Now, I’m not naive enough to think that this blog will suit absolutely everybody, and this may all seem obvious to people who already know how to stay motivated. I will say though, that the steps I give to you today might be useful to you personally, or your friend, or even just part of what I say might help you realise something on your own.
I found some of the things here useful to think about as a writer and so I am sharing for anyone who is interested or anyone who feels trapped in negativity and unable to find their motivation for whatever project they’re working on.
How the hell do you stay motivated?
Step one: celebrate trying
Whatever it is that you’re trying to do, the hardest aspect isn’t necessarily how good it is, how much of it you have achieved, it is simply that you did it. That’s right, you made a decision to try something and stuck to it. Some people think that a small achievement like that isn’t worth celebrating, and I want to say is – you’re wrong.
You’re probably thinking, What? Celebrating just doing something, even if it’s crap? Yep, celebrate anything that you finish – even the crap. Want to know why? The best pioneers and entrepreneurs in the world don’t just try something and it is amazing straight away, the successful people have all failed at something somewhere.
So how do they succeed eventually? Motivation. They don’t give up. They take the crap and they turn into something better. That’s not to say they keep bashing at the same idea or concept over and over if it just won’t work, think of drafts or versions, no-one submits the first one. People who we see succeed don’t give up in the sense that they keep trying, they take their past failures as lessons, experience, or version one of whatever it is they are trying to achieve. They might try a new way of doing something, a new market to promote something or they go back to the drawing board and work on something completely new – the point is that they took whatever it was that they did, put it out there, and then they work on it some more, regardless of good or bad reviews. They stay motivated to try again and again until they succeed.
So how do they stay motivated through crap ideas, rejection and/or failure? Well, there is no one single thing that you can do and that’s why it’s not easy. Motivation is all about the mind – it’s finding something that keeps you focussed and passionate, hungry for success, each of us has their own key to motivation. We all have our own system we need to build and unfortunately, no one can do it for you.
Step two: find your happy place
This bit’s easy – what makes you happy? When you’ve been rejected, or something didn’t go how you’d planned, what cheers you up? Do that thing.
You’re probably thinking Yeah but Charl, eating ice cream isn’t gonna make my ideas better! You’re right – it probably won’t and ice cream probably shouldn’t be your choice of happiness all the time, but it’s a good step to stop your brain from dwelling on negativity. It’s part of the process of motivation, quietening the negativity so you can free up your brain to think of other things.
Step three: carrying on, finding a new direction
After you’ve done what makes you happy – look around you, take a second to really explore what you’re trying to do. Perhaps there’s someone doing the thing that you want to do already, research them, how did they succeed? Or maybe you need outside help to achieve your aim – you need to meet new people, or maybe your idea isn’t right yet and it needs more work. You need to surround yourself with continuation – how can you better yourself/your idea and then start to work on whatever that is. Usually, we fail because we feel overwhelmed or alone with the workload of whatever we’re doing, or we feel uneducated or unprepared in some way. This is where you need a new direction, find a mentor, class, group, skill that you can join or work on to improve your efforts.
and that’s it.
you may have to repeat the steps, maybe going through them several times before you succeed, but that’s the key to motivation – to build your own system that helps you to keep trying.
I hope that when you think of your own motivation, after reading this, that you can see your own steps and if you have any motivational quotes or images pop them into the comments and if you need a pick me up, come back and get a top-up of positive thoughts. 🙂