Motivation is not something you can force: It has to come from a real desire to stay at the top of your game. Ideas, enthusiasm, talent and energy don’t come from lethargy or misery.
When you’re feeling unhappy, discouraged, or stressed, these negative emotions will almost certainly result in procrastination – even though you probably have a heavy work schedule to get through.
On the other hand, when you’re feeling happy, confident, and excited, these positive emotions are conducive to activity. In other words, positive emotions form an integral aspect of motivation.
So how can you remain motivated in a job that either is not very exciting or, conversely, is going very well?
Write down new goals
Even if your career is progressing well, you should always have something to aim for. Maybe it’s learning a new skill, going for promotion or working within a different element of the firm. Whatever it is, it’s important not only to write that down but the steps you will take to work towards it. Being able to cross the finishing line will be a huge psychological boost.
Have a setback plan
Just as easy as it is to set goals, you can find yourself getting knocked back. Try not to take it too personally, these things do happen across every profession at every level. The important thing is how you react to a setback. Adjust your goals, develop a new path or sign yourself up for some training. It’s important to get back up again and keep working hard.
There is nothing worse than finding something too easy. No matter what element of your job it is, it should always provide you with a personal challenge. Maybe you need to find a new approach, re-organise your time or simply work at things a little longer. If you’re able to coast through your daily workload, something is wrong. You need to find a new challenge.
Give yourself a positive narrative
We can all be guilty of beating ourselves up when things go wrong (and, in some cases, when things are going well). Stop. Tell yourself something positive about your day, every day. Whether it’s first thing in the morning before you sit down at your desk or last thing at night before you fall asleep, remind yourself of a positive achievement that you have made. It will soon have an impact on any negative thoughts.
This ties in with the positive narrative idea. If something goes well – no matter how minor it is – treat yourself. This doesn’t mean being outlandish, it can simply be something like a new notebook for work, or switching off completely for one night. Your brain will soon get used to the idea of a reward system, making you work harder to achieve any goals in the long term.
It is perfectly understandable to lack a little motivation – even when things seem to be going fine – but the important thing is to address it quickly. Being passionate and willing to learn new things will serve you well.
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