Motivation is desire, a feeling of excitement that inspires us to take action. A shift occurs when we change the way see things. Resilience is the ability to pick ourselves up when life challenges us and keep moving. Focus on developing all three and you become an unbeatable force.
It’s easy to be happy when life is flowing smoothly. It’s easy to stay motivated when we make progress. And it’s easy to be positive and take action when we believe, but what challenges most of us are the times when we make no progress, when nothing seems to be happening, or when we lose someone or feel hurt by someone important to us.
Motivation dies during tough times and this is when so many people give up on their dreams. To create permanent change we need to create a shift in the way we perceive events so we can become more resilient. Tough times are a necessary part of life. They build character. We still need motivation, it helps to get us started but when we shift our perspective, we become more open minded, we are willing to do things differently, to look within, to BE different. A shift helps us grow and builds resilience.
And that is why I love life coaching so much. A good life coach can help a client shift their perspective. Help them recognise what is holding them back, see the opportunities that are right in front of them to be more and do more.
Your emotions show you what you need to let go of
No one will feel happy, positive or inspired all of the time. We all experience down times. Emotions shine a light on what we need to strengthen, and show us what we need to let go of.
Giving up is an abdication of responsibility. True surrender is a deepening of responsibility. It is relaxing into what is while asking yourself what do I need to do to move forward.
Sometimes moving forward is hard, when my son died I was in such intense emotional pain I didn’t think I could survive. Just the thought of getting through each day felt overwhelming, my motivation to keep going was to support my daughter and to end the pain, so I focused on each minute. What I practised, without realising it, was being mindful. As each day went by the minutes extended and I would go for longer periods without feeling as if I was going to shatter. Over time I started finding joy in little things until I got to a point where I felt alive again. A shift had occurred in me and I discovered that I was wiser and stronger than I ever thought possible.
Make a list of your strengths
Our strengths, or potential strengths, support us during tough times. Often we don’t recognise our strengths and that’s because they can be closely allied with our weaknesses. When I was younger you just had to tell me I couldn’t do something and I would silently vow to myself to do it. This is how I gave up smoking a long time ago. While this may not appear to be a strength so much of what I have overcome or achieved came about because of the vows I made to myself. I was told I could not write well enough to ever be a writer, the same with being a speaker, I didn’t agree with my critics and I set out to show them I could. Now while that may not be the best form of motivation if it works for you use it. It’s always about how we act upon our strengths that determines if they support us. I am a problem solver, but if I get too stuck in finding a solution, I end up resisting what is. If I spend too much time taking care of others I burn out, so it’s about acting on our strengths in a way that supports us and for me that means pausing and reflecting as if I am a wise person. As I am naturally impulsive pausing before I jump into something thinking it will be the solution to all of my problems saves me from making costly mistakes.
There are time when life sucks. You resist what is every time you blame and complain. Life gets easier when you look at difficult times as an opportunity to create something better. You have a lot more power than you give yourself credit for. If you are stuck in a job you don’t like – change it. If you are in a relationship you aren’t happy in – set boundaries, seek professional help and when you have tried everything and nothing works, move on. If you are trying to build a business and it’s not working – seek advice or coaching from someone who can help you. If you don’t have enough money look for ways to increase your income. I only ended up in business because I couldn’t find a way, as a single woman with children, to achieve my goals in the paid work force, which led me to achieving more than I expected.
Most people have more strengths than they realise, just have a look at this list to see how many strengths you have, and add your own if it’s not included here:
Love of learning
Being able to see things from different points of view
Emotional or intellectual intelligence
We often hear that the younger generation are not resilient, and that is partly because they have grown up with more than previous generations, but life gives everyone equal opportunities to become more resilient, sometimes they come in a different shape to what we expect.
I would not be who I am today if I had not made the choice to look for the good in every experience. Being an optimist is a strength which has become part of my personal calling. Pause for a moment and consider your life challenges and ask yourself, who is life calling you to be right now?