Beginning your entrepreneurial journey can often be really tough, and continuing on that journey can get even tougher. This is especially true early on when you’re starting out, where you often feel like you’re battling a lot of challenges & adversity, and staying motivated can be incredibly hard! It’s often really easy to feel lost and lonely out there, but fear not, because Kayleigh Töyrä has shared her 9 favourite motivational strategies, tactics and moments to help you strive for success for when you feel like you need a bit of inspiration & motivation!
9 ways to motivate
USING NEGATIVITY TO MOTIVATE
Negativity comes in many forms. It can come on in the form of doubters, naysayers or people who try to game you. All of these things can make you lose confidence and feel about two inches tall. The trick is to learn how to take that negativity and turn it into a source of power and motivation to propel you forward. Change the narrative – take control of your story and don’t let negativity take centre stage.
TAKE CRITICISM & ADVICE AND PUT IT INTO ACTION
Did someone pick holes in you or your business? Think about what they said. Did they have a point? Is there something you could be doing differently? Try to shift yourself into the realm of action. Can you act on any of their advice? Sometimes harsh criticism is just badly delivered advice.* It can be hard to do at first, but understanding and acting on harsh criticism can be source of great personal and business growth.
*If someone really is just being plain mean or ignorant- leave them to it. They don’t deserve your energy!
It’s daunting facing a room full of people with your business idea in your pocket. When you are starting out and going networking you often feel the need to put on a frozen “everything is great” smile, but on the inside you sometimes feel really small. There are lots of big characters out there, so it can be easy to get lost in a crowded room, and if someone bigger than you ignores you or talks over you, you feel instantly deflated. Here’s how to deflect that:
- Recognise that most people feel the same as you. It might seem crazy but it’s true- we all struggle with feeling ignored and demotivated. Have compassion for other people’s struggles – it will make you feel instantly better.
- Focus on the positive people instead. Go over and say hi and don’t give up after one grumpy encounter!
- Be someone’s friend- giving support to others is a great motivator and takes you out of the negative “me me me” headspace.
- Focus on listening rather than performing and ease yourself in slowly.
USING POSITIVE LANGUAGE TO INSPIRE
How are you talking to yourself? Often we talk to ourselves in ways that are not positive or conducive to success. Just think about how you talk to your friends vs. how you talk to yourself! It’s funny how we seem to have endless compassion for others, but none for ourselves. Maybe your motivational difficulties are stemming from the internal language you are using?
POSITIVE INTERNAL MONOLOGUE
What you say to yourself can have a big impact on your motivational levels. Negative mantras and shaming words can stick around longer than successes and pats on the back. It’s important to try to include more positive language in your daily vocabulary.
- One way to do this is to create a dream board (details on why they work and how to make one yourself here). Focusing on your dreams every day will help you remain more focused and motivated.
- Motivational quotes work because they put your goals and targets in other people’s words. Use them as inspirational soundbites you can share with your community to inspire others.
- Practise gratitude, not fault-finding. Cicero said it best “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
INTENTIONS, NOT FAILURES
Promises and deadlines stressing you out? Not everyone loves the pressure of targets and deadlines. If you find being in the pressure cooker tends to de-motivate rather than motivate, shift your focus to intentions. Thinking about goals as intentions helps move language away from failure. Intentions aren’t about not recognising failure, but about stopping yourself from instantly berating or scolding yourself over a missed target. Intentions take into account outside factors that can make us change our priorities as we go and are more flexible than targets.
Intentions are still like goals in some ways- you have to make smart ones. Smart intentions are about dreaming big, but planning realistic. Don’t put too much on your daily to do list so that you feel overwhelmed, but deal with things in bite size chunks.
USING ACTION TO OVERCOME
Sometimes it’s in the doing that we become unstuck (in a good way). A lot of people struggle to physically get out there- citing tiredness, lack of direction or motivation as their excuses for not flyering, picking up the phone or posting that latest blog post. Sometimes you just have to ACT.
ASK YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Carrie recently shared a great insight into how asking the right question can spur you into the right action. She told the story of how a young entrepreneur once asked for a daily motivator, and got this question instead- “how would the person you would like to be do the things you are about to do?” (The full video is here). Tap into the potential of the future by asking yourself this question every time you’re afraid to act and see how much more confident and empowered you’ll suddenly become!
DAILY HABITS BECOME LIFELONG BEHAVIOURS
Fake it until you make it. Not a great advocate of the idea of being fake? Most people aren’t, but there’s a grain of truth in this old maxim. Sometimes you have to dive in and take action before you’re quite ready to do so. It’s in the doing that you become the doer.
We really are creatures of habit, so you have to be really conscious as to what you’re doing, the thoughts you’re thinking and the actions you take day-to-day, as before long these will become lifelong behaviours, so choose well!
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Change the story, use positive language and act to maintain your motivation levels even when days are long, people suck and money is tight. Don’t give up – you got this! I’d love to hear what motivates you the most right now, share with us in the comments below!
Why not challenge yourself and put in to action Kayleigh’s amazing motivational tips above that might apply to you, whatever stage of business you’re at! Let us know how you get on in the comments below, and tell us how you stay motivated every day, we’d love to hear your tips!
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KAYLEIGH TÖYRÄ // www.kayleightoyra.com
Kayleigh Töyrä is a writer and budding entrepreneur, looking for ways to gain more confidence on her own business journey. Born in Finland & living in Bristol, she is currently balancing freelancing and working. Passionate about great marketing, books and quirky content.