5 Proven Strategies to Jump on The Horse and Stay Highly Motivated Even When The Odds are Against You
It’s easy to stay motivated when everything is going to plan. It’s much more difficult to be enthusiastic about your goals when things aren’t going so well. But how you choose to deal with disappointment is what sets the truly successful people apart from those who almost made it. Today, I’m going to share with you 5 strategies to jump on the horse and stay motivated even when the odds are against you!
If you’re feeling stuck or a lack of drive, you’re not alone.
Everyone suffers from a lack of motivation at some point. Being unmotivated in work or life can be depressing and frustrating, not to mention it can put you at risk of losing your job when not handled properly. Some of us struggle with it daily, while others are lucky enough to only have problems occasionally. There is good news though. You can overcome your lack of drive and get back the passion you once had.
We’ve all had those days when things don’t go as expected.
The thing is, disappointment is always felt deeper by those of us who dream big. When you’ve put your all into a particular goal or a project, seeing things go wrong is a major blow. But don’t worry, I’ve been there too! Times like these can blindside us, but we can emerge from them much wiser and stronger.
Motivation is central to creativity, productivity, and happiness.
Motivation is what causes us to act, and when we act, we create movement, growth, and change; we feel involved, masterful, and significant; we feel powerful through experiencing how we can change the world; and we create more of what we love in our lives. And all of this gives our lives purpose and happiness.
It isn’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
Motivation drives us to do bigger and better things. It can give us the power to overcome boundaries and change the world. But, what happens when things aren’t going our way? Staying motivated becomes much more difficult. Here’s the good news: Staying motivated when the odds are against you can be so much easier and in this post I’ll show you how.
Strategy #1: Seek Inspiration From Others
Surrounding yourself with an amazing support system isn’t just about venting or complaining. It’s about catching their positivity and having them force you out of your comfort zone. You may even get inspired by them, like picking-up a healthy diet or getting a new business idea.
Seek out inspiration from others in your field and find the stories that resonate best for you.
For example, reading about other successful people is a great way to stay motivated. Especially when you find stories of people who refused to give up when things didn’t go their way. Great examples include Sir James Dyson who had to tweak the design for his first vacuum cleaner over 5,000 times before it entered production. Or Oprah Winfrey who was fired from one of her early jobs as a television reporter. So grab yourself a drink, sit back and enjoy some downtime reading uplifting stories about how others succeeded after experiencing disappointment.
Sure. Asking for help can be hard sometimes. However, it’s one of the best ways to deal with tough situations.
Tell people what you need specifically if they offer to help. Don’t be afraid to call on friends and family and ask them for help, whether you need financial assistance, emotional support, or practical help. It’s great to want to carve your own path. But successful, motivated people know that everyone needs a hand along the way. So, find a mentor, or more than one, and take time regularly to talk about your goals and receive encouragement from someone who’s been in the same boat, and who knows how to steer it.
Having the right team in place to help you is crucial to your success.
You will be amazed at what you and your team can accomplish when you are all motivated and working toward the same goal. It is worth the effort to put the right support system in place. Make a list of some winning people in your circle that you can partner with, exchange ideas with and who can help you get things done. You’ve probably heard this famous quote before: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Well, the thing is you are not immune to the things and people that surround you. They shape the way you think and see the world.
The strength of your social support system is the greatest source of resilience, success, and happiness that you have.
When we begin to lose sight of our goals, having a trusted “other” to guide us and remind us of those goals gives us the strength to get back in the game. By nurturing strengths such as love and gratitude, you can open yourself to constructive feedback and support, both of which are essential drivers in reaching your goals.
Strategy #2: Clean up Your Space
We’re all surrounded by so many messages that feed into our Social Selves and we’re keen to impress our tribes. When you feel unmotivated, it’s because you’re setting goals based purely on what your Social Self wants and this is pulling you away from the direction your Essential Self wants you to take. Your Essential Self uses demotivation to slow you down and to detach you from the toxic goals you’ve set.
Take control over what you can, and stop worrying about what you can’t.
Some things are within your control, while other things are not. Learn to recognize the difference. Refuse to worry about circumstances beyond your control. Don’t allow yourself to become so emotionally entangled that it paralyzes your progress. Things may not always work out perfectly, but the sooner you get over them, the quicker you move on to your next victory. Only you can control your own actions and reactions.
Undoubtedly, you know that multitasking is not a good thing.
The more you try to do at once, the less progress you’re able to make with any one of the multiple things you’re juggling. It’s almost impossible to make solid progress with something when you’re interrupted every few minutes. And when you’re unable to make much progress with work, you start feeling unmotivated to try starting over again after each distraction. Instead, if we were to focus on maximizing our energy, we would reach the summit with zest and gusto.
Make sure your workplace is uncluttered so your mind can be organized.
Cleaning your physical environment isn’t a fix-all; however, tackling some housekeeping is a good exercise in conquering tasks and gets a productive energy flowing. A calm environment gives you a better chance of being more efficient and productive. Decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of stuff & cleaning your space. While tidying your physical space can have a positive knock-on effect to your motivation levels and sense of mental wellbeing, you can spring clean other areas of your life too, like decluttering your mind, decluttering your emails and computer files, organizing your work life and so on.
In our busy, distracting world, it’s easy to get blown off course. This is why you need to ground yourself in your goal.
Even if you have failed in the past, commit to your end goal and don’t think about those past failures or the possibility of failing again. It could happen, yes, but you could also be the next success story. When we take on a goal, we need to pump ourselves with dopamine along the way. Don’t make the tasks so monumental that you have to go a long way before feeling rewarded. Break them down, do them whether you feel like it or not, and keep rewarding yourself with variety and aplomb as you go!
Strategy #3: Nurture The Big Picture
Personally, I’m a big fan of goals, both short-term and long-term — they give you something to work towards, and including short-term goals ensures that you are able to taste victory on a regular basis, providing further motivation to push hard towards achieving the long-term goals.
Set a goal and visualize it down to the most minute detail.
See it, feel it, hear the sounds that accompany the end result. Elite athletes visualize their performance ahead of time — right down to the smell of the sweat dripping down their face as they cross the finish line. Visualization is a powerful technique that can help you to focus, stay motivated and achieve your goals. By creating a mental picture of yourself successfully completing a job, even the worsts tasks can feel like part of achieving something big.
Setting clearly defined goals will help you monitor your progress and provide constant motivation.
When you haven’t consciously and clearly articulated what you want, your picture of your future will be vague. We like what’s familiar, so we resist what’s unfamiliar and vague and we stay with and re-create what’s familiar to us. If you’re not clear about what you want to create, then it makes sense that you’ll lack motivation because you’d rather stay with your current familiar reality. You need to know what you do want, and you need to articulate a clear and specific vision of what you want to create so that you can become familiar with that new outcome and feel comfortable moving toward it. Take some time to articulate what you want and why you want it.
Sometimes it’s not that we’re surrounded by problems. It could be because we’ve been set up to fail. That may sound harsh. But, it’s the truth.
Instead of swimming against the current, think about how you can ride that wave. Start by allowing yourself to dream and visualize yourself accomplishing your biggest dreams. And, then define your goals based on those thoughts. The most important thing to remember is once you have a goal in mind, assign realistic deadlines. This way it will be easier to keep track of your progress.
There is a very popular saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
When you take time to plan, you allow yourself to think through the entire process from beginning to end. This can spark ideas, improve productivity and ensure a great outcome. Once you have a written agenda, you are immediately going to be motivated to accomplish it. Without one, you have nothing to run with and end up feeling stuck. Write out your to-do list the night before. Identify the three most important things that you must accomplish the next day and start with those first.
Strategy #4: Habits Lead To Grit
There’s a reasons why successful people have a morning routine. Instead of jumping out of bed and rushing out the door, it starts their day off on the right foot. They have time to meditate, reflect, exercise, and plan their day. These are simply guiding principles on how you want to live your life. Unlike goals, these come from your heart. So, when set intentions you’re aligning your heart and mind.
You might be surprised to learn that not having structure and routines is a common reason for being unmotivated.
Structure and routine help solidify habits, and habits get you going whether you feel like it or not. Once you’re able to get yourself moving and doing something, it’s easier to simply keep going. Instead of waiting to feel motivated to do something, take action instead. Most people mistakenly believe that motivation generates action when the opposite is actually true: actions generate motivation.
Daily rituals and routines are important especially during stressful periods because they help us feel more in control and centered.
By focusing solely on ourselves and what we want to accomplish in the future, we can develop an internal sense of motivation. The key is to pick daily habits that we know will lead us on the right track to our goals. If you’re struggling to take the first step to create a healthy routine, remind yourself that these changes aren’t going to happen overnight. By taking action steps each day, you are working towards long-term change.
When you do a morning routine every single day, you’ll quickly begin to yield an enormous amount of self-discipline.
You’ll change your mental programming to be someone who gets shit done right now rather than making excuses and ‘waiting for tomorrow’. This is a result of forming the habit of self-discipline by starting off every day with a series of habits (that you definitely won’t always feel like doing). As soon as you complete your morning routine, you’re going to be in a peak state. This means that you’re going to feel fully energized, focused, and confident. You’re going to feel like a fucking beast!
Think about it: there’s an old saying: variety is the spice of life.
Variety keeps your motivated to meet goals when you haven’t yet made much progress and risk falling into a rut. Changing things up is like your workout routine. You can’t just work on your legs. The same is true for any aspect of your live. Changing things up gives you chance to break-up the monotony, try out new skills, and have new experiences that can lead to new ideas or develop a new passion.
Strategy #5: Take Care of Yourself
If you’re feeling dejected, you need to do something to prevent spiraling into negative thoughts. Sometimes the best way to do this is to take a break and go do something you love. Even if it’s just watching your favorite funny TV show or enjoying a coffee and cake.
Our brains release dopamine in anticipation of a reward, and this makes us feel good.
So, keep track of your efforts and reward yourself along the way. Fill up on mood-boosting foods, such as fruits and vegetables, dairy, and lean meat. Do things you enjoy, listen to inspiring music, and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. You will want to learn what it takes to get yourself to complete dreaded tasks and set up a system of rewards for completion.
Always take time out to celebrate. Rewards play a huge part in staying motivated.
Reward yourself each and every time you reach a goal. It could be anything from throwing a party to taking a weekend away or treating yourself to a movie night. Just don’t overlook it. Think about something you have recently accomplished and plan a way to celebrate it within the next 10 days. It can be as simple as going out for ice cream. Reward yourself — you are worth it! Oftentimes we forget how far we’ve come and the successes we’ve already accomplished. Go back and look at your trophies, certificates, a special note of congratulations or anything that will keep you motivated when you are facing tough life moments.
Don’t forget to savor your success and take in the good around you as you progress.
The brain is like Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive. Unless we take the time to sit back and relive our achievements, applaud our efforts, and allow the warm glow of a job well done to trickle down into the deep recesses of our neural structure, we will not be able to build the kind of memories that give rise to competence and resilience. Instead, we’ll obsess about everything that went wrong and build a memory bank that has ‘failure’ writ large all over.
Be careful: When you try to continuously get everything done, you risk severe burnout and depression. Your body and your mind need regular breaks.
Just as it’s important to schedule work for your best times of the day, it’s also important to take time for yourself. Having balance with your work and your personal life is a critical strategy to combat feeling unmotivated. You may be surprised to hear that simply moving your body helps move your mind. You don’t need to turn into a gym junkie to receive this benefit either. Simply stand up, walk around the office, go outside for fresh air. These small, physical movements often help clear your mind and get it motivated to go back to work.
In life, there may be times when negativity seems to surround you, suffocating your dreams and destroying your hope. When that happens, many go through their day being saturated with negativity and accepting it as a way of life. While you can’t always control what happens to you, you can control how you respond to it.
If you’re dealing with a lack of motivation, don’t beat yourself up.
It’s simply part of life. Just like anything else, motivation ebbs and flows depending on a wide variety of circumstances. Seek to create a positive environment for yourself and you’ll begin to become more motivated to achieve your dreams and goals. Purposefully infusing your life with a positive perspective will keep you motivated and eliminate all negative sources out of your life.
Think about it: You don’t have to wait for motivation to hit you.
But you do have to work to stay on track — take action, organize your goals, and be diligent with your routine. And be flexible: we often give up on goals because we’re unwilling to compromise our original expectations. Always think about your why and what you’re learning. And when something’s not right, feel free to change direction.
Don’t blame yourself for sometimes feeling like you want to run and hide — there’s actually a science to it all.
You can be flying through a task, only to get bogged down in the detail. You may find it more difficult and more time-consuming than you anticipated. We’re inspired by hope and positive outcomes at the beginning. But, as we continue, we start to focus on responsibilities and the fear of negative outcomes. And it’s often this fear that halts our progress.
Remember, motivation starts within. Find it, keep it and make it work for you.
So there you go. Next time things don’t go to plan; you’ll have a whole host of strategies to help you get your motivation back. So what keeps you motivated? How do you cope when you feel like you can’t keep going? What does this teach you about yourself? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.