How to Stay Motivated and On-Track When You’re Struggling
March 19 by Susan Baroncini-Moe | Work
Maybe you’ve been trying to kick-start your business and it just hasn’t worked yet. Maybe you’ve just started but you’re already frustrated. Or maybe you’ve wanted to hit that next level for years and haven’t been able to get there. Regardless of your situation, getting motivated and on-track isn’t difficult. It’s staying that way that’s the trick. And when you’re struggling to “make it,” sometimes it’s even harder. You find yourself wandering, letting yourself get distracted, and wondering if you’ll ever really make your mark. Want to end the cycle of struggle? Master these tips and you’ll be virtually unstoppable.
First, know that this is a temporary state. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been where you are. All that you need to know is that nothing is permanent. All things change, even if it seems that they don’t. It’s simply a law of nature — nothing stays the same forever. The universe is constantly moving, evolving, and changing, and so are you. So instead of seeing this as a neverending path into darkness, know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and every day, it’s getting closer. And as soon as you get a new client, sell your first product, or hit that next target, everything within you will shift.
Second, remind yourself what you’re fighting for. When you’ve been trying to make something happen for awhile, you can start to lose sight of the end goal. Instead of focusing on the reason you started this journey in the first place, you begin to focus on smaller, more immediate outcomes. For example, if you started your business so you could eventually free up enough time to spend with your family, but you’ve been working for a long time and haven’t seen the results you’d expected or hoped for, your goal may have shifted from “be with my family” to “make my business work.” This has exactly the opposite effect than you originally intended. By shifting your priorities, now you’re probably spending less time with your family.
Sometimes it’s helpful to create tangible reminders of the reason you started down this path. A vision board may be useful, or just a statement, penned boldly and tacked to a bulletin board near your workspace. If you want to remind yourself of a forgotten goal and reintegrate it into your thinking process and mindset, set your alarm a few minutes earlier each morning and spend that time meditating on what you’re working towards. Reaffirm what you’re fighting for and you’ll find the will to fight is restored and renewed once more.
Third, believe in yourself. It can be hard to believe in yourself when you’ve been trying to make something work for a long time. Sometimes you just lose faith in your own ability to make it work or see it through. One of the best ways to stay strong in your belief in yourself is to keep track of your successes, even the small ones. When you’re feeling down on yourself, go back to the list of successes and review them. Remind yourself that you are capable and you can make this work.
Another way to rebuild your confidence involves something social psychologists have known for decades — that our feelings about ourselves are frequently a reflection of how we think others perceive us. So take advantage of that! Read through your client testimonials and e-mails. Ask your clients for periodic evaluations and you’re bound to receive some fantastic feedback (and if there are some negatives, folks, that’s a great learning experience — it tells you exactly what you need to do to improve and make your clients happy). Even if your faith in yourself falters, others still believe in you.
Finally, get help before you’re in crisis. If your business isn’t where you want it to be, if you aren’t making the leaps ahead that you want to be making, there’s obviously something going on. Before things go too far, before you get lost and become totally unmotivated, get help!
The problem may be with your business — it could be a branding issue, a marketing issue, or maybe just you aren’t giving your clients what they want. Hire a consultant who can turn your business inside out finding ways to improve your results. The problem may also lie within — you yourself might benefit from some “fine-tuning.” Hire a coach and work through any roadblocks that may be getting in the way of your success. Hire a mentor and model his/her behavior. Or if you’re struggling with self-discipline and need a budget solution, ask a reliable friend to be your accountability partner so you both can improve.
As you begin to master the ability to keep your motivation high, it will become easier to stay on-track. Moments of frustration will be fewer and farther between and, as you master your mindset, you’ll find that you actually achieve success and reach your targets faster.