This is part 1 of 3 of the motivation series.
- How to keep yourself motivated when doubt creeps in
- 7 Motivation tips to combat overwhelm
- How to be consistent and stay motivated to tackle your goals
I think we all know the situation when we have a dream start working towards it and suddenly doubt creeps in.
Doubt is usually accompanied by fear and discomfort.
- This can, for example, happen when you work in a 9-5 job and are about to quit your job and go for your dreams instead.
- Or as an entrepreneur when you just start to get your business up off the ground from nothing.
- Or when you start to make any major changes in your life. Move somewhere else, start a new job, change your diet, etc.
Whenever we make new bold changes in our lives we are going to be confronted with doubt, fear, and discomfort.
“Am I really able to do this?”
“Will I be successful with it?”
“Was it a good idea to get started?”
First off: These questions and this reaction is totally normal.
You are leaving your comfort zone where everything is well-known for you and approved by your brain as a safe zone.
You go into the unknown.
Parts of your brain (this is the primitive part of our brain) always want to keep you safe and this part will always try holding you back from new unknown territories.
This behavior was very important for our ancestors in the stone age to survive.
They went hunting in the places which they knew to be safe and where they knew that they’ll get food to survive.
Their brains avoided them to just go randomly somewhere and starve or get eventually killed in a new territory they haven’t explored before.
Parts of our brain haven’t evolved that much since the stone age and therefore we still have this survival emergency system active in our brains.
Whenever we leave our comfort zone which our brain sees as a “safe zone” this survival system gets activated and the emergency bells go on and make “rrrrinnng rrrinnng” and we start doubting our new way of living.
Is it really safe?
Should I better go back?
This doesn’t mean that you should go back to the old at all.
It’s totally normal to feel that way.
Whenever you are moving out of your comfort zone you will also feel discomfort.
We need some chosen discomfort in our lives in order to grow.
If no one ever would have tried anything new, we probably still would live in caves and wouldn’t be able to read blog posts on our smartphones.
Besides the primitive part of our brain, we also have a more modern part – the prefrontal cortex, with which we evaluate whether a situation is really dangerous or not and which we use to plan our future.
Let’s assume you evaluated the risks, made a conscious decision about what you want to do, started to move towards your goal, and suddenly feel discomfort.
Discomfort won’t last forever it’s just there until you adapt yourself to the new situation and your brain approves it as a safe zone.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Know your why
- Define your vision
- Take action
- Choose your role model
- Connect with like-minded people
HOW TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED WHEN DOUBT CREEPS IN
There are several things you can do to keep yourself motivated when doubt creeps in.
In this blog post, I introduce you to 5 different ways you can face your doubts.
Read it and use it, because doubt, fear, and discomfort will come on a regular basis once you made the decision to grow and whenever you explore new terrains in your life.
1. KNOW YOUR WHY
The first and most important thing is to know your why.
Ask yourself why you want to do it.
What is your driving force and passion behind your dream?
For example behind leaving your job and starting your own business?
Knowing your what and how is necessary to achieve your goal.
Knowing your “why” on the other hand is your driving force which will always keep you going no matter how much doubt and discomfort you’ll experience along the way.
If your “why”, your passion is strong enough a little bit of discomfort here and there won’t stop you to realize your dream.
Simon Sinek has a great book I recommend here to read which is called find your why.
2. DEFINE YOUR VISION
Secondly, think about the bigger picture.
How will your life look like once you are living your dream?
Example: Once you quit your job, have your own business, and have all the success in your business you are dreaming of?
Make the following little exercise:
- Switch off every distraction
- Make sure you are alone and won’t be distracted by anyone for the next 10-15 minutes
- Close your eyes and picture what the dream you are pursuing looks like
- How will this affect your life when you have it all
- Imagine as if you’ve already reached your end goal
- How do you look like? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you spend your time? Where are you living? What are your hobbies? etc.
- Picture yourself in all possible situations and don’t just think about it. Try to really feel into it and stay with it for a few minutes with closed eyes.
Once you’re done open your eyes, switch on your laptop, and hop on to Pinterest and look up the images matching your vision.
Print them out along with your favorite quotes and make a collage.
This collage is your vision board, reminding you of your end result you are working towards.
Hang it on your wall or place it near your desk in a pretty frame where you’ll see it day in day out.
3. TAKE ACTION
Acknowledge your doubts, fear, and discomfort, and take action.
The best thing you can do to combat your fear in this situation is to acknowledge it and to move forward anyway.
Keep on moving forward step by step.
You can do it!
Your passion, your determination, and your continuous action will get you there.
4. CHOOSE YOUR ROLE MODEL
Your role model is a person you admire who is either living the life you want to live or has adopted things in his/her life you want to master as well.
You don’t have to know him/her in real life.
If you don’t have anyone you admire yet, think about it and choose your role model.
Read about this person whenever you feel down to empower yourself.
Ask yourself whenever you feel doubt creeping in:
“How would (my role model) handle this situation?”
Having a role model is a strong and effective way to empower yourself whenever you feel discouraged.
5. CONNECT WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
Choose a community online or offline where you can meet and exchange your thoughts with like-minded people who have the same or similar goal as you have.
In 2005 I was stuck in a low paying, soul-sucking 9-5 job and dreamed of quitting and traveling the world.
I didn’t have enough money to do so. I felt stuck. While I was still working on the job, saving the money for my trip I joined a travel forum.
This forum became my happy place after work for the next 2 years.
I’ve spent several months in this forum every evening after work with reading, answering, and chatting solely about traveling the world.
It was so much fun, inspirational, and exciting to connect with people who loved traveling and had the same goal as I did.
We informed and empowered each other to save money and traveled the world later on.
In 2013 I had the goal to go vegan. It was challenging to do it just by myself. So I joined an online forum and went to offline meetups where I could meet with people who were already on a vegan diet.
We were watching documentaries, talking about veganism, health, and food, and cooked regularly together.
For me, it was much easier to stick to the new habit by having like-minded people around me and doing it together.
After a few months, I established new eating habits and was comfortable to eat solely plant-based foods.
The same happened when I decided to turn my blog into an online business. I connected with people who had the same goals as I did and also to people I could learn from.
Connecting with like-minded people is a powerful way to gather information, share your knowledge, motivate each other, and get yourself going whenever you feel like giving up on your dream.
We all feel like giving up on our goals sometimes.
It’s the mindset paired with constant action towards the goal which separates the people reaching their goal and realizing their dream from the people who just stay dreamers.
Therefore acknowledge your fear and keep on moving forward anyway.
Download the free Go For Your Dreams Guide and learn about the steps you have to take to achieve your goals.
Use the templates from the printable Go For Your Dreams Planner and turn your dream into an actionable plan.