Why do so many businesses and projects fail? Is it because the idea was bad? Is it because there was no plan? Or is it perhaps because we ran out of steam when things got tough?
And in business, things will get tough. They always do.
When we try something new, we're entering into unknown territory. When I started my first business I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was new to me. It was exciting but scary. A lot of situations stressed me out because I didn't understand how to deal with them. I had to learn on the spot and hope each decision was right. But not all of them were. In fact, I made some bad and costly mistakes, but it was quickly learning from those mistakes and not repeating them that was key. Next time, I would know what to do.
When things get tough, then, how do we keep our motivation and drive to pursue our dream? Why do so many people give up when the going gets tough? Well, I sort of understand why, because we don't like to fail or feel in a constant state of uncertainty.
Some people can thrive in uncertainty but for others it's too far out of their comfort zone. It literally burns them out.
An important question to ask yourself is – do you understand why you are doing it? If it's just because someone told you to, you might not have enough drive to persist when things get tough.
If you are doing it to help others, to prove something to yourself, to improve your lifestyle or because it's your passion, you are 10 times more likely to see your goals through.
Do you get out of bed every morning dreading the day or are you excited? If you hate what you are doing, it won't last and you will just make yourself miserable. Sometimes this feeling is temporary. We all have bad days, but we need to recognise whether our mood is the norm or an exception. There are so many little alterations we can make in our daily lives that'll make things easier for us. Routines that can help keep our mind clear and make the right choices.
If you want to go for a run in the morning, why not put your running shoes and clothes next to the bed so you have no excuse when you wake up. If you want to get some work done and really focus, schedule it in your calendar, put your phone on aeroplane mode, tell people you are not available for three hours. Most things can wait that long.
The problem these days is that, because of smartphones, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter. We want to distract ourselves and check for new feeds, messages and emails. It gives us a constant dopamine rush. But it really affects our brains and the ability to focus.
Another good motivational strategy is making your bed in the morning. You will feel you have already achieved something before leaving the house. It will make you feel good and motivated. When you come back home after a hard day and everything has gone wrong at least the bed has been made and you will feel much better about yourself. We need a strategy to stay productive and not lose focus all the time. I use binaural tones to help me with focus and creativity. I also meditate to reset my brain and stay calm. Daily exercise also improves focus and gives us energy.
If you really want to stay motivated to pursue your dreams, you need to find the right tools and use them daily. Reading inspirational books and watching motivational videos will set you up in the right frame of mind and reduce negativity.
So find your why and explore new ways to help you stay on track and motivated.
- Written by Anna Bastek: multi-award winning entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, owner of Wolfestone, VoiceBox and Robertson Languages International, Welsh Government Dynamo Role Model, Ironman triathlete, traveller.