Staying motivated is easy… when things are going great. It’s during the challenging times when everything seems to be working against us that we need to dig deep to find inspiration. When drive and passion begins to fade when we approach our work, we need more than a cutesy quote or how-to video to get us back on track. Don’t get me wrong, I want to “stay strong and carry on” with the best of them, but my mind is numb to the overload of cliché motivational quotes rampant on Instagram. Seriously, stop.
Motivation is a mindset adventure. We all have to navigate our crazy brains and figure out what energizes us. When it comes to staying motivated, these are a few things that help me:
- Trust the process. When I get frustrated, I remind myself that everything is a game. Sometimes I’m ahead and feel unstoppable. Other times I feel terribly behind without hope of catching up. It’s during the latter that I remind myself to trust the process. As long as I do the work, life will shift and all will be right with the world again. Until it isn’t, and the cycle begins again. You know, life.
Years ago, while I was running a marketing consulting firm, I kept revising the direction of the business. One month I focused on creating online courses and the next I was teaching weekly workshops. My constant activity and lack of direction quickly depleted my motivation. Remembering to trust the process kept me going. To figure things out, I had to move forward and do the work.
- Believe the future is bigger than your past. This is one of my favorite quotes from Matthew Kelly. Think about its power. What could be more motivating than believing we have the ability to create a better future? No matter where we are in life, good, bad, or terribly mediocre, there’s always room to design a more exciting future.
In addition to helping me stay motivated, this thought is particularly inspiring when my mind gets bogged down in the past. You know, those days filled with regret where you say to yourself, “I really should have… .” Guess what, you didn’t. Move on! I know, it sounds harsh, but the quicker we realize this truth, the faster we can focus on engineering the future we want. I used to dwell on the past. Now, I embrace the promise of possibilities brought by each new day.
- Tribe time. What I love is how easy this concept is. Plus, the impact is immediate. Seth Godin defines a tribe as a group of people who are connected to one another by a leader or an idea. When we find our tribe, our entire world shifts. When I’m feeling less than fabulous, I know I can call my tribe to help fix my mindset. They challenge my thought patterns, offer advice, and never let me throw a pity party. After getting off the phone with them, I feel empowered to tackle any challenge. Plus, there is the added motivation of wanting to get work done so I can share the results with them.
Last year, I became the CEO of a consulting company. It was definitely unchartered territory. Though I was excited about the opportunity, I wasn’t confident I would be any good. Months into the position, I started questioning my decision. Instead of dwelling on it, I immediately called one of my colleagues who has been growing a consulting company for over 10 years. It only took a 20-minute conversation for me to realize I could not afford to doubt myself. I was learning. I was growing. I was in the right role. I needed to be brave and continue to do the work.
Staying motivated becomes easier with the correct mindset and refusing to let ourselves stay defeated. When we are future-focused and not dwelling on the past, we become empowered to believe in our ideas and our work.