It was a Saturday morning, sunny and relatively warm even though it was the middle of winter. Driving toward the highway, I reminded myself to rehearse my elevator pitch a few more times before that morning’s networking meeting.
But before I could rehearse my pitch, I spotted a “Going-Out-of-Business Sale” sign at one of my favorite shops. I sighed. Another business who had failed! I thought of the somber statistics I had read on several Internet sites: on average, 8 out of 10 businesses are doomed to fail. A chill settled in my gut.
What if my business became one of the losers? What I failed? And if I had such a high chance of failing, was it even worth it to spend my Saturday at a networking meeting? Why bother? That’s when I realized that the uncertainty of my future was putting my motivation—and confidence—at risk.
If you feel that your uncertain future might be hurting your motivation, you might benefit from these 5 steps:
1. Create a list of positive and negative scenarios
I wrote 5 possible scenarios, ranked from “Life Is Perfect” to “What a Nightmare!” My immediate reaction to the worst-case scenario was that the chances of it happening were ridiculously low, which made me feel safer.
You, too, might realize that a disaster scenario, while probable, is not the most likely to materialize. This encouraging realization will allow you to keep going with a much more positive mindset.
“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” – Dalai Lama
2. Write the possible consequences of each scenario
Listing all possible scenarios isn’t enough. I expanded my list by imagining what would happen if each of the 5 possible scenarios came true. This objective assessment was a powerful way to pinpoint potential obstacles to overcome in case of a least-desirable scenario. It was also a gauge of the delightful results I would realize if things went according to plan.
Start with the worst possible scenario and work your way up to the best. If you end this exercise by imagining the wonderful life that awaits you if you’re successful, you’ll spark positive momentum to skyrocket your motivation.
3. Devise a plan to avoid possible problems
Lack of foresight is one of the most common precursors of failure. Knowing this, I listed all the action steps I need to take to avoid the 2 worst case scenarios. Because I knew the problems that could potentially arise, I was in a great position to prepare for these challenges and avoid them altogether.
It’s your turn to be proactive. Create a comprehensive list of action steps you will follow to avoid possible issues in the future, and leave time in your schedule to execute these action steps. Seek outside help if you need it.
Being prepared will not only minimize your chances of failure, but will motivate you to keep working hard to achieve what you desire.
4. Create a worst-case scenario strategy
Having an exit strategy is a key to succeed in business—and in life. I asked myself, “What will I do if the worst happens?” I created a detailed “Plan B” that would also allow me to use my gifts and live my passion.
What would you do if things went wrong? Don’t focus on the unwanted results. Instead, place your attention of alternatives that would, in the end, also lead to fulfillment and satisfaction. Keep the end goal in mind but also keep an open mind.
This is a powerful exercise that will temper your feeling of uncertainty. You will feel safe and encouraged. You’ll know that a deviation from your original plan is not a failure. Instead, it’s an opportunity to explore a whole new set of possibilities.
5. List the times things worked out exactly the way you wanted them
To no avail, I tried to find a time in my life when my future was 100% predictable. That’s when it hit me. Life is never certain, and that’s what makes it exciting!
Remember that you have learned and grown as a person because of life’s endless surprises. Some of those surprises will be pleasant, and some will not. But in the end, you are who you are today as a result of your life experiences.
In a few words, certainty is an illusion. This is a profound realization that will help you look at the future without fear.
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill
Follow the 5 steps above to keep your motivation reserves healthy and plentiful, and continue taking daily, focused steps to design a successful and fulfilling life!
How do you stay motivated in times of uncertainty? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
20 Science-Backed Ways to Stay Motivated (Infographic)
Motivation is something we all strive to have, but can also be one of those feelings that’s hard to keep. Whether we’re attempting to reach a new fitness goal or trying to stay motivated in our role at work, sometimes that motivation just isn’t there. You feel motivated for a while – you’ll listen to podcasts, read books, keep yourself accountable – but then it’s lost. You feel so much energy at the start, then feel yourself slowly losing that inspiration. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. (more…)
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If you’d like to learn how to consistently motivate yourself so you can achieve any goal you want, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.
People are always waiting for motivation to strike them before they start working on their goals. However, waiting for motivation to come to you before you start working is an unreliable method if you want to consistently work on achieving your goals. (more…)
8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back
Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.
Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.
Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:
1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side
Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.
2. Do something that you love
When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all?
Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.
3. Don’t overcomplicate it
Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.
4. Get up and get moving
This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.
5. Reset your focus
It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do.
One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.
6. Listen to your favorite music
Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.
7. Expand your knowledge
“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.
If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.
When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.
Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About These 4 Motivation-Boosting Techniques?
If you’d like to learn how to increase your motivation so you can get more done during the day, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.
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