4 Tricks For Staying Motivated When Life Tries To Knock You Back

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Also: 3 things to avoid when your goals really matter.

If you're like me, it's tempting to look at people who've accomplished something big or overcome something major and think, "Wow, it must be nice! I wish I had that kind of motivation!" As if you could never be focused in the same way.

SparkNotes defines "motivation" as “an internal process that makes a person move towards a goal.” It helps us better ourselves, keeps us happy, or sometimes inspires us to keep forging through a difficult time in our lives.

More simply stated, it is that ‘extra something’ that comes from within.

It helps us reaching for new goals, motivates us to better ourselves, and sometimes helps us forge through a difficult time in our lives. It's important!

Motivation: The elusive emotion.

So you think you’re the only one that struggles with staying motivated?

Guess again!

Motivation can be elusive and very difficult to maintain in the long run.

How amazing would it be to simply buy a dose of motivation off the shelf? If only it were that easy!

The fact is, remaining motivated takes commitment, focus, and a conscious effort.

We have to mindful of our thoughts and attitudes, and then be ready readjust when we become negative, frustrated, or want to give up.

For example, in the beginning, it was easy for me to remain motivated to build my business as a Life, Adversity, and Reinvention. But, as I was confronted, the factors that impacted my motivation was much harder to maintain.

Which brings me to my next point — motivation zappers!

Just as there are things that build you up and help you maintain your motivation and a positive attitude, there are plenty that will tear you down and take it a way.

Here are 3 major factors that zap your motivation:

1. Others people's negativity.

You’ve heard it before. Everyone has an opinion, right?

This is true, but if you listen to certain people, they’ll only tell you every reason why you’ll fail and why you should scrap your idea.

If I would have listened to everyone’s negative feedback about my dream and gone along with the negativity of others, I would have never even started.

2. Your personal perception.

Remember, your perception is your reality.

This means that if you perceive that you’re capable of reaching your goal, then you are.

The flip side, though, is if you have no faith in yourself and perceive that you’ll fail, well, you probably will.

Similarly, if you perceive that the world is filled with opportunity and your hard work will pay off, then it likely will. But if you feel that everyone and everything are against you, then you will find it much more difficult to say motivated.  

3. Taking on too much.

It may be ok to be a multitask in some areas of your life, but when it comes to maintaining your level of motivation, taking on too many goals at once will likely sabotage you in the long run.

For me, in my early years, I attempted to build an online presence, take on new clients, and do two workshops a week.

Wow, bad Idea. I ended up overwhelmed, frustrated and ready to quit. After I came to my senses, I took on one task at a time and restored my motivation and positive attitude.

Remember, staying motivated isn’t always easy.

In fact, it takes a lot of work, depending on what is happening in your life.

The good news is there are some simple things that you can do to re-energize your motivation.

1. Break down your goals.

Take small steps to set goals for yourself. Part of effective goal-setting includes breaking down the main goal into smaller ones and then rewarding yourself.

After all, your level of motivation depends on your ability to see that you’re accomplishing smaller goals and making progress towards your main goal.

If you don’t see the small wins and then pat yourself on the back, you’re sure to run out of steam and motivation before you reach your big goal.

2. Practice positive affirmations and self-talk.

I used to think complimenting myself in the mirror was a silly waste of time.

I’ve since learned that this is one of the most powerful and effective ways to help you stay motivated.

I tell clients to think of daily affirmations and positive self-talk as the mechanisms that reprogram their internal tape recorder.

From childhood, our world has taught us what we can’t do instead of what we can, and all that we aren’t instead of what we are.

No wonder we think negatively!

Making a conscious effort to verbalize positive messages to ourselves changes our internal tape recorder and helps us stay positive, motivated and happy.

3. Take good care of your body.

A healthy and well-rested body fuels your mental and emotional strength.

As you can imagine, it's much easier to remain motivated, tolerate stress, and move towards your goals when both your mind and body are healthy.

Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and consistent and restful sleep will help your body fuel your mind.

4. Have some fun.

No, you're not a kid anymore, but that doesn't mean that you need to give up play time and stop having fun.

I suggest making time once a week to do an activity that you did as a kid.

As I kid, I loved to play in the sand box, climb trees, and ride my bike. I may look odd playing in a sand box or climbing a tree, but I fit right in riding a bike. Every few weeks, I’m able to have fun and recharge my level of energy and motivation.


Remember each of us has the ability to choose our own level of motivation and happiness.

While you can’t expect to be 100% motivated all the time, it is possible to maintain a level that allows you reach your goals and new heights.

Here is some food for thought: Not too long ago, I was the most unmotivated and unhappy person that I knew. But when I realized I had control over my outlook and choices, I’ve found the motivation to find happiness and change my life.

If I can do it, so can you!!


Jess Brighton is a Minneapolis based Life, Adversity and Reinvention Coach. Learn more about her and her coaching services by visiting www.jessicabrighton.comIf you have a question about this or another topic email Jess at jess@jessicabrighton.com t o schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.