having the Courage to Go Where You’re Being Called

Number six is: Am I surrounded by inspired people? 

Notice I’m not just saying inspiring people. I’m not telling you to fill up your newsfeed with a bunch of influencers who can slap a filter and some nice music on anything and it becomes inspiring. I’m talking about inspired people, people who if they went through the first five parts of this checklist could check yes on every single one.

Do you have people like that in your circle? People who are truly inspired, not just motivated? If the answer is no, then it’s time to seek them out. Whether it’s masterminds, whether it is mentors, whether it’s just peers and people in your circle, get yourself in the room with inspired people. 

Number seven is: Am I tapped into where I’m being guided and do I have the courage to pursue it?

Are you fully aware of where you’re being guided? Are you ignoring those gut feelings? Do you keep taking clients that you hate working with, because it pays the bills? You know that you’re really not called to serve those people and there’s something more for you, but you don’t have the courage to go after it because it would be too scary to let go of that income potential. This is literally sucking your inspiration dry. 

True possibility, your potential, your purpose is coming with inspiration and with inspiration, you’ve got to take some risks. You’ve got to be willing to do the things that might scare you, to really honor who you’re called to be, to really live in line with your values. 

[21:16] Bringing Along the People Who Matter the Most and Building Time for Inspiration

Number eight: Are the people who matter the most to me woven into my mission?

Are you working in your vacuum, trying to create a business and then showing back up at home with your spouse or your kids and wondering why there’s a disconnect? This will cut right into your inspiration and will limit your ability to truly go after your purpose and potential. If these people truly matter most to you, if they are an integral part of who you are and what you’re called to in your life, that lack of integration is going to be a major block to your inspiration. If you haven’t listened to Episode 62: What It Means to Be a Founder Family, I recommend you give it a listen because this could be one of the bigger blocks for you. 

Number nine: Do I have space in my calendar and in my life to be inspired? 

Inspiration comes in those quiet moments. Sometimes you need to build in the time to have that blank whiteboard time and create and get excited about where you’re going, to really reconnect with that vision that you’re clear on and then make it come to life. But if you don’t have the time, if you’re always in the weeds, if you’re always hurrying, rushing from one thing to the next, you simply don’t have the time to be inspired. So, does your life allow for that space to actually be inspired?

[23:13] Your Calendar is Your Reality 

Number ten: Your calendar reflects what inspires you

If I were to look at your calendar, are there things on there that inspire you? Are you most inspired in nature, but there’s nothing on your calendar reflecting that you’re going for a hike this week? Are you so inspired by listening to speeches and going to events but you don’t have anything scheduled in the upcoming year? You can’t just think these things into existence. They have to be built into your life.

If you’re in that dry season, if you’re in that drought of wondering when it’s coming back, it’s not coming back…until you make it.

If you walk through this process and if this serves you, take a screenshot and share this episode. Also, make sure you subscribe because we have some amazing stuff coming your way and if you’re feeling really ambitious, leave us a review!

Come connect with me on Instagram @elizhartke!  If there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show, just reach out and share that.

We do this for you so the more you tell us, the more we can serve.


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