How to keep yourself motivated during tricky times

Ines Gonzalez, Career Coach

Q: I am in a good job that pays the bills. I have a good working environment despite the COVID-19 circumstances, and I would like to progress in my career. The problem is that I just can’t push myself to learn anything new or start a new project. I can’t find the motivation. Can you help?  (BC, email).

A: I totally relate to your situation. Motivation comes and goes, and the last few months have been difficult. Being aware of it is the first step to getting back on the right track, writes Ines Gonzalez, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.

The more we understand what is going on, the more we can do about it.

Motivation is defined as “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way”. You mention you don’t seem able to push yourself to start a new project.

A way of looking at it would be to analyse those reasons you are not behaving in the way you wish. You have lost your inspiration and that won’t help you to make the changes you want. Here are some areas you can work on and some powerful quotes to inspire you.

Timing

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek” – Barack Obama.

There is never the perfect time to do something. Now is always an option if you get rid of the excuses. Plan to do something straight away, something small that will start you in the right path. It could be as small as buying a new notebook to create your plan.

Get asking

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for” ― Oprah Winfrey.

If you are looking for a promotion, access to interesting projects or even to innovate and present your ideas, you are going to have to ask. Most decent managers will appreciate you being proactive.

There has never been a better time to be creative in business. Prepare your pitch and be confident of the value you can add to the company.

Stay positive

“I’ve had to learn to fight all my life – got to learn to keep smiling. If you smile, things will work out”  Serena Williams.

There are days you will not feel your best, and all that ‘be positive’ advice is not really welcome then. It is important to keep it up though; science tells us that we can cheat our brains by smiling and saying positive things even if we do not feel it.

Repeat this enough and your brain and you will start feeling really positive and motivated.

Embrace change

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” — Charles Darwin.

It can be hard to keep adapting, but the social experiment over the last while has told us that change is possible, and it can be done very quickly.

Keep questioning what you do and how you do it. How can you improve? What would be more efficient? How can I enjoy more what I do and still benefit the company? What is the first step that I can take straight away?

Ines Gonzalez is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers.

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