Here’s a short story that may or may not seem a little familiar. When an attractive and fresh idea knocks on your door, you invite it into your life and it soon turns into an exciting new project that you can’t wait to start working on. So get to the point! All hands on deck. You feel good, motivated, unstoppable and inspiring. Everything is fine. . . at least for a while.
Somewhere along the way, things start going south. The motivation that initially inspired you has disappeared, and without it, your project will not last long. So, the next thing you know is that you’re grieving along with all the other things that may but may not happen.
After that, a wave of frustration rattles you.
You don’t know what went wrong and, to be honest, you have a lot of courage to do an autopsy of a dead project. So after grieving and beating yourself up a little, you move on to the next stage, as excited and motivated as before. But oh no, soon the next project dies too! With a heap of dead projects to bury in your backyard, you freak out about why you can’t maintain motivation.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It happens to successful people as well. I have good news: I dug up the dead projects in my backyard and performed several autopsies so you don’t have to.
What were the results? The majority cause of death was one (or concoction) of these 5 venoms listed below.
1. Comparing yourself (when done wrong)
Nothing consumes your energy as much as comparing yourself to others. Seriously, this is an incredibly boring task. So it’s not surprising that by the end of the day, you no longer have the energy to invest in your projects and personal goals. But I’m not here to tell you how to stop comparing myself to others, because you can’t. Comparison is a natural process that the human brain has been dealing with for centuries and is an important feature of our species.
It’s like a microchip that’s so deeply embedded in our minds. Good luck disabling this feature. Instead, I’m here to give you some tips on how to include the right equation, because yes, even when it comes to an emotionally exhausting process of “equation”, there’s a right way to do it.
If you want to achieve your goals, the first thing you need to learn is to be energy efficient and your precious and limited mental energy is what really matters and it will produce something useful or productive in the long run.
We’re all guilty of negative comparison, but really you need to focus on your own goals and forget about those who are doing better than you. Don’t compare yourself to others, instead focus on what you want to achieve and how you can do it.
You may be doing the right thing in the wrong way, or you may be doing the wrong thing in the right way. The type of self-evaluation you should be doing is a constructive comparison that can reveal your weaknesses and strengths. You should invest your precious energy in this type of self-evaluation.
It’s always important to evaluate yourself and compare your habits to someone who is living the kind of lifestyle you hope to have. For instance, let’s say you’re not living a healthy lifestyle and would love to be healthy, then you should follow someone healthy who inspires and challenges you to be more healthy. This tip will boost your self esteem and your new self-confidence will take your life to new heights
In short, self-destructive comparison undermines our motivation, while constructive comparison fuels it.
Motivation is very high-maintenance. It requires a constant influx of incentives to survive and to stay nourished.
Think of motivation as a houseplant. You need to constantly water and feed the soil so that it can grow healthy. It will continue to fade slowly and eventually die unless you take the time to care for it well.
“So what can I do to increase my motivation every day?” you ask. The answer is pretty simple, and something you’ve probably heard before: Create vision boards. They are perfect for enhancing your motivation, enhancing your imagination, and helping you overcome any creative block that may arise.
Remember that people are visual beings, so it’s not surprising that sometimes we have to see what we want to achieve in order to keep moving forward. And what vision boards do best is help you visualize your goals.
How about creating it? They are incredibly simple, you can print pictures (of what you want to have in the near future) and hang them on the wall so you can see them every day.
We must accept the fact that good and valuable things take time, and learn how to cultivate the increasingly rare virtue of patience.
Sometimes, especially when we’re just starting a new project (which I like to call “the honeymoon” of our projects), we’re so excited and full of energy that we want to do everything at once. And while Joy is important, things get dangerous when we start to set all these unrealistic goals, realizing that it’s almost impossible to lose 20 pounds in a week or learn Korean in a month. Goals such as these will cause constant frustration since it isn’t a S.M.A.R.T goal failure to reach these unrealistic goals create a sense of defeat that gradually undermines our motivation and leaves us frustrated, and we will ultimately abandon our goal.
So what can you do to protect your motivation from the devastating effects of impatience and poor planning and execution? Start by breaking tasks into small pieces, allowing you to work slowly but surely, and as you do so, remember to pay attention to the S.M.A.R.T goals you set.
Because setting unrealistic goals can kill your motivation even before you start. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the feedback you give yourself, and take on the habit of accepting and praising your progress, no matter how small your victory may be.
Remember, the little wins increases your self esteem which ends up boosting your self confidence.
When it comes to draining your energy and absorbing the last drop of your life, there is only one thing that resembles the above equation of self and that is: perfectionism.
This slows you down and creates unnecessary pressure on your shoulders. Not to mention, it’s extremely time-consuming. Perfectionism affects your motivation as much as impatience: creating and nurturing a constant sense of defeat that eats away at your motivation and, in fact, your willingness to do everything.
So instead of sweating on every little thing, worrying about every little thing, and thinking about every aspect of your project, try to focus on what really matters. Focus on what will really pay off and make a difference in the long run.
It’s good to be detailed, but don’t overdo it. When it comes to achieving your goals, the most important thing is,be consistent, not perfect.
What really matters is how often you show up, how smart you work and how wisely you spend your time and energy.
The Most Important Takeaway:
Practice self-esteem instead of feeling shame for yourself.
In this way, your motivation will remain healthy and ready to support you in achieving your goals.
Keeping the bike moving is key to maintaining motivation. Take on the habit of encouraging on a daily basis.
Remember, you’re a human being, not a machine
Resources: Learn more about vision boards here