“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn
Life often times get in the way of our personal projects.
There will always be something coming up that we need to accomplish making our to do list longer and longer everyday.
This is especially true with families when couples have to navigate through the chaos of having to make sure everything is in order in their life.
May it be with their children and school and making sure all school activities and extra classes are taken care of, making sure household maintenance are in place to avoid inconveniences with broken household effects that can really drive us mad when we are in a hurry and suddenly get inconvenienced, get crazy and stressed over the demands at work, maintaining a good relationship with the spouse, add in some motivation dampening instance like job rejection letter, kids doing bad in school, lack of money to use for personal improvement and for the pursuit of personal aspirations. All these can put us all off guard and just surrender.
With all these chaos, how can one be kept motivated all the time? When it is true that it is very difficult to sustain motivation even under the best of circumstances?
One may have tried all those pop psych advices like when you envision it and it will happen. And for some time you may have been into plastering a photo of your most fit self somewhere in the kitchen, or you may have put your mirrors and closet with positive affirmations like “I will attract abundance in every area of my life” or even you may have written yourself a check for $1M only to realize it doesn’t work.
If this doesn’t work, what is it that works then? Affirmations do work but it has to be inspired living affirmations and not just normal affirmations.
Let's revisit how you can use affirmations to really work in your life.
Why Inspired Living Affirmations Work Better Than Normal Affirmations?
Now you have probably heard some people say that affirmations don’t work for them.
Why? Because they are not inspiring.
If you are not living by inspiration, you speak affirmations that you don’t believe.
The common misconception is that people don’t manifest what they want. They set an intention, but they don’t manifest what they set their mind upon. Rather, they manifest what they BELIEVE.
If you believe you’re not good enough to meet a good man or a woman, you’ll never manifest your soulmate no matter how many times you speak your affirmation.
If you believe that rich people are greedy, you’ll never become rich no matter how much you affirm you’ll become a millionaire.
But inspired people become a believer.
The way each person gets inspired is different.
But the spark of an inspired heart will always be the same.
Once you’re inspired, your affirmations will have meaning and impact.
You’ll begin to speak a life of living by inspiration rather than by intention.
While it is good to practice positive affirmations, this sure needs to be accompanied with concrete actions to turn your thoughts and emotions into realizing your dreams.
These steps can keep you motivated and help you materialize your plans into reality:
1. Set a goal. Think about what you want to accomplish and set a timeline.
2. Visualize your goal and drill it down to its minutest details.
- See it – eg. Your audience, your finally published book, your brand new luxury car
- Feel it – eg. The feel of the trophy in your hand, the texture of the cover of your book, the feel of leather seat in your hand
- Hear it – eg. Audience applause, greetings of congratulations, the sound of your car’s engine
- Smell it if you can – eg. The smell of the studio, the smell of the newly published book, the smell of brand new car when you enter it.
- List down your reasons why you want to accomplish that goal. It’s easy to get blown off course when you are busy and you get exposed to distractions. This is why you need to ground yourself on your goal by revisiting it even saying it daily to remind you the reasons why you want to do it.
- Break the goal down into smaller tasks and set intermediary targets and rewards. Chip away at a project at a time. This will make your goal easy to accomplish and non-overwhelming. When you are able to accomplish a certain task at a certain time and duly rewards and pats yourself for the job well done, it will keep you motivated and have the passion to move on to the next tasks. This feeling of accomplishment triggers the brain’s rewards center, releasing feel-good chemical dopamine.
- Plan your strategy, but be prepared for any change course. It is not always guaranteed that we will succeed in the method we chose to use to achieve our goals. So it is best to have Plan Bs to Plan Zs handy and then push the reset button when you reached Plan Z until you find what works.
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.” “The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
- Form your dream team. Seek for people who can help you with your goals. Finding the right people who will support and cheer you up, open you up to resources and people who can teach you how to do it, are valuable assets to make your plans realizable. Even if you can do it alone, there’s inherent value in sharing your plan. When you announce your intentions it creates accountability and a strong message to the world and most especially to your unconscious mind.
- Prepare how to motivate yourself in case you need it along the way. We cannot be motivated all the time due to occasional setbacks or just due to sheer exhaustion. So in case of plummeting motivation, get your motivating thoughts handy. Think of those people you know or heard about who were able to overcome a great adversity despite their circumstances and draw your inspiration from it. Just remember to never ever give up.
- Revisit your reasons for carrying on every now and then. When things get rough and people criticize you for what you are doing, go back to the very reason why you are doing what you’re doing. The people who are able to make sustained contribution overtime are very internally driven. When fads and people’s opinions get in the way, step back and move inwards. It is where you will find the “why” and this will help you lessen the noise around you that tells you negatively about your dreams
“Ignore the naysayers. Really the only option is, head down and focus on the job.” – Chris Pine
“Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” – Denis Waitley
“The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” – Elbert Hubbard
Exercise – Motivating yourself through reframing your thoughts
This exercise will help you to practice changing the way you speak to yourself if you are prone to having disempowered thoughts.
Take some time to be in a quiet place and take a few deep breaths so that you can relax.
Create a vision of yourself where you feel so motivated.
Which areas or instances in your life was it?
What words do you associate with this? Write down as many words as you can think of.
Use the space below or your journal to record your thoughts.
My Motivating Vision
Now think of an area where you feel demotivated. Where do you speak to yourself with a demotivated mindset? Write down the thoughts you regularly have which relate to thoughts such as ‘I can’t’ or ‘this isn’t available to me.’
My Demotivating Vision
Now take the positive thoughts from your first list and rewrite your sentences from your second list using positive words.
An example of this might be you think you can’t start the business you so wanted to put up because of time, finances and lack of mentor.
You might begin by writing down – “I can’t put up my own business because I have no time available due to my full time work as I need it to pay the bills, I don’t have enough capital and I haven’t found a mentor who can guide me. I feel so disempowered”
Now reframe this vision into one that empowers you by changing the way you look at this current source of frustration. You might write, “I’m so happy I’ve identified what I want to do in my life. I’m inviting the right circumstances into my life to explore this path.”
Go on and reflect on it. Remember, while you do it, be gentle and accept yourself fully.
My Reframed Thoughts
It’s important not to ignore your challenges and difficulties and to try to pretend you are feeling positive when you feel bad about it.
However, by reframing your negative visions of yourself so that you see where the difficulty is and reframe where your present and future energy is going to be directed you can drastically change the way that you view your circumstances – and therefore how those circumstances manifest in your life.
“Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.” – Benjamin Franklin