I recently heard from a friend who had been laid off at the newspaper she worked at because of the faltering economy. She didn't have many job leads and her motivation was at an all-time low. She felt that there was nothing more frightening than being a writer in an uncertain job market.
Panic and fear quickly took over; where would she go from go from there?
How would she pay her bills?
How would she cope with uncertainty?
Her mind was plagued with self-doubting, self-defeating thoughts and she began to spiral out of control, right into a dangerous state of anxiety that threatened to paralyze her into stagnant ground forever.
As she began to realize what a toll her predicament was leaving her in, it became clear to her that she needed to take action and do something to get herself out of the hole she was in.
Once she sat down and began to reflect on things, working through the paralyzing fear and the negativity that came along with the devastation of losing her dream job and having to start over from the beginning, everything started to make sense and she was on a roll!
Sometimes it takes a moment of crisis to help us refocus our thoughts and energies into what we want our professional and personal goals to be and what we need to accomplish.
The following points will help you focus and concentrate on the positive rather than dwell on the negative, motivating you to move forward into action rather than leaving you stuck in a rut.
Reading through them should help you gain some perspective into your particular situation:
1. Allow yourself to be upset and grieve if things have gone wrong
Sometimes you suffer from start-up inertia because you're having to make a new start and you're stubbornly holding on to the way things were.
It is perfectly normal to feel panicked, upset, angry, sad, even outraged; you wouldn't be human if you didn't feel that way.
Take some time to get in touch with those feelings.
The night my friend got laid off she drove home, fell into bed and literally could not move for 45 minutes.
Then she called me.
I got her to get up, take a long shower, change into some comfortable clothes, and then she spent some time sat in front of the television watching 'Friends'.
Give your mind and body time to settle into the initial shock of change, whatever it may be. But focus primarily on how you feel and let those feelings out.
2. Take a DEEP BREATH!
Your mind deserves it, your body deserves it, your lungs deserve it.
Taking deep breaths improves circulation, calms anxiety and helps you focus.
Once you're done moping, take a deep breath and start to move.
3. Organize your home, organize your life
Is your house a mess? What about your room or your home office? Can you not see yourself going through the piles of papers on top of your desk? Have you looked at your bills lately and seen what you have?
If you haven't done any of these things, now is the time to do it.
There is nothing more stressful when we are in a state of panic than a living space that has no room for us to live in it.
So tackle the mess; wash those clothes, clean out that pantry, throw out the clutter, get those bills out of the way.
You'll be surprised how much more motivated you will be when you surround yourself with cleanliness and order.
4. Surround yourself with positive people
Now would be a good time to reconnect with friends that you haven't spoken to in a while, or even with the friends that you talked to just yesterday, those friends that always have an encouraging word, who are helpful and positive.
Do yourself a favor and avoid people who are always down in the dumps, or who always have something negative to say.
5. Don't confuse negativity with constructive criticism
Some friends may seem like they're helping but they're just feeding the cynicism. Conversely, friends that may appear to be negative are actually offering ways to help by sharing your experiences and showing you a better way to focus.
Listen to the people that are there for you, take what you can use, and dismiss those things that you don't want to use or that you can't use. Don't allow yourself to be brought down by it.
Take charge of your life again.
6. Have someone objective to talk to
When possible, sometimes having an objective third party to talk to and run ideas by can be tremendously helpful.
In some cases, a therapist can be of vital importance in your growth process towards finding yourself and focusing on your career and life goals. They can provide you with a perspective that is sound, rational and unbiased, while still keeping your best interests in mind.
7. Keep a journal of your progress
Write your ideas and your thoughts down and read over them the day after. You will gain some valuable perspective and insight into your own growth and where you are at.
8. Get out of the house!
Take your laptop or notebook to the local coffee shop or park, somewhere with some interaction and get out into the world! This will give you a chance to get out of the house and possibly meet some people, network and create some opportunities towards accomplishing your goals.
9. Actively look for opportunities to do the things that you love most and turn them into opportunities for you
Do you enjoy attending art shows? Love doing volunteer work? Do you like fishing with friends or going to the library or attending meetings for local organizations?
These are all things that would not only satisfy the craving for you to do something that you enjoy, but it would also present you with opportunities to network, meet people that could help you get ahead, and spend time taking care of yourself and your mental and emotional health.
10. Finally, SMILE and BELIEVE!
Easier said than done, I know. Believe me, nothing about my friend's situation warranted a smile and some faith. But had she not kept herself smiling, it would have been so much harder to be positive and pull out of that state of anxiety.
Believe in yourself and the things that you have accomplished and remember that you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to do.
So get your coat, get your shoes, get your smile and go out into the world!
Taking heed of these valuable insights will help you create and maintain a positive energy source in your life and keep inertia at bay. You will feel better, be more motivated and definitely more at peace.
All it takes is for you to make that first move. Don't let panic paralyze you into inertia. Anything is possible; it's up to you to make it happen!
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report that reveals how to crush procrastination and sustain lasting motivation. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: stay motivated