The Secret to Keeping Motivated & Achieving What You Want
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
Motivation is not something you can magic out of thin air. Positive affirmations and reading books like The Secret are all well and good, but nobody has ever achieved anything because the Universe has left a delivery at their back door. Neither is there a lotion or potion that will keep you driving forward under trying circumstances.
Projects may be started with bags of energy and enthusiasm, but even the most driven of individuals can have the wind taken out of their sails and experience days when they don’t feel like doing very much. Motivation has to be worked at continuously.
According to an article in Scientific American, psychologists have identified three crucial elements that are needed to sustain motivation. They are:
1. Autonomy – you gain motivation by feeling that you are in charge.
2. Value – motivation can thrive when you are true to your beliefs and values.
3. Competence – there is a strong link between a sense of your own abilities and the desire to succeed.
So how can you stay motivated and on track when your diary is collapsing under the weight of appointments, the 6-figure deal you’ve been negotiating collapses at the last minute and self-doubt and negativity are snapping at your heels?
These five motivation tips will help you to feel inspired, energised and ready to take on anything. Whether you are planning to scale Mount Everest, are starting up a new business venture or looking to lose a few pounds off the waistline, they are applicable to every situation:
– Seek out some inspiration – get inspired by reading other people’s success stories and study the behaviours of uber-successful individuals such as Sir Richard Branson, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Oprah Winfrey.
– Don’t fear failure – the fear of failure is more of a motivation drain than the failure itself. Anxious thoughts and envisaging worst case scenarios constantly chip away and sabotage a person’s confidence and desire to succeed. Accept that failures will happen, and learn from them. Thomas Edison made hundreds of failed attempts when trying to create the light bulb, but it didn’t prevent him from succeeding. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” he said. Failure is not an end of the journey, but part of it.
– Focus on one goal – one of the most common reasons for motivation slumps is that people take on too many things. They are running just to stand still and it saps all their energy and motivation. Don’t take on too much at once because it is impossible to maintain focus. If the size of the task is gargantuan, break it down into smaller chunks.
American life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins has a lot to say on this. For example: “If you take on a project and try to do the whole thing all at once, you’re going to be overwhelmed. The number-one skill that will allow you to succeed at anything (while minimizing stress) is the ability to take a variety of action items and group them together, orienting them toward a common intention and result. This is called ‘chunking’”.
– Visualise your goals– see them clearly in your mind’s eye and know what success feels and sounds like. Elite athletes do it all the time and it is a powerful motivator that stops self-doubt from creeping in. After all, the brain can only entertain one thought at a time. So why not make it a positive one?
– Decide how you will deal with motivation drains – this is not throwing in the towel, it’s merely a practical step that will help you counter the inevitable slump when it comes. You could read motivational quotes or stories of people who have conquered seemingly insurmountable odds. Alternatively, talk with a friend, colleague or family member who will help get you out of a rut.
– Never Give In
The world is full of good starters, people who vigorously embark on new projects with a strong sense of purpose. But something happens along the way. They take on too many projects, get distracted, procrastinate and come to a grinding halt.
Keep the momentum going, avoid distractions and lighten the load if you feel your shoulders are straining under the weight of your workload. And as Winston Churchill once said to a room full of students: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in”.
For advice and training options in keeping motivated, call us now on 0207 043 1582.
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