If there’s one thing I’ve learned in being a young business owner, it’s that everything you want is within reach—you just have to work your butt off to get there. Self-motivation is vital to your success, in whatever you’re passionate about, or whatever your industry.
If you don’t go after things (especially the things you want), they’re not just going to fall in your lap. You can pray, hope, wish, etc. but if you don’t get yourself off the couch and put in the work, your dreams will always stay exactly that—dreams.
If you’re ready to change your life, your heart, and your confidence, here are eight self-motivation strategies to get you back on track.
1. Stop telling yourself ‘no.’
One of the biggest ways I’ve found success (by my personal definition) is to stop telling myself ‘no.’ For a long time, I was so focused on how I was young, how I was potentially underqualified, and how I didn’t ‘know enough’ to truly be good at the things I was dreaming about. So I told myself I couldn’t.
There were countless missed opportunities, closed doors, and chances that ran away from me, simply because I told myself ‘no’ rather than empowering myself to try.
The thing is, if you’re constantly feeding yourself negativity and telling yourself you can’t, you won’t. It’s a simple phenomenon that we make harder than it has to be—good energy in, good energy out. If you truly want something, you have to change that ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’
2. Quit worrying about what everyone else is doing.
I can’t preach this enough. Stop comparing yourself to other people. No matter where you are in your career, personal or professional journey, you’re going to have moments where people are doing more or less than you. And this shouldn’t define your next steps.
Sometimes you’ll be wildly creative, and sometimes you’ll be stuck. Sometimes you’ll know what to do next and sometimes you’ll be utterly confused. The ebb and flow is a natural part of the process—so stop focusing on other people and know that your definition of ‘hard work,’ ‘success,’ and ‘perfection,’ are yours alone.
3. Focus on what you’re actually good at.
One of the simplest self-motivation strategies is this: stop trying to be everything and start trying to be really good at one or two things.
Being mediocre at something is a waste of everyone’s time. Although you might want to pour yourself into more passions—be cautious about wearing yourself too thin. While it’s always good to explore and get out of your comfort zone, if you’re trying to be too many different things, you’re going to fall short on the things you’re actually good at.
4. Start with one small thing.
Finding self-motivation can be tough, but more often than not, we make it harder than it has to be by thinking of larger things rather than what’s actually manageable.
If you’re trying to change your habits, start with something small. Think about going to bed or waking up an hour earlier to get yourself refreshed or knock out a few tasks before the sun rises. Perhaps write yourself a to-do list and get one thing done each hour. Everyone’s process will be different, but if you start with a series of little steps, you’ll actually realize it’s far easier to get to where you want to be.
5. Create self-imposed deadlines.
I’m the type of person that’s motivated by deadlines. When I have a concrete time and understanding of when things are due, I can appropriately knock those items off the list—and perhaps that’s you, too.
A great self-motivation strategy is to create these deadlines for yourself if they aren’t already in place. Allocate your time appropriately and pay attention to things that need to be done (and their order). This can help you not only accomplish tasks but feel good about your process, too.
6. Establish your ‘on’ and ‘off’ times.
One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to schedule necessary and mandatory breaks. Although it sounds counterintuitive, actually taking time off from work will help you to start back stronger and more focused.
7. Work harder than the person next to you.
What I’ve learned in starting my business is that in order to be truly successful, you have to work harder than the person next to you. There’s a lot lately being preached about finding a proper work-life balance, and while I completely agree with taking breaks (see above) I also think it’s important to acknowledge the hard work, too.
If you want to be at the top of your industry, or the best version of yourself that you can be, you have to work really, really hard. It’s not enough to make the dreams and plans, you actually have to actively take the steps to reach them. And keep going, no matter what obstacles fall into your path.
8. Lighten up.
I write this point for myself and anyone else who struggles with being a perfectionist. While it’s great to self-motivate, push, and empower yourself to really grow—you have to lighten up, too.
You don’t always have to be the best or smartest person in the room. You don’t always have to do the right thing or pour 300% of yourself into your goals all the time. Learning to slow down and lighten up about the bumps in the road will not only create peace and balance in your life, but make you a happier person, too.
Featured Image Credit: Andrea Vehige