How do you keep your cool and stay motivated when times are rough?

It’s such an oft-asked question that I have personally come across countless times online. From young entrepreneurs and students to professionals and hard-working parents, all are plagued at times by the struggle to keep motivated when things are not going according to plan.

Let me share some simple tips that have helped me throughout my professional career, and in my current business in the motivation field.

How to Motivate Yourself to Bounce Back from Adversity

How to Motivate Yourself to Bounce Back From Adversity

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

— Jimmy Dean

Take responsibility for your actions

The natural tendency of human beings when faced with adversity of any kind their life is to blame someone else for the problem. So the starting point of staying in control mentally and emotionally is to say the following magic words – “I am responsible”. Even if you did not do anything to cause the problem, you are responsible for how you react or behave.

Keep calm and get the facts

When adversities arise and things don’t go your way, remember that others are watching you to see how you behave. How can you keep your cool and remain in control? Number one, resolve to stay calm. Number two, get the facts. Often, when it seems that things are going wrong or problems occur, it’s actually that you do not have all the facts. Sometimes, once you have all the facts, you realize either that the problem was not really one in the first place, or at least that it was not as big as you imagined it to be. So it’s important to first ask questions and find the information you’re missing.

Write out the problem and talk about it

Another way to deal with a problem is to write it down on paper. If you reflect on it and articulate in words what the challenge or complication is, the problem sometimes begins to solve itself. Once you have written it down, ask yourself a series of questions:

What are the possible solutions to the problem?

What can we do to minimize the damage?

What can we do to turn the problem to our advantage or find an opportunity in it?

Is it really a problem?

Then, communicate with others. Tell people around you what is going on. The very act of communicating encourages you to develop and verbalize your thoughts more. And talking with the right people, like supportive friends and family, can help bring calmness.

Find the lesson and build from it

Sometimes, when you have a reversal or encounter adversity, it is nature’s way of telling you to look for a new direction. Here’s a practical example of taking advantage of setbacks and using them to bring you closer to your goals. Many products introduced by the smartest marketers in the world fail every year. But this is how they learn which products or marketing approaches don’t work, so that they can find something else that will. By trying something different, a successful marketer will often develop a product, service or strategy that makes them a great success. 

Make a decision, and take action

What action will you take immediately to solve the problem or bounce back from the reversal? Remember that successful people are intentionally and intensely action-oriented. Your most important question should always be, “What is my next action, what do I do now?” Then, get so busy working on the solution that you don’t have time to worry about it, or to concern yourself with what other people may be thinking about you.

Remember and implement these simple tips to help keep you motivated when all is not going according to plans. Success is and has always been a mindset game. When adversities arise, it’s your approach that will determine how quickly and effectively you can overcome it, and move on.


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