10 Ideas How to Motivate Yourself in Difficult Times

Motivation Doesn't Last...

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily,” said Zig Ziglar.

How do you stay motivated in difficult times so you don’t lose the end goal and give up?

Here are 10 ideas how to motivate yourself in times of stress, difficulties and obstacles:

1. Just Keep Going

Dare to push through difficulties and find what’s on the other side. Your mind might tell you to take a break or “it’s too much for now”, but that might not be the best strategy. Don’t allow outside circumstances to stop you.

2. Focus on the Now

Focusing on the NOW will allow you to stay calm and alert.  It’s the best way to not allow fear, uncertainty or anxiety that come with thinking about the past or future. You can only control the NOW – use it.

3. Break it Down

When you’re overwhelmed – the best thing you could do for yourself is to break down any task or project into small pieces. This will lower your level of stress, and would motivate you each day to take one step closer to your goal.

4. Reward Yourself

We are wired to react to incentives, so reward yourself for accomplishing a goal (even a small one) or maintaining a habit. A 30-minute playtime, your favorite dish, a walk in the park, a nap… anything you’d be looking forward when things are difficult.

5. Start With a Routine

Getting yourself motivated starts with… getting started. Begin every day with a morning routine, which will make your mind and body alert, focused and energized. The best part… once you’ve done your morning routine – you already feel successful.

6. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

No matter how committed, determined and focused you are, there will be days when you feel like doing absolutely nothing! Then take a break. Do something else… And don’t allow your mind to punish you with guilt.

7. Engage Friends and Loved Ones

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is sacrificing our time and connection with our loved ones. Involve your family and friends in your victories and struggles… Let them know how they can help. You don’t have to do it alone.

8. Indulge in Inspirational Activities

Sometimes, you only need to look outside your little bubble for motivation. When this happens, re-watch an inspiring movie, watch a motivating TED talk, or listen to an inspirational podcast.

9. Don’t Forget, You’re Living Your Dream

You’ve started your business with a great passion. Remember, even in difficult times, you are living your dream and doing what you love best. Enjoy and learn from every step of the journey – keeping your end goal in mind.

10. Enjoy the Perks of Your Business

A great way to stay motivated is to enjoy some of the perks your business brings. Maybe you get to travel to new places, meet different people, have control over your own time… Find and enjoy the small gifts your business offers you.

Now It’s YOUR Turn

For five minutes… come up with as many ideas as you can… what can you do to motivate yourself in difficult times?

Let's Brainstorm


Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

Top Commenters – last 30 Days

Let's Brainstorm


Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

  1. Work with someone
    Have an accountability partner/buddy
    One little success a day keeps demotivation away
    Don't over plan.
    Keep a journal
    Think about the people your efforts are/will help

  2. I stay motivated by
    1) showing gratefulness at the end of every day dor the things I’ve achieved during the day
    2) Starting every morning with among others mediation (to calm my mind) and visualization (start with the end in mind) both of which enables be to stay focussen the whole day.
    3) I go for a long walk on my way home from work reflecting on all the events and to clear my mind and to regain focus. I find that there is little which a stiff walk cannot cure.
    4) Taking the time to remember the cause of my dream or the why of my products
    5) recoding my own peptalk on the dictaphone while walking as if I was my own coach
    6) accepting that not everyday can be perfect but there is always some new to learn about yourself. Just make sure you stay in line.
    7) listen to a motivational podcast of Nisandeh, BNR, Tony Robbins or other ‘guru’s’

  3. 10 Idea's to keep myself motivated.
    1. Write down what I want to do.
    2. Check off the things I did
    3. I need people around me, that gives me energy. So sometimes I work in a nice hotel.
    4. I go downstairs and talk to the front desk of my office building, just talking to them gives me energy to go on.
    5. I talk to my buddy regularly. We talk every week. It takes a shorter amount of time
    6. Sometimes I go to a breaksfast meeting, just to meet people.
    7. Sometimes I schedule a little me time where I do nothing. I wonder around. No stress. In that time I get energy.
    8. I have a very nice cappuchino in a nice place.
    9. In my case: I have karatetrainings. The lessons from som of the teachers and feedback all the other members give me energy.
    10. Try to work with another party gives me energy and new inspiration

  4. I go out for a stroll when I'm really stressed or do breathing exercises.
    "Wie dan leeft, dan zorgt". On one hand, you want to be realistic, on the other hand, you want to stay positive. When more people have positive thoughts, the more positive energy we have in the world. Everything is energy. Where focus goes, energy flows. However, sometimes it's hard, especially with all the crazy things happening right now.
    But I always try to refocus to the positive things

  5. 1. Celebrate your victories do not dwell to long on 'failures'. Especially since failures do not exist. No highs without lows...
    2. Allow yourself a free day or a vacation to clear your mind and become motivated again
    3. Remember Rome was not built in one day. Do not be too hard on yourself
    4. Change of scenery. Sometimes I take my laptop, hop on the train and go to a city somewhere in the Netherlands. I treat myself to a nice lunch and work in a café, business location like Creative Valley or Seats 2 Meet or Starbucks/Bagels and Beans. Does not matter, it is something else than the office you are in day after day.
    5. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” —Winston Churchill.
    6. Read about people that failed time after time until they found the road to success. I like this article: https://www.workjuice.nl/succesvolle-ondernemers-gefaald/
    7. Never, ever, ever give up!
    7. Natuurkundige Albert-Laszlo Barabasi (die onderzoek naar de Q-factor deed) zegt: “Het moment dat je opgeeft, is het moment waarop je creativiteit eindigt.”

  6. 1.knowing my WHY
    2.looking at my Moodboard
    3.be thankful
    4.go out for a walk
    5. Read the comments on my posts
    6. Look at the results of my client’s
    7. Make an appointment for a lunch with a business friend

  7. A lot has been mentioned, but my top list in difficult times:
    1. I have a special box in my e-mail where i keep al my positive e-mails.
    So when i don't know for who of what i'm doing al my hard work I start reading these e-mails. Helps me a lot!
    2. I stop working and go out for a walk.
    3. I take some thinking time.
    4. I make a list of what i can do, and start with small tasks.
    5. I ask my buddy's to help me.
    6. I ask my husband to help my clear my mind, and look at the situation from a different perspective.

  8. What is a good strategy for getting out of your entrepreneurial slump? I want to share with you how I dealt with my dip a few years ago and how I motivated myself out of this.

    I'm not the type of person who gets down and dirty and crawls into a victim role. That doesn't suit me and certainly not the content of the training and seminars I provide. So in the context of: "Practice what you preach" I started thinking and working. What is a good strategy to get out of your entrepreneurial dip? Sounds easier said than done, but I was determined to do something about it.

    What I would like to share with you are the things that helped me a lot.

    1. Talk about it with different people
    Both with immediate family and friends, but also other people from my network. Tell honestly what you're struggling with, open yourself up for feedback, and look at the possibilities together. Sparring together works great. It has given me new insights. Sometimes you hear confrontational things, but ultimately it was very refreshing.

    2. Ask yourself the right questions
    I discovered that I had been asking myself the wrong questions. How can I best use my talent? What do I need to generate passive income? How do I get an online program as soon as possible? What do I need to do to get this....what do I need to do to get that......? The one question I forgot to ask is: What makes me happy? What do I like doing best? What is driving me? And do something with the answers these questions provide. I get BLUE from interacting and giving training. Fortunately, I knew and know that for sure.

    3. Read, write or rewrite your vision & mission
    In my masterclasses and training, I meet many entrepreneurs who do not have a clear vision or mission. And yet this is very important. It gives direction to your business. It's about why you do things. Who do you want to help and what makes it important for you? My mission is very clear: I want to help as many entrepreneurs as possible sell themselves and their products/services better. I do this based on the belief that you can do much more than you think and that selling is a skill that you can learn. It makes me happy when I can empower you. Reading through my vision & mission has made me understand again why I started SalesDIVA. I just lost that during my entrepreneurial dip at one point and it made me feel a bit lost.

    4. Give yourself a break
    Since the beginning of SalesDIVA, I have given myself far too little rest/vacation. I just went on and on. Always a reason not to go on vacation or at least not for too long. Because yes business is business. Then you're not just 'no' to say right? The weekends became an extension of my weekdays. At one point you have just a week of 7 days and you walk around with your to-do list in your head. Well ... logically, there comes a time when you're done.

    So go on vacation and go for at least 3 weeks to relax. Make sure you create rhythm in your workweek. So Monday to Friday you work and on the weekend you do NOTHING. You can also work less and if your weekend is on Monday and Tuesday that is also fine. The important thing is to find a balance between effort and relaxation.

    5. Read the recommendations of your clients
    This has helped me and also moved me. I pulled out of the drawer some written-out recommendations - from my very first SalesDIVA Event - and started reading through them quietly. I also watched several videos of women who are happy with the training they received from me. The question of whether I am doing a good job and have something to add completely disappeared. My clients helped me to remember my purpose here on earth. I felt the energy flowing again and I felt like it.

    Now I'm very curious if you recognize yourself in my story and if you can do something with it.

  9. Probably it's human to experience occasional doubts or personal setbacks and lack of motivation. A simple tip that helps me. I sometimes create a milestone post on LinkedIn where I force myself to summarize al the amazing things we have achieved so far. Telling myself it's not normal. And to be proud.

    The reactions are usually very positive and this strengthens my thoughts that we are adding value, bringing positive vibes to others and heading in the right direction. The support from my colleagues, customers and Linkedin connections is extremely valuable.

    Any doubts dissapear as easy as rain evaporates by the sun.

  10. 1. Take a break, go for a walk and get some fresh air
    2. See the positives and what you achieved so far
    3. Rearrange your plan. We can't be as productive every day
    4. Use agile software to plan your day(s) and make smaller tasks
    5. Use the pomodoro technique it helps to do smaller tasks, have a little break and go back to start another task
    6. I usually call my sister for a chat lol

  11. Focus on the relationships you have created with some of your customers. If you hadn’t start your business you shouldn’t have these customers-friends.

    Let’s suppose that you have succeeded with your financial life, that you have created even passive income enough to live the rest of your life or you have emergency fund to live for a lot of years, what remains at the end ???? The relationships with all of these customers-friends. This is very important to have a great life!!!

  12. 1. Be and think positive. I find there are quite a lot of people who are negative. If you surround yourself with those people your motivation goes down. Ask them why they are negative. Otherwise stop interacting with them. Tough choice, but necessary.
    2. Don't stay in a place you don't like. It drains your energy, and does not give you any motivation to go on and do stuff that is productive.
    3. If you don't feel motivated, in my case, it is due to things that are not clear or hard, people who are annoying, in my opinion. Take a step back. I usually find when I think these things I need to find out why things are not clear or why I think people are annoying. It is usually not them but me. I need to take action to get rid of these ideas in order to stay motivated. Discuss things I'm not happy about. Usually these are small things. It takes little time and after these talks (to someone else or myself ;-)) I really feel motivated again.
    4. Get enough sleep. If I don't sleep well I loose my motivation.
    5. Have a clear plan. I get focus and that way motivation comes easily.

  13. 1) Make the processes of what you do fun

    2) Go now and then to a new location to work; where you can sit relaxed

    3) Use and Create your own music playlist with uplifting music

    4) Regularly Dance 5 minutes

    5) Use the pommodoro technique with 25 minutes working, 5 minutes break and do something different in every break and in every piece of 25 minutes or alternate between a few tasks that you let rotate

    6) Imagine that you are in a different world or in your dreamlife and act according to that

    7) Use affirmations

    8) Always choose and aim for the simplest, most pleasant and effective way to do things

    9) Sing

    10) Move your body, do a little bit crazy and laugh with yourself

    11) Hang up motivating quotes on places where your eyes regularly rest on

    12) Place or hang up foto’s from previous successes in your office where you can see them while working (best in your success direction according to Feng Shui)

    13) Hang up diploma’s and certificates or make prizes visible of things that you have achieved in the past

    14) Make it a habit to use the same affirmation that acknowledges you every morning at the same place, same moment

    15) Ad color and fun to your work as well for yourself as for your clients

    16) Use a system to remind yourself to stop working in time and do something for yourself

    17) Plan things in your schedule for your free time

    18) Always focus on joy in everything you do; ask yourself how you could have the most fun doing what you need to do

    19) Call someone you know, who ever was in a comparable situation (works great!)

    20) Write down all your successes in life, in a list

    21) Do the “Priming Exercise” of Tony Robbins on YouTube

    1. In reply to Lieve Leysen.
      Great to see you back here with us Lieve. LOVE you ideas, especially #10 is such an important one.
      Thanks for this wonderful valuable contribution

  14. Even at the risk that many things are said already, here I share my motivation-boosters.
    - starting my day with a meditations for the day when still lying in bed - to start with a good feeling
    - take a nice walk with my dog
    - then do 15 minutes Qigong to get my energy going
    - after breakfast start on the day
    - when motivation failes me ik take my planning for the week which I have junked down in little pieces which I can achieve day by day. That helps a lot. Seeing the big picture is scary and puts me off. The little steps are easier to handle.
    - moving helps when frustration hits... getting nasty energy out of body and mind makes room for good ones 🙂

    I find ik confronting to read the comments of others. Makes me feel like I'm not doing enough fast enough. And not all themes appeal to me, so I'll react to the ones that I can really work with/on. I understand the meaning of the challenge...although it's quite a bombardement with idea's and themes that I seem not being able to catch up... Nevertheless, it's great to be busy with it 🙂

    1. Never, never, compare yourself, Kathrin, with anyone else.
      It's your life, your circumstance, your skills, abilities, goals, aspirations, challenges, and so much more - that make you... You. Unique you.

      The main purposes of the challenge are:
      1. Get you to work ON your business for 10-15 minutes a day, instead of IN your business.
      2. Get you inspired with more ideas.
      3. Get you to choose one action and implement it (rather than decide to go for 10 different ones, and drop them soon after)...

      Keep up the good work, and I'd love to hear when you implemented any action...

    2. Love your great ideas and tips @Kathrin!

      And yes: totally agreeing with @Nisandeh ! Just read his comment out loud, 3 times, and then you know.

      We are here to empower each other and there is no race or beauty pageant here. We all are here to learn and to implement great idea's and tips.

      You rock!

  15. As Tony Robbins says: Change your state! Posture. Change your story! (What are you telling yourself) Change it! And follow through!

    1. Bye the way, I'm asked frequently to upload a gravatar. But there is a big problem in the system I think. My mailadresses are already in use?????
      Can't make a profile username or passwort omn my mailadress.

      1. I’m not sure how to help you, Jur…
        But if Gravatar has an account for your email address, maybe you can ask for a new password, and they’ll send it to your email account.
        Or… as Aramik suggested, maybe you can use another email address.

  16. Turn annoying parts into pleasant parts.
    Think about your successes and how those others have helped people. There are people who need you for what you keep doing it. They can't live without you!
    Experience disappointments as learning moments and embrace them with gratitude.

  17. 1 set (not to big) milestones and celebrate those
    2 celebrate small successes and make them visible
    3 write out goal and what you like about it and read it every day
    4 focus on the positive
    5 focus on the oppotunity and what you might get from it and not the missing r
    6 determine priority in your tasks and note for each the impact finishing will have
    7 tell/show others about what you are working on

  18. I have a buddy and we meet once a week to keep us on track and motivate eachother when necessary.
    I do 'essential work' in the morning, which energy do I want to experience today? Could be manifestation, focus, creation, dilligence, relax etc. And then I let my Ego speak why I will not be able to achieve same. Then I give reasons why will achieve my energetic state that day and thus do the things I need to do.
    I give myself a balance with Brain Gym (my expertise). Why only use it for your clients when you can help yourself with it also?
    Just a chat with someone explaining what you are doing raises my energy and therefore my motivation.

  19. 1) Close your eyes, and visualize yourself reaching your goals.
    2) Get out from your comfort zone and try something new
    3) reward yourself after each step you made
    4) Go for a walk or run and clear your head or just watch the nature how the nature starts over and over again without thinking
    5) just dance for 5-10 minutes and forget everything, after that you will be energized
    6) Take a cold shower
    7) Set a deadline for your task and get it done before the time is up
    8) Focus on positive things, write a gratitude book
    9) Encourage others to do things, you will experience encouragement from them

  20. I really like this challenge!

    First of all, remember why you started your business; you had a good reason for it, connect with it again.
    Also, reconnect with the values you hold dear. It's (also) through your business that you can live them.
    Contemplate for a moment - really just a moment - the alternative. You don't want the alternative, do you?
    Establish for yourself what success means to YOU and not to society.
    Remember: a setback is alway temporary. It will pass and the sun will shine again.

    1. I never thought of "contemplate the alternative" Manny...
      I usually look for the "carrot"... you're offering the "stick".
      Thank you for thinking aloud.

  21. Reminds me of the Simpsons "Do it for her". You make it sound so bleak to have your own business.

    I have a vision for my life and my business. With the vision in mind I set goals. For the goals I decide how I will measure them. Then I think of actions. Then I do the actions.

    Motivation and passion comes from doing the actions and seeing the results. Are the results wrong, take different actions.

    So that is my brainstorm:
    1. Have a vision (write it down, hang it in sight, make a vision board, put it on your phone)
    2. Set goals (not just once, but yearly, monthly, weekly)
    3. Measure progress (and celebrate progress. We start our weekly meeting with naming 5 successes of the last week)
    4. Plan your actions
    5. Do your actions (getting support is fine. I host a "work together" session several times per week where we have 2-6 others working on zoom simultaneously. )
    6. Change actions depending on the results.
    7. Repeat

  22. 1. Write down your Goals Daily and
    2. think that your daily work is a part you have to do in order to achieve your goals that will make you happy...

  23. * Try to connect with my purpose (again)
    * Visualise what it will look like once I have achieved my (small) goal usually gives me new energy
    * The Idea that I can be proud of myself, although that one is not my best quality
    * Finishing the next thing creates room and time for other (nice) things!

  24. Great brainstorm guys, thanks for your suggestions! I really needed some motivation for today (yesterday I had two serious disappointments and today I have to start over again). But now I think I'll manage.

    1. Talk to yourself, say out loud you're doing well and you will win. Positive affirmations are very helpful.
    2. After completing a project, put it on your website instantly, make it public.
    3. Find images that illustrate your goals and/or achievements, print them and pin them. The images will motivate you every time you pass.

    1. yes yes yes Ine! So you are living it 🙂

      So Did you also celebrated your win of today? (being present here with us and sharing your struggle?:))

  25. I thought I start early this time. Three earlier birds already. Your thoughts coversit all, super! recognise nr 5 and 6 of Gerdy. Nr 2 of Aramik is a dangerous one for me.
    - when I am out of motivation, I start to clear/clean up my workshop. See what I have put in al the drawers and boxes on the shelves. They have project tags but often I do not remember what I meant by writing that . I will find treasures of start-ups of ideas. After a morning like that, I am always filled with energy and am able to
    go on with renewed motivation.

  26. What a beautiful challenge. I love it.

    Here’s what I do:
    1. Write down 10 reasons why I should continue
    2. Write down 10 reasons why I should not continue
    3. Then compare those. Nr 1 always wins- otherwise I wouldn’t have started it. And if nr 2 is winning then it’s time for a serious checkup. But it gives me the feeling that I also took serious my struggle.
    4. Big one for me: allow myself to struggle. Instead of fighting it.
    5. Find something else to do. It doesn’t make sense for me to push through then- I better take a break and go for a long walk or run. It also prevents me from eating rubbish which is my preference 😅
    6. Talking with a friend and share my frustration really helps. Especially when they totally talk with me and then in the end I come up with great reasons why it’s not frustrating or hard at all myself.

    1. Fantastic tips @Gerdy! Every time I think I read your comments, I come across new ones with new insights! WHOOHO!!

      love #4 and #5!! Keeping the energy high! yess!

  27. Great topic to think about and great Idea's Nisandeh. Love them! Here are mine ways to stay Motivated and Focused in hard times:

    1: Begin Every day with saying grace and thanks. Just Make up my bed and then sit for 5 minutes and be thanksful for every one and every thing in my life. All the begining is important and long ago I learned : Beat the Morning, Beat the day, Beat The week and Beat the month! One day at the time...

    2: Very very silly and: I just watch one (or two...ok ok.. maybe four!) episodes of FRIENDS! Just laughing with Chandler, Dancing with Monica, Eating with Joey, Cuddling with Phoebe, Goofying with Ross and Falling In love With Rachel... Laughter always heals

    3: Write (or re-write) my Obituary (Grafrede)/Life's intention ... An amazing excersize Long ago I learned at the LSU and since i am teaching my students. Just reconnecting with my own WHY's and Legacies brings me back into Motivation

    4: Another Silly one: Just going over my Recommendation on LinkedIn and read what other people say about me. This one works alot as I tend to get very depressed, sad and lonely when the going gets tough. Reading how other think of me, makes me aware that I am worth of every thing.

    5: Listening to Music, specially songs like "Private Emotion" - Ricky Martin, "Desert Rose" - Sting, Cheb Mami, "Despacito"...

    6: Going to my favorite Sauna or Spa. Just By myzelf and one book to read, preferably David Baldacci.

    7: Getting as much as hugs I can get from our 2 beautiful daughters, Sophie & Charlot. They just always know how I feel and some how without saying anything, they just take the heaviness of stuff, away...

    1. Music works for me as well. But I listen to completely different songs:

      Parov Stellar - The sun
      Sia - Cheap Thrills
      A lot from Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys

      1. yess Max 🙂 Love Sia a well... Thanks for sharing 🙂

        I do not know the other 3 artists.. Thanks for sharing so I can check them out!

  28. A lot of what I do has already mentioned above, but here are some of my top ideas:
    1. "Anicha-Anicha-Anicha" - In the Vipassana meditation there is a principle that is taught, which is EVERYTHING shall pass.
    I love that and use it every time my motivation goes down. I remind myself "This would also pass". THis feeling that nothing is working would also pass and I start ACTIVELY looking for the signs that I'm back on track.

    2. One of the BEST part of having good friends is that when my motivation is down and I hit what I think "rock-bottom" I can call on a friend and they would cheer me up or remind me that I managed to go through tougher times so no reason why I would not be able to go through this one.

    3. I make sure I have a Mentor that is there for me when I am overwhelmed or lose hope due to another rejection. She always helps me find what I can DO next and can track for me my growth path so I see how far I've walked already.

    4. If I can't get hold of a friend (or they don't have time when I need it) or my Mentor - I sit down and write for myself a list of my 100 successes in life. Nothing is too small or big to be called a success. After that when I read it for myself I notice how my confidence in myself rises and it helps me get through the difficult time.

    5. If what I notice is that I have no energy to do anything anymore due to the difficult time - I focus only on ONE action per day. Once I do that action - I give myself a treat and challenge myself for another ONE action to do. That way - even though I have no energy or will to move forward I still keep going.

    6. Many times I have no clue what is holding me back or why my motivation is down - that's the time I take out my journal and I journal all the thoughts that I have in my head. I pour them down unto the page and I do not stop until I have at least 3 A4 pages full of thoughts. Usually that clears my mind and allows me to see what is stopping me.

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