When I started my business, I was met with skepticism and criticism from those closest to me.
“How are you going to save for retirement? I heard that 8 out of 10 businesses fail. This is temporary, right? Until you get a real job?”
Every comment from those well-meaning people eroded the confidence and motivation I had amassed after countless hours of research and preparation. I felt as though I was paddling upstream in a raging river—and no one was there to lend a hand.
But even though I was scared, I didn’t quit. Instead, I applied the 7 tactics below to stay motivated despite the critics:
1. Know your mission
I knew I wanted to be a marketing coach because I’m passionate about teaching and I’m fascinated by marketing. Every time the critics made me want to question my decision, I would think of my mission and remind myself that I was doing what I knew was right for me.
Clearly state what you want to accomplish and why. To stay motivated, your reasons must match your core values and passion. Then, write down your mission and post it near your computer where you will be able to see it during the tough times.
“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” – Mahatma Gandhi
2. Don’t justify your goal
I realized that the more I tried to explain why I was pursuing my goal, the less confident I felt about my ability to succeed, and the more my motivation suffered.
You’re not obligated to explain or justify your goal. Focus on how to achieve what you desire rather than on how to get external approval to pursue your mission.
3. Don’t reveal too much too soon
I was so excited about my new venture that I couldn’t resist sharing the good news with those around me. I quickly learned that I had made a mistake, because instead of receiving encouragement, I often received criticism.
The reality is that many people in your life will find fault with your goal, will warn you to “be careful,” or will share a story of someone who failed when trying to achieve a similar goal.
That’s a sure way to kill your motivation, especially when it hasn’t gathered enough positive momentum to withstand criticism.
In the beginning stages of your project, it’s best to write your ultimate goal in a private journal and keep your ideas to yourself. Let your confidence and motivation build up before you share the news.
4. Expand your social circle
I noticed that many of my friends and loved ones were being critical because their interests and backgrounds were opposite to mine. I decided to meet new people who would be more likely to relate to me, offer encouragement, and provide useful insights.
Seek the company of those who are most likely to support you. Attend networking meetings, join a mastermind group or connect with a mentor. Create a strong support network to tap into during your journey.
5. Spend time in solitude
As important as it was for me to meet new people, I found the answers to my biggest questions when I removed myself from the noise and spent time alone.
You don’t need to escape to a deserted island for a week. Even an hour away from technology and other people will allow you to achieve the peaceful state of mind you need to create a winning strategy. You’ll feel more motivated to go on when you become confident about your plan of action.
“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” – Albert Einstein
6. Find those who have succeeded achieving a similar goal to yours
The best antidote for the doomsday scenarios the critics describe to you is a story of triumph.
I found the top five players in my industry and followed their footsteps. I signed up for their training programs and modeled what they had done in their business. I placed my attention on the amazing results they had achieved. They became one of my main sources of motivation.
Today, make a list of 5 to 10 people who have achieved a similar goal to yours, and learn from them. Just like you, they were probably bombarded with criticism. But they made it, and so can you!
7. Celebrate small successes
I created a log of small wins, which I updated at the end of every week. I kept track of new software applications I had learned, people I had connected with, and training modules I had completed. Even cleaning my inbox made it to the list!
When my confidence and motivation wavered, I read the log, and realized how much I had already accomplished. This log became an instant motivation booster.
Keep track of your accomplishments—even those that seem insignificant. A small win might end up having a big impact on your success.
Criticism is one of the major motivation killers, but if you’re prepared, you won’t be a victim of the critics. Stay focused on the end goal and find joy in every step of the journey!
How do you stay motivated when people criticize you? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone
Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.
When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.
But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.
Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.
These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.
1. Include short breaks
My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.
2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking
Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.
3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule
A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!
These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!
This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!
2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery
When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.
3. Love what you do
This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.
These last few tips are Industry-related!
1. Make sure you have fun projects
Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.
2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year
Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.
3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry
View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.
These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!
7 Ways Yoga Effectively Motivates You to Achieve Success
Yoga is an appointment with your own self. It is time to meet your true self and receive a return ticket to your true nature that is bliss and happiness. You will naturally feel happy while doing yoga. Many people don’t realize they are in a distressed state until it’s too late. The same thing happened with me when I failed to understand my life’s circumstances. I was struggling with a lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and maintaining my personal relationships, which eventually started affecting my physical health.
Last year, I struggled with depression and general anxiety disorder. I was constantly chasing after money, a lucrative career, happiness, and success. I was afraid that if I told my colleagues about my mental health issues, they would criticize me and eventually it would hamper my progression and I would not be taken seriously.
Last winter, my responsibilities in life increased in a short period of time, which created a lot of anxiety. It began to disturb my mood at home as I was unable to relax and felt low. I hated my own egotistical self because I was an extremely competitive individual as well. I always felt that I did not have the career of my dreams and I was not where I aimed to be. It felt like I was failing because I was not able to attain any of the goals I set in my own life.
I decided to share my emotions and feelings with someone who could potentially make things easier for me. I ended up explaining my struggles and mental illness to my manager. His reaction was amazing because he thanked me for being honest, and he introduced me to yoga. I am happy that I made this decision because it felt better after sweating it out in the Yoga workshop.
Yoga helped me in focusing on what I truly had, instead of on what I didn’t have. I learned how to embrace my competitive side and to use it in a way that pushed me to become a happier person. Yoga taught me that instead of wasting most of my life chasing after success and competing with others, I had to let life run its natural course. Happiness and success will then come to us naturally.
Below I have listed some reasons as to why yoga works effectively to motivate yourself to achieve success:
1. It Solves Your Problem
When it comes to challenges and tackling problems, yoga works amazingly. When you get on a yoga mat and begin to practice, you are made to deal with everything that comes to you and asked to face it gracefully. In turn, this increases your focus and patience levels, so that you will be able to face the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges at every turn.
2. It Lowers Your Anxiety and Stress
Yoga doesn’t mean that you will heal instantly, but constant practice can help you destress. The simple breathing and moving exercises can help a lot in releasing your tension and anxiety.
Yoga helps in stretching your muscles by relaxing them as most of the stress and tension is stored there. The breathing exercises energize your body by increasing the blood flow, which eventually refreshes your body and mind. The daily practice of yoga makes you aware of the surroundings by making you control your emotions and stress.
“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.” – Norman Vincent Peale
3. Increase Your Focus
Yoga helps improve your focus through the breathing exercises you do during the yoga postures. It relaxes the body and mind so you can think clearly, and in time build up the ability to concentrate.
Yoga is focused on concentration, breathing, and the alignments. Additionally, yoga’s claimed to bring mental and physical relaxation by energizing the parasympathetic nervous system, and this is the reason why yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy and a stress-free lifestyle.
Real success comes when you use yourself to your full capability. It does not matter what you become, the only thing that matters is that you are living your life to your full potential.
If you want to be successful, then you must see everything just the way it is, without any distortion. Yoga helps you with just that. Through practicing yoga daily, you will start to see the results and live more joyfully.
5. It Boosts Your Health
Mental health affects your work and your physical health. Your physical health can drastically affect your work as it will make you work less and take more time off, which will lead to lined-up pending assignments.
Yoga helps your body with almost every physical problem. Yoga increases your blood flow, oxygen, and improves your circulatory system. All the postures of the Bikram yoga help to improve the flow of fresh and oxygenated blood to every part of the body and mind.
“Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” – Sri Dharma Mittra
6. Gives Mindfulness and Makes You Present
Mindfulness teaches us to become more present at any given moment. It makes us more aware and conscious of our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and hence makes us strong enough to control our actions towards situations.
Practicing breathing in yoga teaches you to experience and live each moment to the fullest. Over time, yoga will help you live in a deep sense of fulfillment and inner peace, which will ultimately help you in making the right decision for yourself and your team.
7. Stay Aware and Positive
A yogi tends to have a balanced outlook on life. Yoga sessions of meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness will aim at making you conscious and aware of yourself. Additionally, it will open up new possibilities of understanding your true self.
Yoga also aims at making you a positive person, and the effects of yoga are not limited to relaxation after a workout but are exceptionally long-lasting. Yoga makes you attain the attitude of gratitude that helps you identify the brighter side of life.
To achieve success through yoga, you must adapt it into your day to day life because having good health is a basic necessity to live a happy and healthy life and no one but you can keep yourself healthy.
Have you tried yoga? If so, share with us how it’s positively impacted your life below!
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