How To Stay Motivated In Your Business
How To Stay Motivated In Your Business
Loss of motivation is normal, but trying to get it back and sustain it is like Draymond trying to remember if the Warriors had any timeouts left in the NBA finals. What will affect you is when you have a setback, someone says no, or you compare yourself to others.
When you’re Feeling Demotivation
Damaging thoughts, feelings, or barriers that prevent you from persistent action can cloud your decisions. What direction should you take next? But first, you need to understand yourself and those feelings more closely. Essentially, you have to know why you’re unmotivated and why you want to be motivated.
What will happen if you do not act on your goals?
Starting a website, learning about budgeting, or just starting a new goal. Yet, you haven’t started. Motivation is the reason you feel or have for acting, achieving or completing a goal or task. Motivation is when you keep pushing through, the barriers or pain, even though it gets tough. It can feel like you're behind, dragging behind your opposition, but you never really lose if you went after your goals. The point is you need to differentiate between what you want to do, and if you don't do it. Fast forward ten years in the future, looking back, ask yourself would you have done things differently? Would you have given up on yourself?
What do you feel unmotivated about most today?
Most of the research on motivation confirms it’s not extrinsic rewards motivating people such as money or awards, but intrinsic ones. Internal drives such as a specific goal. For example, supporting your kids and saving for their college, or partaking in something because you find it fascinating. In other words, are you following a trend, to gain social status, or do you want to trust your intuition to create something unique that’s long-lasting? Do you create to gain fame, or do you create because you enjoy the process? First, uncover what you do and do not want, and then answer why.
Kick start your motivation with the tips below. Knowledge is your currency if you have a goal in mind, just make sure you can see the goalposts.
Knowledge Needed to Stay Motivated
- Know yourself - what connects you to your goals, your likes, dislikes and what you’re good at. Assess where you’re strong and where you’re weak in order to grow yourself and your business. This includes everything from energy, skills, to wellbeing and knowledge. Why do you really want that career or goal? Try the Igaki Venn diagram.
- Minimize distractions – what are your distractions right now? Friends who call you as you sit down to work - learn how to say no. Social media, Netflix – use it as a reward after you finish your tasks. Discipline and sacrifice mean you know what your priorities are.
- Label your emotions – anxiety can be useful to a certain extent, but not when it’s overwhelming. Anxiety is useful before a performance or during planning because it’s a signal you need to provide your very best effort and to be aware of what may happen or to rethink the approach. Likewise, boost positive emotions. Listen to your hype song, dance, use meditation music or have a positive mantra taped to your bathroom mirror. Use your emotions as fuel, understand them better.
- Identify your rewards (they’re not what you think) – extrinsic rewards such as money, friends, status and moving up a ladder do not sustain motivation as research confirms. Instead, intrinsic motivation helps – what’s the emotional reason behind your goals? Is it the A+ or are you curious to learn? You don’t want social cache; rather you want to highlight an important issue. Do you feel great when you’re sketching or taking photos that you zone out and lose track of time? Continue to focus on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow.
- Get Inspired – sometimes we get stuck in our own bubble. Writer’s block or no new ideas landing? Do something completely different. Read a good book, go for a walk, hang out with friends, go to a local gallery, go support your friend’s business, meditate. Slow down and trust that your intuition will lead you back to yourself and the ideas and inspiration will appear under less stress. The point is to keep moving.
- Work Schedule – it’s hard to get motivated if you don’t know where to start or what to work on. List all your tasks, make a schedule, and plot them for the week. I like to prep the night before and plan only three priority tasks I need to get done for the following day (I also work 9-5). It’s top of mind when I go to sleep and wake up. Do you need to update your portfolio online? What are those pieces? Who do you need to email? Break it into manageable pieces.
- Failure & Success – if your failure is real, you need to change your behaviour, but if your behaviour is imagined (for e.g. imposter syndrome), then you need to change your thinking. Retrain your negative thought patterns, find your support system, meditate, or to a greater extent assess if you need to seek a therapist. Challenge your interpretation of failure, fear, or doubt because the opposite of failure is resilience - to bounce back even better because you learned what you didn’t know before.
- Progressive Approaches – we no longer live in a hunter-gatherer world (though it feels that way sometimes). We're living in a time of collaboration, curiosity, open-mindedness, and discovery. If you always approached things one way, try a new way just for fun, even if you’re not going to marry it. In a world where people embrace their multiple interests and gifts, be a ‘multi-potential’ don’t risk remaining small. Be okay with cooperation, community, and understanding yourself, over scarcity, individualization and thinking no one understands you. If you show up, you haven’t failed.
- Buddy System – accountability goes out the window when it’s me, myself and I. You don’t really have anyone to disappoint, but yourself. Find a like-minded friend or a mentor. Building a responsibility mechanism can give you a boost because there’s healthy pressure to complete something (in a way that’s realistic), or for someone else to review or give you feedback. If you don’t have someone, join a community, or share your work with friends: ‘website launching end of summer,’ and hold yourself accountable to that date.
Progress is a marathon, not a sprint and you have to define your own destination. This process will spark motivation in the direction you want to be taking. Over time, you will sustain the momentum around what fuels you, and overcome what does not.
Bringing it all together, the research on behavioral psychology behind motivation points to the mind-body connection, if “your brain doesn’t understand both the costs of inaction and the benefits of action, you won’t feel very motivated” (Medium).
To sum it up, this is a mental game. You’re not failing you’re always learning. You're not lost, you're curious. You can be demotivated today, but tomorrow is a new day. To improve your motivation, understand what does and does not motivate you as carefully as to how you create your art. Do all of this until it becomes second nature.
With an MBA and a background in the social sector, Salomeh focuses on connecting the parts to the whole in new and empowering ways. She brings experiences working in small and fast-paced organizations, with SMEs, and social entrepreneurs, providing research, strategic and critical thinking to resolve complex issues. A strong facilitator and creative problem solver – she hones in on the gaps while connecting it to the bigger picture.
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