Have you ever felt beaten down by life, only for someone to come and lift you back up again? Have a few kind and thoughtful words helped you through a particularly difficult period of time in your life?
Many of us are fortunate to have people who build us back up when we’re struggling and keep us going when we’d rather quit. This incredible support is something to be cherished. What do you do, though, if you have to be your own voice of motivation, or someone else’s?
Learning how to boost yourself and others up with words of encouragement can be difficult, particularly if you don’t have a lot of experience. That’s why I want to cover it in today’s article. Let’s talk about some of the specific ways that you can harness your own voice to motivate yourself and others, while staying true to who you are.
Why Do We Need a Voice of Motivation?
Some of the natural motivations that humans experience are biological or physiological and exist in order to keep us alive and healthy. For example, if you’re hungry and haven’t eaten for several hours, you will most likely feel motivated to meet your own needs and find something to eat. According to an article by Beata Souders, motivation occurs when there is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Certain chemicals are released that drive you into action in order to correct the imbalance.
The bottom line is, motivation can be tied very closely to emotions. People are motivated to complete actions that will create positive emotions. And while we may not always be able to see our own situations in the clearest light, kind words from others that create positive emotions can drive us into action.
The question that remains is, how do we become that source of motivation?
1. Stay Positive
As we talked about earlier, people tend to be motivated by positive emotions and outcomes. Therefore, it’s important to see the good aspects about the situation you find yourself in, and emphasize them, using them to propel you through any of the negative feelings you may be experiencing.
Now, it’s easy enough to say the words “stay positive,” but how do you actually achieve this? It’s not easy, and it may take some time to build a change in your mindset, but here are a few ways you can try to focus more on the positive:
Make it a daily practice to write down at least three to five things you’re grateful for. You don’t have to feel grateful in that exact moment, but over time, you may find yourself focusing more intently on your gratitude.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Do you speak to yourself with the same kindness and consideration you would give another person? What tone do you take with yourself if you make a mistake or have a bad day? If you’re constantly beating yourself down, it’s going to be hard to achieve that positive mindset. Take some time to say encouraging things to yourself every day. Look in a mirror and say them out loud if that helps you. Eventually, you’ll start to believe them.
And as you do so, focus on what is working!
Start on a High Note
Make an effort to start each day in a positive mindset. This might include making your favorite nutritious breakfast or taking the time to meditate while you drink your morning coffee. It could be something as simple as thinking positive thoughts in order to get you in the right mindset. Set the tone for your day as soon as you open your eyes. It will make a difference.
When talking about positivity, I want to note that you shouldn’t be ignoring or overlooking negative emotions that pop up in your life. They are just as important as your positive emotions, and it’s important to feel them just as fully and authentically. When you’re able to, though (perhaps after you’ve gone through a grieving process), putting your focus on the positive aspects of a particular situation can help your well-being.
2. Encourage Curiosity
A desire to learn can help you or others stay engaged with the tasks at hand, fostering motivation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or learn more about the things you don’t know about. Find ways that you can learn a little bit more about something you’re interested in each day.
For example, you could take a free online course about something that excites you. You could make an effort to carve out some reading time at the end of your day, and get books about topics you find inspiring.
Being curious helps you continuously grow, which can put you on the path to achieving your goals. And, however you decide to continue your life-long learning, consider bringing someone along for the ride. They may find themselves more motivated from the experience as well.
3. Be Reminded of Your Autonomy
In life, feeling emotionally or metaphorically trapped can be one of the quickest ways to create anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction. People like to know that they have choices, no matter the situation they find themselves in.
Whenever a difficult situation is weighing on your chest, take a step back and fully recognize all of your options. If it’s helpful for you, journal about it. Weigh the value of all of these options and see which one makes the most sense for you. Talk to a trusted friend or family member if that helps you see more clearly.
If you see someone else struggling, ask them if they’d like to be reminded of their options. Just talking through a few ways to proceed can feel freeing for the other person, and clarity through dialogue will help motivate them as they decide what they want to do. They will have assessed all possible options and know that they’ve chosen the best course.
There’s rarely just one path forward. Which path is the right one for you?
Being a source of motivation is no easy feat. It takes a lot of practice to change your mindset and learn how to build yourself (and others) up in the midst of difficult and dark moments.
If you feel like you could use some more guidance on how to go about achieving these goals, I would love the opportunity to work with you. We can collaborate to develop your motivational mindset, and I can give you tactics for keeping them at the top of your mind, even during the hard times. Get in touch to schedule a meeting.