We all reached a point where we were seriously thinking about quitting what we were doing although we already put so much work into it. I’ve reached that point several times, and I’m still going.
Maybe you say to yourself that you’ll do it tomorrow. Perhaps you’re giving up on this for good.
Whatever it is, sometimes you know that you have to keep going although you don’t want to. You can’t give up now, the only thing you need is a little bit of motivation. And that’s precisely what I’m going to talk about and help you with in this article.
1. Remember When You Did Something You Didn’t Want To?
Do you remember the feeling that you got when you did something you had to do but didn’t want to do? It felt amazing, and you know it. But at the same time, it does feel a bit ‘empty’ (can’t describe the feeling).
This is called‘discipline’, some tasks you have to get done with a lot of discipline.
All tasks you have to get done on a specific day are ideally fun, most of the time they’re not though. That’s when you have to use a bit of your self-discipline reserve. If you don’t use it that often, you may not have a considerable reserve. But if you use it more often, you’ll be able to get stuff done even when you don’t want to.
You have to treat self-discipline as a muscle, the more you train (use) it, the better and bigger it gets. That’s why you feel good when you do something you actually didn’t want to. You gain back power over yourself, and that feels amazing.
So whatever it is that you want to give up on right now, maybe it’s something as simple as a particular task or perhaps you want to give up on your business.
Whatever it is, use a bit of self-discipline and pull yourself through it!
2. There Will Be Moments Of Doubt
As human beings with emotions, we all have moments of doubt from time to time. This is completely normal.
These doubts are made up by your mind and may all come from assumptions you’ve made.
Sometimes doubts can really help you. When you’re dating someone, and you’re thinking about starting a relationship with the other. Thoughts of doubt may come up with all kinds of reasons why you shouldn’t, maybe these are justified, maybe they’re not.
Either way, you’ll have to choose if these thoughts of doubt are real or made up.
If you doubt yourself, it’s never justified. I believe that as a human being, we can do anything if we really want it. Look at all the amazing things we as humans have invented!
3. If It Were Easy Everyone Would Do It
This is something you may have heard a lot – I certainly did.
As an entrepreneur, INFJ-A (personality type according to the Myers-Briggs test), and writer I have to understand that there are not a lot of people who are doing what I do. And I’m happy about it. Because if a lot of people were doing what I do, I wouldn’t be of any use, would I? There wouldn’t be a lot of room for me anymore.
Not that anyone in this world can exactly do what you do anyway, because you’re unique.
Something to keep in mind is that life is really hard, it isn’t meant to be comfortable. The Universe (or God or whatever you want to call it) is testing you to see if you’re worth it. Every day I wake up, telling the Universe to test me again and I will try to be my greatest version.
If life was easy, why would so many people commit suicide? Life is fucking hard, but it’s worth it. You can’t let something go because of a hardship.
If you’re asking yourself, “What is the point?” You haven’t figured out your purpose yet. Every human being that is on this earth has a purpose; otherwise, you wouldn’t have been here. So, if you don’t know yours yet, figure it out now!
4. Be Grateful For The Opportunity
Something you have to keep in mind is that life is a gift. Treat it that way.
What do you do when you get a gift? Exactly, you’re grateful for even getting a gift, and you’re thankful even if you don’t necessarily like the gift.
You should do this with every opportunity that you have, life, business or family.
I’m very grateful for having started my blog and a lot of resources making it easier for me. Even though I’m still in the beginning stages and still have a lot to learn. I’m grateful for the intellect I have and the supply of internet to even begin with.
Apply this to your life as well. Be grateful for the opportunity, even if it’s not going the way you want it to go. Be thankful for hardships as well, for they make you even stronger.
5. Remember Your Why
As I touched on earlier, every person has a why to live for, even if you haven’t figured yours out yet.
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
In times of doubt, you must remind yourself of the reason why you started in the first place. Did you start a business so you can have more free time to spend with your family? Great, work towards that.
Whatever your why is, it has to be big enough to move you, force an emotional reaction out of you. A why is never good or bad, if it motivates the hell out of you, you know it’s the right why.
A Quick Exercise
Write as many why’s down for a specific goal – if you don’t have a goal yet, first do that.
My goal at the moment of writing this is to move to Bali to start living the digital nomad lifestyle.
My why’s are:
- I want to be in a positive environment I can control (I’m currently living with my parents).
- I want to be entirely independent so that I can grow as a human being.
- It offers me a feeling of freedom, not being bound to the ground.
Try and apply this to your current goal, write as many why’s as you can come up with!
6. Reflect And Strategize
Sometimes you have to take a step back before you can move forward again.
Reflecting on your past actions and results once in a while is a perfect ritual. I do this weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. You could do this too or do it daily.
Sometimes you forget where you’re headed because you’re lost in all the routines and daily tasks.
If you don’t have a strategy yet to handle your life, it’s time to do it now.
Last week, I did precisely that.
I started my blog and wanted to offer my writing services too. I followed a course but was demotivated of getting a lot of no’s on my pitches.
I reflected and decided on taking on a new strategy.
First, I’ll focus on getting a bit of credibility by doing guest posts, such as this one.
Then, I’ll pitch to a prominent publication such as HuffingtonPost and write an article for them.
After those things, I’ll pitch to companies and blogs to write for as a freelance writer and mention my experience in it, so I look more credible. This will lead to more ‘yeses’ – I hope.
The downside of this is that it can take a while before I get my first client but I’ve made peace with that.
If you feel like giving up on something reflect with the following questions:
- What is working?
- What is not working?
- How could I do more of what is working than what is not working?
- How could I turn the not yet working things into working things?
- Is it still worth it to go after the goal I want to achieve?
- Am I doing my very best?
After you’ve answered them, make a plan on how you’re going to achieve the goal you’re after. You’ll have to adjust this plan as you move forward but that’s normal. As long as you’re keeping your eye on the prize and enjoy the process.
Take time to reflect and strategize instead of taking action without knowing where you’re going.
7. You’re Doing Nothing Because You’re Overwhelmed
Sometimes being overwhelmed can lead to inaction. Have you ever had such a big to-do list that after you took a look at it, you started doing other things? Giving up on your to-do list altogether?
I’ve done that many times in the past and I found a perfect solution.
Make a list of your 3 most important tasks of the day or even the ONE task that’s going to bring you the most results for the day.
When you do this, you’ll be more proud of yourself once you’ve completed this task because you know you’re progressing. And progression leads to happiness.
So, instead of looking at your massive to-do list, prioritize the most important tasks first and try to complete those.
Now, your to-do list most likely looks more prominent than a grocery list but that doesn’t mean that every single task is essential.
Some tasks may be ideas you want to follow up on or a friendly reminder to buy individual books.
There are other reasons why you could feel a bit overwhelmed and I’ll touch on those in the following subparagraphs.
Fear Of Failure
Another reason for feeling overwhelmed is the fear of failure. Maybe you’re just too anxious to fail on the task you have to do.
Did you set a goal to make $1,000 per month with your blog at the end of this year?
Are you scared that you will fail this immensely which holds you back from starting in the first place?
A lot of times we tell ourselves these stories about how we’re not good enough to do something. This is complete BS. Did you know you’re already an expert in a particular field if you just read 3 books about something? Yes, it’s that easy.
A lot of times we think we have to be an expert to do something, the fact is, we don’t. All we need to do is get started to become great. Not become great and then start.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among stars!”
It’s not a bad thing to ‘fail’, you can learn from every failure in your life. Besides, the most successful people in this world have failed enormously.
Do you know the story of the man who invented the light bulb?
As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
And that’s precisely how you should look at your goal!
Fear Of Rejection
As a human being, we naturally want to be loved and be part of the whole. If we are rejected, it feels like we’re unlovable or of little value. This can make the fear of rejection feel very real.
The problem is – most of the time – this is not the case. We (as a person) are not rejected, but our actions or behaviors are. If we see the rejection from this standpoint, it’s already a bit easier to deal with.
Do you need to call a potential client but you’re afraid to fail, so you just avoid it?
First of all, what’s the worst that could happen? The client says no, wow big deal. It’s not like he’s gonna find out where you live and kill your whole family. Think of the worst case scenario of any situation, and you’ll soon find out that it isn’t as bad as you thought.
Secondly, it’s not that the client rejects you as a person, the client rejects your offer. So don’t think that you’re not enough or that you don’t offer value. Don’t make these assumptions, instead try it again with someone else. Soon you will see that someone appreciates your value and recognizes it.
Last but not least, you did it! You could’ve given up before you even tried calling the client, but you didn’t. You took action on a task you know would move you forward. This is already an achievement in and of itself. Be proud of yourself and celebrate your act of courage. If you reward the ‘good’ things, you’ll want to do more of it.
“Refuse to let the fear of rejection hold you back. Remember, rejection is never personal.”
8. If The Task Is Boring, Make It A Habit
Sometimes you must do specific tasks – like filing taxes – you prefer not to. The problem with these tasks is that they have to get done although they’re boring.
The best thing to do with these things is to create a habit out of them. Implement it in your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly routine. Or plan a day with the sole purpose of getting these tedious tasks done.
Make them more fun by doing it in a pleasant environment, with a friend or in a coffee shop. Give yourself a big reward for doing these tedious tasks. Things that get rewarded will be repeated.
Make sure to use the same trigger and reward every time you do this task. Is your trigger going to the coffee shop or just opening your laptop? Do it right now and complete these tasks. Once you’ve done the chores, reward yourself with something you really want or like (like ice cream) and enjoy it.
Now, every time you have to do this, you apply precisely this routine, and if you do it long enough, it becomes a habit. This makes it easier for you to pull through these tedious tasks instead of procrastinating on them.
9. Learning Is Good But Learning With Action Is Better
Is there something new you want to try but you find yourself learning everything about it instead of applying the knowledge you already got? This is what I call ‘over-learning’.
If you come to a certain point in gaining knowledge, you’ve already achieved 80% of the knowledge, but you’re still going for the other 20% of learning which takes more time to learn than the first 80%. Learning the last 20% could take you up to 5 times the amount of time needed to gain the other 80%.
The best thing to do in this situation is to just get started and figure everything out along the way.A lot of times we think that we need to know literally everything before we can take action on something, the reality is that we don’t. You probably already know more than you think.
Take action, and you’ll find out that it gets more natural and more comfortable the more you do it. Every time you learn something new, test it, try it and make it your own.
Instead of taking massive action you could also use the somewhat contradicting solution: taking a break.
Sometimes it’s good to take some time off to get a creativity boost. Bill Gates does this already for a long time, he takes 1 week off (think week as he calls it) every 6 months. This means that he ultimately gets out of all the daily activities and spend 1 week reading and reflecting on everything that’s going on at Microsoft.
You could totally apply this to your life because it will definitely improve your creativity and motivation.
Even if you don’t take a whole week off, taking only one day off to fully recuperate can reap many benefits such as preventing decision fatigue, physical and emotional health improvement and improve learning.
11. Set Micro-Goals
The last thing that can really motivate you to move you forward is setting micro-goals to aim at.
We all know that our goals drive us to take action, but sometimes the long-term goals seem too far away. That’s when the micro goals come in. These goals can be daily, weekly or even goals which are smaller goals that lead to the bigger goal.
For example, your goal is making $1,000 per month at the end of the year.
You could make goals like making $250 this month and $500 next month. Or even goals like making $10 a day.
Whatever your goal is, set micro-goals for them. This will motivate you short-term while the bigger goal will motivate you long-term. Also, make sure to reward yourself every time you reach a goal.
I Want You To Know This
The hardest roads always lead to the most beautiful destinations. If you feel like giving up now, it means that the goal (if you pull yourself through this) will be even more beautiful than you thought.
Enjoying the process is also an important part, try to seek the positive in every situation or enjoy the rewards for every tedious task you do. Make sure you keep enjoying the process otherwise you don’t think it’s worth it.
Believe in yourself. I believe in you. You got this!
I’m Marnix, and I’m a blogger, freelance content writer/marketer, and online entrepreneur.
On this blog, I help people become the best versions of themselves by finding their true selves through self-development. Sharing my knowledge, I learn(ed) in my personal life journey.
As a freelance content writer/marketer I help business/blogs spread their message through content that gets seen so many more people can benefit from it. If you’re interested in working with me, go to www.marnixbuijs.com