How to Stay Motivated and Influential in Difficult Times

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

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It’s Friday, you are finishing up a few last things and then heading out for the weekend. As you are sitting in your office reading a report, you hear a light tap on the door. Looking up, you see your boss closing the door. S/he starts out by saying, you have really done an excellent job, but…… you probably know where this ends. Most of us have been there. You are about to encounter the harsh truth, you are out of a job. Maybe you just received news that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer. Or maybe you find yourself falling on difficult financial times. Whatever it may be, there will be difficult times in all of our lives. Difficult times also bring on frustration, anxiety, and fear of the unknown.

As you stare down on this big ugly beast, realize that your reaction will determine your success or failure. What will your reaction be, discouragement or comfort? Your answer depends on you. I think we all feel disbelief and despair in the beginning. But it doesn’t have to consume us. In fact, I believe we must take advantage of these situations and find ways to stay motivated and encouraged in difficult times.

Here are 10 ways I stay motivated during difficult times:

  1. Realize life flows up and down – Life is a cycle. There will always be good and bad times. It’s how we react and handle those times that determine our future.
  2. Remember, things don’t change overnight – Things take time to work out. Be patient and work diligently for your desired outcome.
  3. Focus on the positive – Although the past is with us, it doesn’t have to haunt us. Focus on what matters today and tomorrow. Remember, yesterday ended last night, focus on today in preparation for tomorrow.
  4. Continue self-growth – When difficult or trying times hit, it is a perfect time to take personal inventory and determine where you need to grow.  Spend time becoming a better you. Physically, mentally and spiritually. You can GROW or GROAN. However, I don’t think the latter will get you much.
  5. Consider all options – Take time to consider your options. Maybe it is time for a career change, or to downsize in your home, vehicles, etc. Whatever it may be, remain open and ready to take initiative.
  6. Serve others – As difficult times come upon us, look for ways to help others succeed. In fact, this is an excellent time to move the situation away from you. Serving others creates a heart of gratitude and gives us the opportunity to meet the needs of others.
  7. Consider the big picture – Remember that everything happens for a reason. You may be the reason you have fallen on difficult times. Whatever the reason, maintain a big picture point of view. Consider your current situation and look for opportunities to achieve your future desires and goals. Never a better time than the present to begin a new road to the future.
  8. Embrace change head-on – Change. I LOVE IT! Many hate it, fight it and despise it. Become a person who embraces change. Consider the many opportunities change presents and capitalize on them. Remember, the only thing constant in life is….change.
  9. Never give up – Whatever you do, don’t give up and don’t settle. Too many give in too quickly. Continue to push through the muck and mud, and you will be victorious!
  10. Pray and stay in the Word – During difficult times, it’s important to understand where your strength comes from. I  believe one must stay connected to God through prayer and reading His Word, the Bible.

These 10 ways help me maintain my motivation during the difficult times. I believe one or all can help you do the same. Remember that difficult times affect us all. No one escapes the difficult times in life. However, the way we handle and react in those times determines our success or failure.

When you remain motivated, others see how well you adapt and handle the situation and will allow you to influence them. Tim Tebow said, “I’ll always use the negative as more motivation to work even harder and become even stronger.” Use the difficult times to become a better and stronger person.

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