Everyone hits a slump in their professional life at some point. And if you frequently work alone, getting out of it can be even harder than you might expect. When this happens, it can be valuable to remind yourself of what you’re working for, what are you trying to accomplish, and what motivates you to keep going. This is a useful exercise, not just for when you’re in a rut, but to help keep you centered when you’re juggling all of the everyday challenges of working on your own.
Identifying Your Motivation
Use the list below to start your own list of motivations that you can keep handy for when that slump hits or you just need a reminder of why you’re working so hard.
- Family – Are you driven by making your family proud of what you’re doing? Does your work allow you to support them financially?
- Money – Money can be a motivator in many ways. Is it one of the things that pushes you most in times of stress?
- Pride – Pride in yourself and your work can be a powerful motivator for many. Is it for you?
- Outside Expectations – Do you worry about fulfilling the needs of others or what others will think about you if you fail?
- Credibility – Do you look at each project you take on as a way to solidify your credibility? Are you driven to do more by your integrity?
- Goals – Did you set goals when you started out on your own? Do you have dreams that keep you on track?
- Helping Others – Are you satisfied when you help others in your work? Does it motivate you to keep going?
- Passion – Does love for what you do give you the fight to be able to work through the hard times?
- Consequences – Are you afraid of what may happen if you don’t live up to your commitments?
- The Challenge – Do you thrive on the challenge? Do you purposefully make your schedule overfull because that’s how you work best?
My biggest motivations are my family, pride in my business and reputation, and passion for what I do. It also helps that I thrive on the challenge that comes with setting far-reaching goals for myself.
Reviving Your Motivation
I’ve found that my motivation lags when I’m away from work for an extended period of time, I have a particularly challenging week or if I have an overwhelming number of tasks on my to-do list. There are a lot of ways you can help yourself snap out of it when you hit a bump, but here are a few of my favorite ways to get refocused:
- Be thankful for what you have and what you’ve already accomplished
- Focus on one goal and work with tunnel vision until you’ve completed it
- Eliminate all of the negativity and concentrate on the positive
- Force yourself to do the most avoided item on your list (the rest will seem easy)
- Psyche yourself up (music works!)
What motivates you, and how do you get back into it when you’re in a slump?
Image credit: Alan Rainbow