Think back to the last time you looked for a job. Chances are, you were on the hunt because the job you were currently in wasn’t fulfilling. You made the choice to start putting in applications, even though you knew you would face some rejection. With every “thank you for your application, but we’ve hired someone who better matches the skills required” letter you receive, it gets harder and harder to submit applications without self-deprecating. You may even contemplate staying miserable in the job you have because “at least it’s a job” rather than continuing to look for something better and more worthy of your time.
Whenever we face a difficult challenge or choice on the way to achieving something we want, it feels easier to give up than to carry on. This happens because we feel like we can’t do anything to make things easier. But once we get through it, we look back and realize it wasn’t as bad as we thought. In fact, we usually stress ourselves out far more than is necessary.
It’s only a moment of frustration, don’t give up.
When we feel like we are losing any and all motivation we had to begin with, it can be nearly impossible to get it back.
In keeping with the example of looking for a new job while stuck in a difficult one, it’s sad to think so many of us would allow our emotions to drown out our optimism. We were not born to go to work, pay bills and die. If you spend a majority of your time at work instead of at home, why in the world would you settle for a career that makes you miserable? Yes, there are risks and hardships included any time you try to achieve a goal, each stressor is worth it in the end. But it can be so challenging to remember that when you’re going through it.
When we face a really difficult challenge – like constant rejection from companies – we can develop tunnel vision and lose sight of the optimism all around us. All we see is the failure and heartache of not succeeding. We completely disregard the notion that this will one day be a memory and we could be recalling the memory from a corner office!
So how are we supposed to take those blinders off and push through, even when we feel anything but motivated? Let’s explore it in the next section.
If we give up, the same problem will come back again.
The thing we tend to forget when all we want to do is give up is that failure doesn’t fix anything. If you allow the rejection to stop you from finding a job you’re happy with, all you’ve done is indefinitely prolonged your suffering. Maybe for a moment you’ll feel relief because you no longer have to send out applications, but that satisfaction will be fleeting. That misery you were experiencing will be back, one way or another.
See, the real challenge you’re experiencing in that moment is your own weakness manifesting in a physical form. When you accept that you aren’t worthy or good enough, that’s the mind set you will keep. No matter what challenge your facing (be it work or play) you will struggle with maintaining your optimism, dedication and will power because you haven’t addressed the real issue: yourself.
Imagine the Great Challenge as a big rock in front of you.
If you choose to give up, you work around the stone just to go around it.
Yet the fastest way to get over it is to break this big rock and go right through it.
It’s the same with your weaknesses. You could continue to adjust your life to fit your fears (i.e. no longer job-hunting because you’ve accepted you will always fail), or you could keep sending out applications and calling to follow up and schedule interviews.
No matter how great the challenge is, breaking it down is a must.
In order to truly stay motivated, no matter how great the challenge is, you’ve got to learn to break the Great Challenge down.
To truly overcome your weakness, you need break down the big rock into smaller pieces and deal with the small stones piece by piece.
Yes, right now it may seem impossible. It may seem like this is the hardest thing you will ever go through. But remember how often your threshold changes. I remember when I used to think the hardest thing I would ever face was not getting tickets to see The Spice Girls. I remember later in life thinking I would never love anyone like I loved my first boyfriend. It’s laughable how much things change. One day you’ll look back and realize this wasn’t as bad as you thought.
Below are some tips that can help you take those first steps in keeping your chin up and truly facing the difficult choices in your life.
Figure out what you lack.
No matter what the challenge you’re facing may be, there’s a reason it’s challenging to you. If it’s a job, why is it you aren’t getting hired? Go back through the job listings and skills required and find the common thread your resume doesn’t have. Is it not listed because you don’t have it? If so, work on doing something to give you that skill. Be it an online course or a volunteer project, do something to help push you closer to the “perfect candidate.”
Be patient with yourself.
No one becomes a CEO overnight. If you have big dreams, you’re going to have to do big work to accomplish them. It’s okay to take time figuring out the best way to proceed, but it’s not okay to walk away because it’s challenging.
Be proud of yourself for every small win.
Have you ever noticed how a small mistake can weigh on you for days? Whether or not you categorize yourself as a dramatic person doesn’t matter when it comes to the guilt we so often put upon ourselves. But when we make small strides in achieving our goal(s), we never seem to give ourselves much respect. When we fail to pat ourselves on the back for little victories, it decreases our motivation and makes it much harder to achieve big goals.
Remember that you aren’t the first to feel this way.
When we face difficult choices or events in our lives, we often forget that we are not the first/only/last to experience this. Everyone faces hard decisions – be it deciding to end a relationship, changing careers, moving to a different place and leaving friends behind…we all go through it. So don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends or family for a sounding board. In some cases, they may even be able to offer you advice you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
Know that you will grow as a person just from going through it.
Another thing we forget when overwhelmed with a challenging situation? That we build character through those hard times. The old cliche, “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” is true. When you go through something challenging, you learn from it, regardless of the outcome. Recognize the opportunities for learning and personal development.
Remember that you have choices.
No matter how hard the challenge you’re facing may be, one of the best things you can focus on is that you have choices. Only you can decide how you handle something and the steps you take. More so, only you can decide how you take the next step. You have the power to stand in your own way and to get out of it. Allow yourself to stay motivated by choosing to be stay motivated.
You’ve SO got this.
Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io
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