6 tips for motivation in challenging times
It can be challenging to stay motivated and focused in times of change and during setbacks. Sometimes, you may need a little boost. Here are my top tips and strategies that help me cultivate my motivation...
Bring awareness to your thoughts and feelings
There is a strong connection between our thoughts, feelings, and motivation. If you feel down, or are thinking unhelpful thoughts, it is highly unlikely you will feel motivated. Being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and how they manifest themselves is a great starting point for recognising what needs to change. Unless you are aware of how your emotions impact your mood and motivation (both positively and negatively), it will be difficult for you to control them.
Pay attention to what is the trigger that fires off these emotions and how you respond to that trigger. Awareness is power, as it gives you the control to choose how you respond. Is your response helping you or hindering you?
Accept how you feel
It is ok to feel sad, angry, scared, frustrated, demotivated, stressed, resentful, etc. We are only human, and it is normal for our emotions to flag every now and again. Rather that dismissing how we feel, bottling up your emotions and sweeping them under the metaphorical carpet, acknowledge, validate, and accept them.
If these emotions are not serving you, then ask yourself - what emotions do I want to feel instead? What can you do to tap into the emotions you want to feel?
What is within your control?
Sometimes we can’t change situations that affect us but we are always in control of our reaction to any situation. Our reaction (either positive or negative) will lead to either positive or negative consequences. Sometimes, our emotions hijack our thinking and actions, so before you react, take a deep breath and take a logical stance on the situation. Focusing your energy on things that you can control rather than things you can’t will help you sustain your motivation.
Reframe your thoughts
Once you recognise that you are thinking unhelpful thoughts, try to reframe them and 'flip' them into positives. Using logic, disputing irrational thoughts, and asking questions can help. Let’s say you were unsuccessful in a job interview for your dream job. The likelihood is that you will feel pretty demotivated, so try and look for positives in this situation.
Ask yourself some logical questions based on the situation you are in.
"What positives came out of this situation?"; examples could be "I really stepped out of my comfort zone and had an opportunity to practice my interview skills", or "I learnt questions I hadn’t expected, so next time I will be better prepared", etc.
"What have I learnt from this experience?", "I need to practice X skills more, or I need to work on my nerves and body language, etc."
Reframing helps you put events and circumstances into a different context that is more resourceful and favourable. Sometimes, looking for positives in a negative situation can be challenging, and it may feel forced to start with, but at the same time, it can really shift the way you look at things. There is a great quote by Wayne Dyer that sums this really well: "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change".
Walk it off
Quite literally! Exercise and movement helps to clear your mind and gain focus. If exercise is not your thing, then find a healthy outlet that works for you - writing, meditation, reading, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, listening to music, podcasts, or anything that would help you remain positive and motivated.
Tap into other peoples' energy
There are two types of people: drainers and fillers. Drainers literally suck out all the energy out of you. They focus on negative things that go wrong; they blame others for their situation. Fillers energise you! They take responsibility for their actions, they look at the positive; they are the glass full type of people. If your motivation is flagging, surround yourself with positive thinkers who emanate positive energy and make you feel good.
So, what keeps you motivated?
Sharing is caring, so do share your thoughts and tips, and pass them on to anyone who can benefit from this article.