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How to Find Motivation in Any Unpleasant Situation

by Dyan Hernandez July 04, 2018


How to Find Motivation in Any Unpleasant Situation

While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across this video of a little boy standing on the sidewalk as participants of the Hanoi Marathon ran past him. The boy was holding a placard that says “Tap here to power up” with an arrow pointing to a mushroom like the ones in the Super Mario games.

In reality, tapping that mushroom didn’t give those runners any boost like in the game. But I’m sure the little boy’s adorable gesture gave them extra motivation to reach the finish line.

Motivation is someone’s willingness or reason for that willingness to do something. It is what pushes us to finish an activity or to fulfill a goal. But what if something bad happens unexpectedly?

How will you keep your motivation in the middle of an unpleasant event? Here are some tips to bring back your motivated self in such distressing situations.

Gather your options

Do you have alternatives? Back up plans? If you do any of them, will things get any better?

For example, you’re done with your presentation for a web development client and thought everything’s perfect. Come proposal day, you found out you overlooked one part of the development process that the client was particular about.

What the heck, right? Did you mindlessly save the wrong file? Forget contemplating on what went wrong and insteadmove on to what you can do right now.

Can you still include that missing slide? Do you have time to do so?

Or will you keep the presentation as it is? If you can make up for that overlooked part and come up with an alternative way to present it, then go with it.

Many times, we try to focus on what we spent so much time and effort on. When it fails, we look down on Plan B, C, and D because they lack the awesomeness that Plan A has. But who’s fault is it?

Anyone who’s ready for war has either loads of bullets or three guns. You won’t lose your motivation if you’re prepared for any circumstances. Your game plan should provide you with options to do no matter the situation.

Save your energy

When things go wrong, becoming unmotivated is just one part of the trouble. Others become angry, frustrated, or anxious. These negativities absorb our energy. If you let them, they can soak up your eagerness to achieve your goal too.

Acknowledge what screwed up and why it happened. Did you get into an argument with a teammate at work that’s why you weren’t able to deliver your project? What led the misunderstanding to blow out of proportion?

When you’re angry, your body releases stress hormones and adrenaline is everywhere in your body. Put your anger to good use. Get away for a time and do something else. Run or go to the gym until your endorphins take over your body and your cortisol levels go down. Once you feel better, you’ll regain your productivity and think more creatively.

You will waste energy and time if you dwell on your negative emotions. Instead, deal with the situation and face it like the champ that you are.

Stop overthinking

If you have this tendency to overthink unpleasant situations, you better stop doing it before it becomes worse.

When you find yourself in an undesirable state, it’s natural to mull over the reasons that brought you there. However, overthinking things could debilitate you and consume your will to move forward.

Are you side hustling on freelance websites? Have you experienced being banned from using any of those platforms? That’s horrible.

It feels like getting kicked out of the apartment you’re renting. But what’s worse is you don’t exactly know what the hell went wrong. You think of it repeatedly because the support team took an eternity to explain what happened.

After hearing from them, you refuse to accept the situation and continue analysing the events. Instead of concentrating on the accounts you have on other freelance marketplaces, you bury yourself in disappointment.  

Overthinking or over analysing everything blocks your chances of coming up with better solutions in an awful situation. Analysis paralysis could happen to you and this could only make things even harder.

The solutions are not in the things that caused you distress. You can get out of that bad state if you stop overthinking and start doing something.

Talk to someone

Do you have that one friend whom you confide most of your problems to? That one friend who can be completely honest with us, which you hate sometimes, but is the only one who could understand you more than you do yourself.

When trapped in an unpleasant situation, talk to someone you can trust. Ask for advice if you don’t know what to do. Encouragement from somebody who matters to you could boost your self-esteem and pull you out of your unmotivated state.

Sometimes, just talking to them opens your mind right off the bat. It’s because when we’re in an ugly situation, it clouds our mind with pessimism and poor judgement. Talking to a trusted person isn’t just soliciting for their advice but also helping your thoughts to clear up.   

Think of your goal

What’s all your hard work for? Targeting twice the number of last month’s sales? When faced with the distressing situations, remind yourself to put your eyes on the prize.

Focus on the goal you set before things became disagreeable. Then look back at what motivated you to take actions toward that goal.

Your desire to continue what you’ve started may not appeal to you anymore because of a setback you encountered. But that setback shouldn’t be the one ruling the game. It should be you.

What could probably screw up in your business today? A supplier who shipped the wrong parcel that caused a delay in your production? This could be a major blunder especially when you are way past your lead time. There has to be a solution, so don’t lose grip on your goals.

It’s okay to be sad and frustrated when you’re caught in the middle of an unpleasant situation.You’re only human. You’re made to feel both positive and negative emotions.

But you are also made of a fighting spirit. So don’t just give up when you don’t feel motivated enough. Rise and bring back the will to conquer any adversities that come your way.

[Featured Photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash]

Dyan Hernandez
Dyan Hernandez

You do you, we do us.