Self Motivation

How To Motivate Yourself In Tough Times

self motivation,how to change your life,change your life,your life change,

The self motivation we are going to be talking about in this article is NOT about all the usual self motivation material.

Our focus here is going to be on the heavy duty / big picture level motivation that you need to get you through tough times often involving imposed change that have large and perhaps dramatic impacts on your life.

Here's the scenario: your company has just announced that it is downsizing and you are seriously concerned that this might include you...

Or maybe your organisation is restructuring - normally a euphemism for getting rid of people and making those left work even harder and you can feel some seriously unwelcome changes coming down the pipe-line...

Or perhaps all that has already kicked in and you are experiencing severe financial pressure...

If you're self employed or run your own business maybe you've just heard that a major customer or client who owes you a lot of money has gone bust gone bust...

You know what I am talking about - you may be experiencing this right now? I totally empathise with you, I do know how this feels.

Understandably, in all these types of very stressful situations self motivation can be extremely difficult - to put it mildly.

Self Motivation Tips - Key Points

[1] Resist the urge to just DO something

In my experience, in times of great stress what tends to happen is that we feel an urgent need to DO something - anything.

This is inevitably accompanied with lots of thinking - the kind of thinking that we find hard to stop - the kind of thinking that keeps us awake at night - the kind of thinking that goes round and round in circles - the kind of thinking that starts to take over and dominate our minds.

Underneath all this thinking is a lot of emotion - invariably negative, anxious, fearful feelings - feelings of stress - feelings of overwhelm.

And then the urge, the need, the compulsion to DO SOMETHING arises again...

A vicious, gnawing, soul-destroying cycle...

But actually there is not much if anything we can do - because there is so much uncertainty surrounding the whole situation, there are so many unknowns, and we have no way of figuring out how this thing is going to play itself out.

Then comes the painful realisation that we are not in control - that unwelcome change is being imposed upon us.

As this realisation sinks in it is usually accompanied by another round of frantic thinking accompanied by more urgent and insistent feelings of anxiety and insecurity which can throw us into “cognitive shock” that turns our mind into even more of a muddle.


You Can't Think Your Way Out Of This One

Accept This Situation

Just Ask For Help

Zen Thoughts - which were written as a conversation with a friend who was going through a tough time, the messages you see here were my responses to my friend and all based on painful personal experience.

[2] Deal with the cognitive shock

Trying to push away our emotional distress can throw us into cognitive shock that turns our mind into a muddle.

Ezra Bayda, a teacher at the Zen Center of San Diego, shares five simple questions to help us cut though confusion.

Here are 5 simple questions to help you cut through the confusion.

Inside our heads- here is what's going on :

self motivation,how to change your life,change your life,your life change,

  • We get very stuck with our thoughts and emotional states

  • They arise automatically

  • They are repetitive

  • The repetition causes reinforcement – making us more attached and thus more stuck

  • We are largely if not totally unaware of this process

  • We mistake the state for who we are

  • We identify totally with these states – we are immersed in them – "I am angry" – "I am anxious" etc

  • After the passing of a certain amount of time these states recede or pass and we are "normal" again

  • After the passing of a certain amount of more time these states arise again and the whole cyclical process repeats itself

  • Again and again and again…ad infinitum

So faced with this type of scenario, what can we do?


Understanding That You Are Not Your Thoughts

Learning How To Live With Your Thoughts

[3] Accept there are no instant fixes

We live in an age and a culture that is obsessed with instant fixes and unfortunately I can't offer you an instant fix.

What I can do is suggest the following thoughts and self motivation tips that are based entirely on my own hard experience of some very tough times, and that will bring you through into calmer waters - and may just change your life.

Some of this is counter-intuitive, so if you feel resistance rising - just watch it - cos in my experience resistance often points to a submerged truth.

    Self motivation tips when facing tough times:

    # Things DO take time - often months and frequently years - for the ultimate purpose and personal benefit of the imposed change to be become apparent to us and realised in our day to day experience

    # Contrary to how we feel, we really can let go and trust in whatever it is that we personally regard as our highest and guiding energy

    # If we stop fighting what is happening to us and accept and allow the change to happen - we will survive - but not by struggling and trying to make it happen

    # Contrary to all of our deeply ingrained instincts, we need to do less, to think far less, step back and get our egos out of the way

    # We need to understand that we can not think our way out of this

    # Our survival and self motivation is going to be grounded in mental and spiritual faculties of which we may have little or no prior real direct experience

    # The biggest key to all this is to behave and respond in ways that may be completely alien to us by allowing and cultivating a very deep acceptance of what is happening and acknowledging that we are not in control of circumstances and - counter cultural and counter intuitive as this sounds - to "go with the flow"

    # The more we can "surrender to the flow" then the more we automatically become "aligned" to a far greater dimension of our consciousness than we may have ever previously experienced - this really is the key

    # It is this alignment with the flow that is the dynamic that will pull us through this difficult situation and it is this alignment that is the source of our self motivation through and beyond present difficult circumstances

    # Whether we realise it or not, whether we accept it or not, there is always a spiritual dynamic at work in these situations


Lost In Transition - Hanging In There For The Long Haul

The Stockdale Paradox - Coping With The Attrition Factor

Going With The Flow

The Three Minute Power Pause

Contact Me

Return to: "How to change your life?"

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