I love motivation, and I think it’s a very powerful force. I do have one quarrel though with the way most people try to get and sustain their motivation: they rely immensely on external motivators.
When they want motivation, people often turn to reading a motivational book, listening to a motivational speech or seeing a motivational movie. This gets their heart pumping and they instantly feel the drive to act.
Which, in and of itself is great. The problem is that this kind of motivation is simply not sustainable. It dissipates very quickly, often in just a few minutes, and you’re back to your default mental state.
Then you need to run and access some more external motivators to get your drive back. Overall, you spend a lot of time chasing these motivators, and your motivation level still fluctuates. It’s no wonder that, unfortunately, many of these people don’t really create meaningful changes in their life. They lack consistent motivation.
I believe that consistent motivation can only come from inside yourself. The best type of incentive comes from within. And you can cultivate this kind of motivation at any point. Here are my top tips on how to do this.
1. Align Your Goals with Your Values …
Many times we find it hard to stay motivated to pursue a goal because that goal is not truly ours. It’s not something we really want; it’s just something we think we should want, or something that others expect of us. In others words, the goal is not aligned with our values.
This is why it’s crucial to set for yourself and pursue goals that are aligned with your own values, not with other people’s values. Go for what you truly want. This will make it much easier to have and keep the drive to act. Because your goals have personal meaning to you.
2. Think of the Outcome …
One of the best methods I know to motivate yourself is to repeatedly think about the way your life and you will be different once you’ve reached your goal. And try to picture this as vividly as possible, and experience the positive emotions you would feel then.
For instance, if your goal is to lose 30 lbs, imagine yourself once you’ve lost that weight. Imagine how much better you’d feel when you look in the mirror, how much better your clothes will fit, how others will compliment you and how going out will be a lot more fun.
Just thinking about this will flood you with positive emotions. And even if you know it’s gonna take a lot of work to reach this condition, you’ll have the motivation to do it.
3. Breathe …
When you work hard to achieve something, it can be stressful. If you don’t manage that stress, it’s gonna feel like a heavy weight on your shoulders and it’s gonna make you lose the incentive to keep going. So it’s critical to manage this stress.
One of the easiest ways I know to manage this stress is to simply breathe deeply. When you feel overburdened, stop for a second, breath in deeply, breath out deeply, perhaps repeat this a couple of more times, and notice your body relaxing and a burst of energy coming up. Then get back to your task. You’ll find yourself motivated to continue.
4. Talk to Yourself Positively …
Your self-talk plays a major role in motivating yourself. When you wanna do something, if you say to yourself in self-talk: “I can’t do it, this is too hard” you’ll automatically lose motivation. Even if this statement is not true. It becomes true because you think it is.
But if you think to yourself “I can do this. I’ve surpassed greater challenges before” you’re likely to get yourself feeling positive and motivated. Deliberately use positive, encouraging self-talk and you’ll not only get yourself motivated, but keep yourself that way to boot.
By creating motivation from within, you’ll be more consistent and effective in taking action. You’ll reach more of your goals faster, which will generate even more drive to achieve even more. You’ll create an ongoing cycle of motivation, which is continuously nurtured from within. There is no other feeling like it.
Eduard Ezeanu coaches others on how to be witty in conversation, how to get motivated and make change happen, as well as how to talk to people in order to build a rich social life. He also writes on Facebook and Twitter as @artofconfidence.
– What strategies do you use to create lasting motivation?