If your life is falling apart you may feel scared, uncomfortable, and stressed out. But don’t panic, there may be a trampoline at the end of that fall that will bounce you back even higher.
Here are 5 tips that will help you leave mental chaos and find motivation to move forward.
1. Don’t Retreat into Denial
There is no peace or progress to be found in avoidance. Here is the deal: you are either getting what you want from your life, or you are being taught a lesson by things falling apart. Whichever it is, it is your reality right now. Accept that reality and focus on getting to peace.
You can begin by getting rid of all of those negative thoughts about how bad things are and how things should be. You have to let them go – that is the only way you can move on.
From a practical standpoint, come up with one step you can take today. Just one step. Even if that one step is getting off of your couch to take a walk. And when you get back from that walk, do one thing related to work.
If you are a designer, create a new design; if you are a freelance writer, write a blog post on a topic you love – not for any client – just because it’s a topic you love. Save it. If you are a small business owner with no customers right now, get on your Facebook page and post something fun.
Just do one thing that will remind you that you have talent and ability. Once you take that first step, you will find it easier to take the second one.
2. Remember – Everything is Temporary
When I was a young adult and going through some really tough times, my sister gave me a ring. On it was inscribed this quote: “This too shall pass away.” I still wear it today, on a chain around my neck. When things are great, they do not always last; and when things are bad, they don’t last either.
Think about this: What is the very worst thing that can happen? Play the very worst scenario in your head for just a minute or two. Will you go bankrupt? Will you lose your business? Your house? Your marriage? No matter what that worst case scenario is, you will still be alive and you will still be able to act.
Now, go volunteer somewhere – a cancer ward of a children’s hospital would be a good place. If these kids can keep fighting, so can you.
3. Grow Wiser
Every successful person has failed. In fact, they say that those failures were their great teachers. Look at this chaos and/or failure that has caused you to lose your mojo and analyze it. Why did it happen and can you learn from it?
This takes your focus off of the negativity, chaos, and failure and puts it onto something positive. As you analyze, think about what you can do to fix this issue, and what you can do differently from this point forward. Write it all down. This becomes your first plan for recovery. Once you have some things written down and in sight, you will find the energy to do something on that list. And when you have trouble getting that mojo going, read some inspiring quotes from successful people who failed before they triumphed.
4. Small Fixes Lead to Big Ones
When everything is wrong, it is actually easier to start fixing things. Make a list of everything that is wrong. What is the one thing that could be fixed with the greatest ease? What is the next? Prioritize your list. Start with #1.
And while you are at it, nothing is a better motivator than to tell others what you intend to do (friends and family). When you do that, you accept “ownership” of what you intend to do. And when you accept ownership, you will force yourself to get moving. You don’t want the embarrassment of letting your friends and family members down. This is a great psychological trick.
5. Get Support
It is not a sign of weakness to admit that you need help getting yourself going again. Who of your friends, family members or colleagues has great energy and optimism? Can they play a role in getting you motivated?
When my father died, my mother went into a complete “funk.” She was no longer really able to socialize with other married couples; she had retired a few years earlier. Her days were spent on a schedule of no activity other than making meals and watching TV. Something had to happen. She did not ask for support but she got it anyway.
My sister and I took turns going over to her house and dragging her out – shopping for a new bath mat or lamp, taking her to programs at the library or the local community college, and forcing her to take short trips with us.
Slowly she began to have some fun, and having fun is one of the keys to stimulating motivation. And here is what you can do. Take a moment to look back and figure out who gave you the most joy. Contact those people, be honest about your “funk,” and ask them to get together for one of those fun times you used to have. Fun breeds optimism and optimism breeds motivation.
Time for Action
Every one of these tips is actionable right now, today. And none of them costs much, if anything. Start with just one. If you are not getting what you need, go on to the next one. 5 years from now, you will probably look back at this moment in your life and be grateful for it.