Monday, January 30, 2012

22 tips to keep yourself motivated

Motivation is the force or influence that causes someone to do something, it's the desire, willingness and enthusiasm. There are two types of motivation external and internal. The external motivation can be anything that enthuses and encourages you to work, exercise, study or take any action. The external motivation can be a bonus that makes you work harder or a partner who enthuses you to exercise regularly or any kind of motives that make you keep doing something. But in this case when the motive is no longer there your motivation fades and you don't feel enthusiastic about what you were doing any more. The internal motivation or self motivation is to feel energized to do something internally without any external motive. It is the best source of energy to keep you enthusiastic about your dreams and makes you move forward. We feel self motivated when we have goals and dreams and here are some tips to keep yourself  motivated.

1-  Dream of your ideal life 
  Before setting goals take some time to imagine how do you imagine your ideal life? Think of all aspect of your life how does it look like? Write down a full detailed picture of the life of your dreams. How is your personal life, your career, your family, fun and recreation, spiritual life, health and wellness, hobbies?  Dream and dream big dreams.

2-  Set goals 
     When you can visualize your ideal life clearly you will be able to set goals. Write down very clear specific goals, when your goal is so clear to you, you will be able to define what steps you need to take to reach it. Revise your written goals daily to keep yourself focused.

3- A daily habit to build
Set aside 30 min every day , early in the morning or before going to bed, to revise your written goals, define your daily tasks (for the day or the following day), how productive you were? What can you do to increase your productivity and keep focused on your goals?

4-  Take action
     Thinking and setting your goals, planning how and when you will reach them are all important but the thing that really creates momentum and motivates you to keep going is to take action. Without taking actions you will not reach your goal so start as soon as possible  even with small steps, it will raise your motivation and energy. 

5-  Find a partner or a support group
   A partner who has the same goal can be a great source of motivation for you as you can be for him/her. Your support for each other will have a great impact on your results and you can uplift each other. In case you can't find a partner who is working toward the same goal build yourself a support group and I prefer that you always have a support group. It's a group of like minded, positive, and supportive people who care about your happiness and success and willing to be there for you when you need their support. They can be family members, friends, colleagues or even connections on the net. The essential is they provide you with the support you need.

6-  Notice your thoughts and inner self talk 
    Take care of your inner self talk and your thoughts, fight all forms of negative thoughts or self talk. Make yourself a list of affirmations to repeat everyday to keep you motivated and positive. Write your thoughts, feelings and inner self talk in different situations and notice the patterns in them. Replace the negative inner self talk with more positive statements.

7-  Don't let criticism frustrate you
   Listen to criticism and examine it. Do you find anything valuable in it? Do you learn something out of it? If yes that's great, if not just let it go, don't allow negative people make you loose your motivation or your desire to achieve your goal. 

8-  Impossible to fail 
      What goals will you set if you believe that it's impossible to fail? What dreams will you have if you are sure you are capable of achieving them? Sure you will dream big dreams,right? Why not dreaming big dreams? The only thing that hold us back from achieving big dreams is the fear and the unclear vision that fear causes, but if we can eliminate our fear of failure our motivation will soar and our ability to achieve our goals will be totally different.

9-  Write in a journal 
      Build the habit of writing daily in a journal. Write your thoughts, your feelings, your reactions. Write  what motivates you and what demotivates you?  Writing in a journal helps to gain awareness about yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, your perspective and your perception of yourself. It makes you know do you love, respect, value and appreciate yourself or not? So you will know what do you need to do to make yourself feel better about yourself and hence feel more confident and more motivated to achieve your goals. Unconfident people are less likely to achieve goals.

10- Search for success stories
       Searching for people who could achieve the same goals makes you feel that your goals are reachable and as other could achieve them you will do as well. You can learn from them, what obstacles  did they face and how they could overcome them?

11- Be patient
       One of the reasons that make people quit their goals is that they aren't patient enough. Achieving goals takes time, we don't make any change over night. As a seed needs time to grow and it takes time until you see the sprout coming out of the soil, the result of your effort needs time to show. 

You can read the rest of this article on the post of next week.  

Your comments, thoughts and questions are welcomed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2 strategies to boost self confidence and self esteem

Self-confidence is having or showing confidence in yourself and your abilities (Merriam Webster learner’s dictionary).
Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his/her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (Wikipedia).
Empowering something that is empowering makes you more confident and makes you feel that you are in control of your life (Cambridge dictionaries online).
Disempowering is to cause a person to be less likely than others to succeed; to prevent them from having power, authority, or influence (Merriam Webster learner’s dictionary).
 So self-confidence is the belief about our self-worth (self-esteem) and our ability of achievement, and depending on the beliefs we hold about our self-value and our abilities our lives will be. If the beliefs we hold are empowering we will feel more confident and in control of our lives and hence capable of succeed, but if our beliefs are dis-empowering or limiting we feel powerless,  fearful, unworthy and less able to succeed.

 Usually our limiting self beliefs are due to unsuccessful experiences early in our life like childhood and youth. Letting the outcomes of such early experience control our life is not the right thing to do and it doesn't serve us so we need to examine them and find out how to deal with them. On a previous post I discussed how our limiting beliefs can cause low self confidence and low self esteem and I mentioned some tips that worked for me to change my negative self talk that the limiting beliefs caused. On this post I like to talk about two very important strategies to fight lack of self confidence. 

The first one is courage which is defined as the ability to control your fear in a dangerous or difficult situation. So if we lack self confidence because of a fear we feel when we face a certain situation, the best way to improve our self confidence is to face the situation we fear most. As much as we face the situation we will  be able to let go of the fear and improve our self confidence. It can be made gradually, for example someone who has stage fright and can't speak in public, by rehearsing to speak in front of a small group of friends or family members can be a good start. Then by increasing the number and inviting more people their self confidence will develop and grow.

“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~ Mark Victor Hansen ~

The second one is taking actions, even small ones. Procrastinating till later, till you are ready, or till everything is perfect is not a good way to create motivation. Taking regular actions toward our goal encourages and empowers us to take more steps and more actions,  it brings momentum and with every step taken we build our self confidence.

What useful strategies or tips worked for you to improve your self confidence and overcome your fears?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Leaving my fears behind

For me 2011 were one of the best years of my life, it was the year of achievement, change, clarity and great awareness. During this year, I knew myself more than any time else. I could realize how I see and treat myself. I learned what I need more of and what I need to let go. I learned for the first time in my whole life that I am responsible for my choices and that these choices create my life; so I am responsible for most of what is happening in my life. It was a great awareness that brought to me huge clarity and now I think I can live a happier and more fulfilling life.

One of the things that I learned in 2011 is to say "No". "No" to time wasters, "No" to energy drainers, "No" to anything that doesn't matter to me and won't bring me any value or benefit; All this learning I intend to take it with me in 2012, only one "No" I will leave, it's "No" to new opportunities, trying new things that I don't know. I used to avoid anything I am not familiar with, I wasn't fan of trying new things, even when I decide to try something new it must be tried by someone else and they found it OK. I wasn't ready to take any risk. I was limiting myself in a very small area and depriving myself from the pleasure of living a new experience with the pleasure and fun it may bring. 

Eventually I decided to break this limiting fear of trying new things, I had an opportunity to talk on a program in our local radio and as usual I had this negative inner self talk "What if I couldn't talk confidently? What if I made any mistakes? My voice is not OK..... " and due to this self talk I thought about apologizing but I got a question that totally shifted my attention and my mind " Why don't I look at it from a curiosity perspective? How a radio program is recorded? How this place look like? How the announcers work?" and I found myself  excited about the idea and so curious to go and live this moment. I could convince myself that it's just a talk with a friend about what is coaching and what I do as a coach, I've done it before with my friends and all noticed how excited I am about it so why not think of it the same way. I did it and it worked very well. We talked for more than an hour and they recorded 3 parts that will be submitted on their weekly program for three successive weeks. 

It was exciting and a great achievement to beat this limiting fear and since then I decided to leave the "No for doing something new" behind me forever and live with a new mindset, to look for every opportunity to try new things. This is the best way to rediscover  my undiscovered talents and abilities.

This post is part of a blog hop series sponsored by students and graduate Coaches of ICA. Please hop on over to their posts and see what else you can learn about ''What did you learn from 2011 that you'll change in 2012?''.

Joyful Growth Coach
Intuitive Coaching
Learner Focused Coaching
Bodacious Possibilities
Turning Stones Coaching and Consultancy
 What I am is What I Choose