Slouched over her notebook she stared at her freshly drafted list of actions needed to grow her business. It all looks simple enough on paper but her mind flooded with reasons about why it isn’t possible, why the timing is wrong and every single potential problem she could face. Her progress stalled before it even started. Before you know it comfort kicks in, months pass, nothing changes. Does this sound familiar?
Motivation can often feel fleeting. It can be easy to find and hard to keep. Especially when you come across challenged that make your entire dream feel impossible. This is why it is important to know how to get motivated in business and life.
The Comfort Trap
When starting out or just maintaining a business falling into the trap of comfort is far too easy. This is especially the case when you are breaking free from a lifetime of being an employee. You start to realise that you were running a program where your motivation relied on being accountable to a manager. You got stuff done because you felt like you had to or else!
In the times that motivation has gone astray, it is still wise to keep acting even when it feels anything short of inspired. Know it is just around the corner. As you build momentum, confidence and work on finding that good feeling state where the action you take feels natural and you experience perfect timing.
Change your Mind and Improve Your Motivation
I have found in building a business I have had to work on myself and mindset in nearly equal proportions. I was actually surprised by the amount of working on self that has needed to occur with every step forward I have taken. It is in personal development that is the path to more consistent motivation lies.
Before long, if you feel good, healthy and confident within yourself naturally you will start taking action and find that action more often than not will feel inspired. Inspired action is action that just flows and feels effortless, isn’t that the action we all want to be taking!
Approach this topic with a relaxed attitude because just like to earth goes through seasons and cycles so will your emotions and motivation. Instead of punishing yourself for dropping the ball, just accept and work with the cycles. It is like trying to sleep, the harder you try the more difficult it becomes. Don’t fret, it is all a matter of ongoing practice and you will be able to increase your self-worth, become accountable to yourself and in turn maintain motivation longer.
Gaining Clarity on your Goals
The most logical starting point to improve motivation is thinking about your goals. Without trying to over complicate goals let us just define goals as what you want. If you really want to get into it, goals and goal setting has been all but turned into an art. However, if you take a basic approach you can see naturally as you go through everyday life you will experience things that draw your attention to things that you want.
It is helpful to write a list of all the things that you want to have and achieve in life. It is also great if you continually add to your list. What you are doing is creating clarity about exactly what it is that you want. This clarification process helps you to visualise what it would be like to have this in your future. This feel good, it feels great so why not give it a go.
I personally don’t like to spend too much time visualising, because when I start thinking too hard it becomes easy to over think and start worrying about not having what you want.
The clarity you find in this process will help you recognise those goals that are of most importance to you and understand why it is you want to materialise these goals. It could be for fun, family, love, happiness or any other reason conceivable. If you can can clearly see your reason why, this is a great anchor to remind yourself every day about what you wanted to achieve.
Looking After Yourself
Looking after yourself encompasses making sure you are eating healthy, exercising, getting sufficient sleep and taking time to unwind. Simple steps that will make a massive difference with how you feel and interact with the world.
Although much of this feels like going back to basics, when you are busy or running low on cash it is very easy to start neglecting yourself. The magnificent machine, we call our body, that allows you to function and get along in the world is the only one you have got so make time to take care of it every day.
Mindfulness refers to your ability to focus in the present moment, rather than be caught up with your thoughts and becoming aware of what you are thinking.
The day someone told me that I am not my thoughts and that I could control them changed my life. What this means is that you can become aware of your own self talk and actively make changes to it. Once you are able to control and direct your thoughts it is much easier to arouse a state of motivation.
Notice where you are using negative self-talk and try to ease yourself into a better thought. For example a thought of “I am so stupid for doing that” could shift to be “that was an interesting experience” – “I will avoid doing that again” – “What a great learning experience, I know how I can do that better next time”. Every time there is a better thought to reach for. Creating this awareness of the way you talk to yourself is a very important part of changing your mindset to improve motivation.
As your mindset shifts your self-confidence, attitude and perspective will change. If you can believe you can do something magically your motivation to take action to do it will improve. The best way improve mindfulness is best achieved through practicing 15 minutes of meditation daily.
Hiring A Coach or Mentor
Hiring a coach or mentor to help with this mindset shift can really accelerate the process and your results. Often they will also help with accountability and keep you on track to achieve your goals. They can be a great sounding board for ideas and the final encouragement needed for you to take big action.
It can be tough when it is all the decision-making in business comes down to you so it is always great to have someone to talk to even if you can’t afford a coach. If you are currently cash strapped just find someone you admire from afar and model that person’s behaviour. Another option is to search YouTube and you will find an abundance of people talking about improving your mindset and motivation. Start reading some books on the topic, some of my favourites include Think and Grow Rich, The Secret and my favourite book of all time The Alchemist.
Music: Know Your Jam
Music is probably the quickest way to change any mood. Just put on your favourite song or a song that gets you feeling good, pumped up and ready for action. If you are so inclined get up and dance around a little. In no time you will be feeling good then remember your reason why you wanted to start your business in the first place and motivation will be close behind.
Ultimately staying motivated in business is all about improving mood and shifting mindset. Please know that success is available to you!
I love reading or hearing others’ success stories. The more evidence you gather that success is available to you the more inspired you will feel to take action and achieve it. So please feel free to share below any success stories past or present or let me know how you like to stay motivated?