How To Stay Highly Motivated
If you have ever watched the show Shark Tank then maybe you have heard the phrase before, “entrepreneurs are the only people I know who work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40.”
It isn’t easy to stay highly motivated when you are working long hours but if you can manage to set goals and work backwards, apply your short-term memory, find your support system, reward yourself, and rephrase your thinking, you have a much better chance at success.
But how do you get to these places and how do you learn techniques that are going to help you stay motivated? Let's break each one of these down so that we can understand exactly how to apply these to our own lives.
Set Goals And Work Backwards
I have mentioned working backwards as being very important in a couple of different post that I have made including one about family/work balance.
Part of working backwards means that you need to first set a primary goal.
You will want to think about what is your dream scenario and don't just think about it but actually try to imagine what it really looks like.
Build out a specific vision of what your goal is in the details of what it looks like so that it will be easier when you are on the entrepreneurial path to remember this specific goal.
Now what you will want to do is start to break down that goal into steps. Figure out what steps are needed for you to accomplish this goal in order to live out your vision.
The reason this can help you to stay highly motivated is because you will need to constantly remind yourself why you were doing what you were doing.
When you are in a dark room and it's midnight and everyone else in your family has gone to bed you will often ask yourself, "why am I doing this?"
It might seem a little crazy when you talk to your friends and you hear about their great vacations that they are having and how they get to end their work days at 5pm when you are working 12-hour days with no breaks.
One of the main reasons we become entrepreneurs is because we simply cannot fit into a more traditional system. Our minds won't allow us to succeed in that path.
So it can become very confusing to know and understand why you are living this crazy life. But, if you have specific and clear goals that you know you need to get to, these will help you to remember why it is that you are living your own crazy life.
One of my goals is to have a house on property that me and my partner live in comfortably till we get old. I know what that house looks like, I know what the property looks like, and I know what the land around our property looks like.
When I am having a hard week and feeling a little lost in my journey I think about this specific vision that I have and it can give me an extra boost to finish out my day on a positive note.
This is how you will use your goals and working backwards to get to where you want to be. If you need some more resources on how exactly to set goals I recommend this article which discusses more methods at length.
Apply Your Short-Term memory
You may have often heard of this concept from sports teams and athletes.
The idea is that when something goes wrong in your business or in your life you apply your short-term memory to that situation in order to move forward.
If a basketball player misses a last-second shot that would have won the game, we can assume that they would feel bad about losing a game for their team.
This feeling could carry over into the next game and could cause the basketball player to have a poor game and the team could possibly lose another game because of this.
In order to avoid these situations athletes will often flex their mental muscles in order to forget about missing that last second shot so that they can show up in the next game and help their team win.
I know that for me, I can be my own worst enemy. I can often be harder on myself than others are on me. This makes it extremely difficult for me to show up every single day when I am feeling bad about myself on mistakes I made yesterday.
That's really what this concept is trying to support.
You need to be the best version of yourself that you can be in order to stay motivated and accomplish your specific goals.
If you are feeling sorry for yourself and think you are not capable of accomplishing your goals, then you are not going to reach that goal because you will not be motivated enough to follow through.
But, if you can accept that mistakes are going to happen and those mistakes will make you stronger, you will have a much easier time finding that extra motivation to keep you moving forward.
Finding motivation can also mean avoiding distractions from your motivation.
You might be easily motivated but when you make a mistake or something outside of your influence happens you could get distracted from that motivation and it could cause you to stop doing your work.
This is why I applying your short-term memory can be very useful when staying highly motivated. I have found this wikihow article that really breaks down the concept of moving on to be very helpful.
Find Your Support System
Working every single week, every single day, 12 hours a day, can be exhausting...
Working these types of hours can often make you feel isolated. No one else can do the work for you and no one else is going to care about your business as much as you are.
But having this mindset is exactly what leads you to feel alone and feeling alone can often be demotivating because of the amount of pressure that builds.
Finding a support system really helps in these situations.
Whether it is a mentor, family, friends, or a loved one, you will find that by having a support system the grind of everyday will not be so hard.
You will find that you are getting a little extra push every single day towards your vision.
Having people on your side and in your corner cheering you on feels much better than no one being there and needing to do it all yourself. If you let yourselves down at some point, there's no one to pick you up.
You need to lean on the people who support and love you and accepting to their help.
I know that for me, personally, accepting help can be difficult. I can often misconstrue help as a sign that I am not capable.
This becomes a lose-lose situation for me because the same mental toughness that gets me through being an entrepreneur becomes a problem when I actually do need help in my business but I can't receive it.
The more that I become open to others helping me, the more my business grows and becomes more successful.
We cannot do it on our own and it is not even possible to do it on your own. Having others support us as exactly how we stay highly motivated and highly successful.
By receiving their help we are often confronting bigger, more personal problems we might not even be aware of. But solving our problems makes us feel good about our business and the direction we are going. This motivates us to continue working hard towards our goals.
The more that you relate your support with your success the easier it will be to stay motivated to accomplish your goals. This isn't always as easy as people like me make it sound but following the steps in this nerdycreator article can give you further support to understand the benefits.
This is the most underappreciated part of being an entrepreneur.
If you are working as hard as you are day in and day out and do not give yourself any celebrations or rewards, it is going to be extremely hard for you to continue working those long hours.
This is often why most entrepreneurs will quit and go back to their traditional jobs.
We all know that being an entrepreneur is a grind and we tell ourselves that in order to be successful we need to show up when we don't want to, work through the pain, grit our teeth, and keep our nose to the ground.
All of these things might be true in certain situations but the opposite is also true and not considered with as much weight.
We are not going to be successful entrepreneurs if we cannot learn how to enjoy the small wins, give ourselves space away from our businesses, and appreciate our loved ones and family.
By working through the pain and never giving up, it becomes very hard to continue to motivate yourself because there is no release.
If there is nothing good about the journey to the goal that you have set it becomes hard to understand why you are continually working towards that goal.
What I have learned is that by scheduling my celebrations I receive extra motivation in what I am doing. I know that at the end of all my hard work and at the end of pushing through the pain, I will eventually be able to celebrate and have a good time.
Having that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is what keeps me motivated thru the pain of long hours and long days.
I constantly need to remind myself that something good is that the end of this hard work. Without that reminder I get lost in my work and I constantly question why I'm doing what I'm doing.
It is much harder to convince yourself that at some point things are going to feel better. It becomes a lot easier if you know exactly why things are going to feel better.
Make a list top 5 things that you love doing. Now find five different projects that you need to finish for your business. Attach your five rewards to your five projects and set deadlines to those projects.
Now, when you go through these projects that have specific deadlines think about those rewards and you will understand that these give you a good feeling about what you are working towards and we'll give you some extra juice to feel highly motivated.
Use this article will help to define rewards for all the goals you set.
Rephrase Your Thinking
This might be one of the harder part of saying highly motivated.
The reason this becomes so difficult is because we are often unaware our thoughts. We aren't conscious of what we were are thinking every single day.
So we go through life and we push through this pain and the whole time we are telling ourselves a very specific story in our minds.
You might not be aware of this story but it is always being told and it is always there.
This story is coming from our own insecurities and worries. These stories are telling us that things are going to be hard, that maybe we aren't capable, that we aren't going to reach our goals.
These mental blocks keep us from accomplishing what we want and achieving our goals.
If you can become more aware of the stories and what you are telling yourself you have a better chance to stay motivated throughout your journey.
As an entrepreneur I constantly tell myself that I need to be working. I am constantly repeating this story throughout my day.
I feel guilty if I am not working on something that has to deal with my business.
Even if I am having a good time I can often feel like I should have been working instead because I just lost time in my business.
But, when I become more aware of this story I start to ask myself, “what would you be working on?”
When I break this down I end up realizing that there really isn't any major issues to work out in my business. Usually, I am working so much that I am on top of everything. The only work that I would be doing in those scenarios is small, menial tasks.
Sure, those tasks are important, but those tasks are not going to make or break my business. I could just as easily outsource those tasks.
When I truly understand what I would be working on in my business, it helps me to know that I am already working towards the goals I have set and there is nothing immediate that needs to be done.
This keeps me from feeling like I am not doing enough and gives me extra motivation to keep pushing forward because I can accept where I am.
This is exactly what I mean by rephrasing you're thinking. Become aware of the thoughts that you are continually telling yourself.
Question those thoughts…
Are you just telling yourself a story because for some reason you believe that you need to work more than you actually do?
Are these stories causing you to feel demotivated and feel like you're not capable or not accomplishing enough?
Can you imagine yourself as being highly motivated if you didn't have these thoughts and instead understood that you're doing everything you can and working towards your goals?
We often feel like there is something specific we are not doing that we'll change our business. There is some kind of new tool or new information or new book that is going to give us the answer that we have always been needing.
The real truth is that most of these stories come from vulnerable places in our mind and that we have the power to actually change these stories.
It is a mindset battle. Have you ever heard the phrase “what fires together wires together” by Joe Dispenza?
It is the idea that your mind is incredibly powerful but does not know the difference between what is happening in the physical world and what is happening in your imagination.
So if you tell your mind over and over a specific goal you are creating a mental path to that goal that you mind has no idea isn't happening in the real world.
This will begin to change your mental patterns and you will start rephrasing your thinking.