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But what happens when the going gets tough and you need motivation?
First, I want to make it a point to say that this is where some people stop. The first couple of hurdles aren’t so tough (and actually kind of fun) to get over but then all of a sudden there is a wall. This wall isn’t just a couple feet tall, it is sky high and impossible to go around.
This is your make or break moment. Sorry, I should say that this is your FIRST make or break moment. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a business, relationship, weight loss journey or whatever, there is always going to be make or break moments. How you get through these is not only a testament to your tenacity but of the potential of your success.
How do you push through tough times?
There are a lot of different outlets you can turn to when you need motivation. What might work for someone else might not have the same effect on you. You should try different solutions to see what works best for you. Keep in mind that this could change from problem to problem or over time. If I need to put out a blog post, my source of motivation usually comes from getting as far away from my computer and noise as possible. If I need to design a logo for a client, I like to go through digital mood boards I have created and listen to movie soundtracks. Whatever works, right?
So the next time you need motivation, go through this list and see what inspires you to get back on track. If all else fails, just remember that Oprah has 24 hours in her day, and look at how much shit she gets done!
Review Your Goals
I can (and do) talk tirelessly about how important it is to set goals for everything that you want. Like I have said in my post about goal setting, if it is not written down and you have not formed a to-do list, you are seriously hurting your chances to get what you want.
When you need motivation, the first thing you should do is review these goals. If you are stuck on a certain task, your to-do list will show you what else needs to be done, and maybe you can switch gears in order to get out of your current headspace.
Your goals can also remind you of what you are working towards. Sometimes you just need to step back and look at the bigger picture in order to push through tough times. What is this all about? Why is it important to you? Asking yourself some intrapersonal questions about what you really want is crucial from time to time.
Motivational Videos and Speeches
My favorite way to motivate myself is to listen to YouTube videos of speeches. Not only is it useful for directing my blog posts, it gets me pumped for every aspect of my life. If I have a bad day at work, I’ll put on some Tony Robbins and in no time, I am plugging away and being super productive.
Is there anything better than Morgan Freeman telling you to get shit done? Some of my favorite videos are over an hour long and I just put them on and get into the zone. The background music helps drown out the world and I can easily get sucked into whatever I am doing.
The next time you need to go workout and you really don’t want to, put this on and try to tell me that you still want to just sit around. You feel tired and don’t really feel like going to your workroom? Here you go.
Read a book
Not just any book. While you may like novels, in order to get motivation, you should have a couple personal development books on hand. I bought an Amazon Fire recently and I would highly recommend it or another Kindle. I just love being able to purchase a book and start reading immediately. I thought not having physical pages would be annoying, but its not as distracting as I thought.
I don’t need to tell you that there are tons of books out there that aim to develop you and take you to a new level, but sometimes sifting through all the reviews and summaries gets time-consuming. You are supposed to be finding motivation, not shopping.
Through the years, I have started to accumulate quite a collection of books. Below are affiliate links to some of my recommendations for different situations you might be in. All of these are great on their own, I am merely making suggestions to help you make an easy decision.
When you need to remember what is important in business (Everyone that has a job should read this book. I’ve read it multiple times, it doesn’t take long at all): The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
When you need help sticking to your guns: Think Big, Act Bigger
When you think an idea is impossible: Make Unstoppable Simple. Creative Problem Solving in Life and Leadership
When you need to just go for it: The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
When you need to shift your mindset: The Power of Positive Thinking
Hopefully, these books have the effect on you that they had for me. I am always looking for new things to read, so if you have a book that has helped you grow, I would love it if you left it in the comments!
Talk to your friends
Most of the time when we are faced with a problem, we are determined to solve it ourselves. Especially entrepreneurs, one of the thrilling parts of life is figuring out puzzles. If you have dedicated a lot of time to get over that wall and feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, it would amaze you how much someone else can help you.
Many people have mentors or a relationship with someone that is on a similar path as them. These people are one of the most important assets you can have. Not having to reinvent the wheel every day frees up a lot of time for you to focus on what matters. Promise me that if you do not have someone that you can talk to about your business or direction you are going in life, you will actively seek one out within the next couple of days of reading this. I cannot tell you how much stress this will take off of you.
Do you ever get to that point where the impostor syndrome is so strong you start regretting successes you have already had? I am here to tell you that EVERYONE experiences impostor syndrome, some people are just better at handling it. The next time you need a reminder of your self-worth and that you are doing what you are supposed to be, talk to a mentor or a trusted friend. Ask open-ended questions that prompt your friend to tell you an outside perspective of what you are good at.
Christy Wright of Business Boutique is really good at explaining why this can be so helpful. Most of the time when we are good at something, we don’t realize that it is a unique skill. Maybe you are naturally good at crafting things or organizing. Maybe technology and computer software come really easy to you and you can just start playing with it. These are not talents that are distributed evenly. You may think they are trivial, but a friend might tell you that they are jealous of your abilities. Taking their opinions into account can push you to where you’re trying to get by changing your mindset.
When I am in a creative slump, a walk can do wonders. Getting out of your chair and getting your blood pumping might be exactly what you need.
Focusing on something like a strenuous workout and not about checking something off your to-do list is so cathartic. Doing a short high-intensity workout can energize your body and mind. Let’s not ignore the health benefits as well.
I suggest putting on a podcast and getting some fresh air. You never know when your best idea will come to you.
Just do it
If you are looking for motivation, sometimes the LAST thing you want to do is the task that is in front of you. My style of blogging usually starts off with me writing the most pathetic posts ever. I just start typing what is on my mind and eventually gain momentum. Using that, I work all the way through the post and then quickly go to the top and redo the beginning. A lot of the time, the direction that the post started with is nowhere near how it ends. Going back through from the top is the best way to create a cohesive post.
If you’re an artist, sometimes just putting ink to paper or paint to canvas is the catalyst needed to create something beautiful. If you are designing your website for your new business, you might go through 5 or more different looks before finding one that works with your content. A theme might look good as a sample but you don’t really know until you see it as your own.
What I am trying to get at is that if all else fails and you have something to do, do the thing, even if you don’t feel like it. This might not be the answer you want, but could be what you needed to hear.
What is your tactic for fighting a lack of motivation?
Everyone is different and we all can help each other with new ideas. I would love to read some comments on new strategies for when we need motivation.