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How to stay motivated in Tough Times

"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are."

—Bernice Johnson Reagon

The best part of tough times is not the fact that it will soon be over but that it will make us a person we were never before. When we stay strong despite our circumstances, improve ourselves in the process, and ultimately overcome the limitations, the taste of success is sweeter than what it would have been without the challenges. We not only feel accomplishment within, but we are also able to accept the appreciation we get from others as we have earned it despite the turmoil.

Remember the last time you accomplished something you never thought was possible for you. It could be anything from passing a test at school to saying hi to the person you had a crush on, to cracking the business deal. Though the odds were against you something inside you just helped you in facing those odds instead of running away from your problems. Since you were able to face your fears on that day, you certainly have what it takes to overcome your current problems as well. What you might be lacking at times is the motivation to stay strong and not worry about the external circumstances and hence the thought of giving up might cross the mind.

But remember those who face the problems with perseverance have a chance to win but those who quit give up on their success. Your problems are problems just because you have not yet figured out a solution to them. You need to find more choices for yourself than you have now.

Often, there are simple solutions to our problems but to reach those simple solutions is a journey in itself that we all need to take. During these times it is extremely important to stay motivated.

So, let’s check out the 5 things you can do so that you keep moving forward and tackle these situations with ease:

  1. Practice tolerance – Often when we are facing the downside of life, we meet people who seem to be unkind, uncompassionate and rude. We might feel that people are ignoring us or simply don’t want to help. We might feel that our capabilities are being underestimated and nobody wants to give us a chance to prove our worth. We might feel that all the events and circumstances are going against us. During these times we tend to lose control and speak or do what we might regret for the rest of our lives. In these times, it is important to practice tolerance. Instead of reacting to external circumstances, ask your mind a question, “What is going to be the best response in this situation?” Think about a person you admire and ask yourself, “How would this person react in this situation?”

This is going to help you take a step back and think before you speak and will save you from a lot of potential embarrassments. If you are lucky, you might also come across people who would respect your patience and guide you to the next step.

2. Don’t follow every advice you get – During tough times, we are often tempted to discuss our challenges with our friends, family members and people who are close to us, even though we are well aware that they don’t have a solution to our problems. Though it is important at times to discuss our problems with our loved ones to get rid of our emotional baggage but remember you don’t need to follow every advice they give. Be aware not to discuss all your issues with everyone you know. Just in case you have to, make sure you don’t blindly follow their opinions. You certainly need advice or help to get rid of your current issues but for that you need to find the right books to read, right people who have successfully overcome similar difficulties or people who have knowledge over the subject. Don’t take anyone’s opinion as a fact, even when they tell it as a fact.

When I decided that I want to become a coach, a lot of people encouraged me, but there was one lady who had been in this profession since years and was working as an employee with some organization. She told me very confidently that it will not be possible for me to create my own identity, it’s very difficult, I should search for a job instead and a lot of things that she felt were true. Though her intentions were good and she was saying everything as if it was a fact, I stepped back and thought to myself that if what she says is true then how has Anthony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Lisa Nicholas become such great speakers. I thought about my role models and people I admire the most and concluded that I don’t need to take her advice, since what she says is only true for her.

Similarly, any advice you get, even the one I am giving, step back and think if it’s true, if it’s motivating and if it can help you grow. If not, move on and find someone else.

3. Positive thinking is a habit and habits come with practice – Many people say that during tough times it is difficult to think positively. All they can think about is their fears or rejections that they are facing. However, when they think about their fears, the fears don’t diminish. Instead they grow and give birth to more fears. When they think about the bad things that happen to them, the intensity of such events increases. Hence, they need to change their habits of thinking about the negative things happening in their life. They need to initially force themselves to think positive, despite the circumstances. Start with changing one negative thought at a time by replacing it with a totally opposite thought. For example, if you think that it’s impossible for you to learn guitar replace it with the thought that learning guitar is simple, I just need to find a good teacher. This will instill a new habit and you will be able to think positive despite the circumstances.

4. Have a gratitude diary – This is the tip that has the power to change your life. You should have a gratitude diary in which you list 3 positive events every single day. Every night just before you go to sleep, analyze your day and write these positive events in the diary. They can be small positive events that occurred throughout the day. For example: You tried to cook something and it turned out well. Your boss appreciated you for a presentation you made, etc. The smallest positive event you can think about will help. You can also use online apps that are available to you just in case you like typing more than writing. Thinking about the positive things in your life helps you in realizing that no matter how hard the day was, still there was someone or something that brought a smile to your face. This diary helps a lot when negative thoughts start occupying your mind. You can always read them back and think how lucky you are, instead of how miserable your life is.

5. Visualize your victories – Visualizing what exactly you want can help you in manifesting your desires quickly and effectively. It is like giving the universe a clear indication of what you want, instead of creating confusions. If you want to buy a beautiful house in future visualize how your house will look like, how many floors it will have, the color of the walls, etc. Be as detailed as possible. Visualizing your victory will create positive patterns in your brain and motivate you to keep making efforts to achieve your goals.

The key to stay motivated is to have a very clear purpose for your life and then taking action towards that purpose by believing in your self-worth and your ability to make your dreams come true.

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