"Life is a journey, not a destination." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The number one question I am asked on a daily basis is, "How do I keep my motivation up, Debbie?" Whether it's looking for love or a job, striving for a promotion or to lose weight -- people get discouraged way too easily.
Initially, people are pumped for their challenge. They go in with gusto, and if they don't see results quickly, it all falls away.
You see this play out all the time with weight loss. After so much effort, and losing so much weight, people quickly gain it back.
The biggest problem is that people's incentives are coming from outside of themselves. People are thinking about the reward instead of truly believing in self and following their inner sense of pride, passion, and intention. (These, of course, are the characteristics we need to find within ourselves in order to obtain that reward.)
The truth is, for most of us it takes a while to be successful, or to have our dreams come to fruition. And it's the middle part that's the most difficult -- the part where you're trudging along, not sure where it's all headed. Here's where your belief in yourself and your ability to enjoy the ride become of the utmost importance.
I am personally someone who's had to work very hard for anything I've achieved. And I've never accomplished anything before the five- or six-year mark -- I mean, anything!
Whether it's been my schooling, getting tenure, writing a book, starting my business, appearing on TV, even finding love -- it's all been with great effort!
For example, when it came to getting my book published, I was challenged in many areas. I didn't know about writing or publishing, had no role models or mentors, and had no connections.
It was just me, figuring it all out. And I hit a lot of rejection.
But what I had was an unshakeable belief in myself and in my purpose to make a difference in people's lives. And I went through the steps below to finally get to my destination. So I wanted to share with you the secrets to staying motivated:
- Believe in yourself. No matter what others think or say, and no matter how much rejection you experience, your sense of what you know to be true for you has to stay consistent and solid.
- Practice perseverance. You have to keep going. No matter how hard it is, or how much work you have to do, you just have to keep trying again and again, until finally -- a door opens.
- Mind your emotional world. Sticking out a goal doesn't always feel fantastic. Sometimes, your faith wavers and leaves you feeling hopeless, impatient, and scared. You must feel these feelings, release them, and get back to the baseline instead of ignoring what's going on inside of you.
- Gain awareness. If you're someone who sabotages yourself, doesn't believe in yourself, and feels undeserving of the things you desire, you must work to genuinely change how you feel about yourself. No matter what you do, if you truly believe you aren't good enough, you'll have a hard time getting to the end goal.
- Set achievable goals. The bigger our dreams, the more steps we must take to achieve them. One mistake people make is trying to do everything at once, getting overwhelmed, and dropping the whole thing. We need to feel small successes along the way in order to go the distance, breaking our goals into achievable ones on our way to the big one.
And remember, once you do reach your goal, the truth is that it only feels great for an instant, and then you're onto the next goal.
The key is finding the joy in between the peaks -- paying attention to the moments, to the joy in the creating of your dreams, and to the pride you feel in yourself. Even if no one else ever acknowledges what you're doing, this is the true objective.
If the motivation is for self-fulfillment, and the intention is to help someone in the world, it's never a failure, it's always worth it, and it becomes joyous -- no matter what the outcome.
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