The Key to Staying Motivated

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What is the one thing that gets you motivated? No seriously, pause for just a second and think about what that driving force is that really keeps you going…

Without you even telling me the answer, I know that ultimately it is some strong feeling of love or hate for someone or something that is ultimately the key factor in keeping you motivated. Was I right? Of course I was right! It may be the love you have for God, your family, your partner, your country, and/or your career or business that keeps you going. It could be the love you have for money, freedom, or material things that really propels you forward. For others, it’s a feeling of hate towards someone or something that pushes them and keeps them energized. Regardless of what your individual motivating force is,  love (and/or hate) for someone or something is the driving force for most of us.  Of course, there are some people who may not be feeling motivated at all right now.

Me personally, I really struggle with staying motivated and maintaining discipline. This persistent struggle caused me to think deeper into the sources of my motivation. I realized that my motivating forces were always attached to my love for something external (ie my family, my career, even my vanity). When we’re searching for things to keep us motivated, I think we place entirely too much focus on the love (or hate) that we have for other people or things around us to motivate us. Thus causing our motivation to be very temporary and unstable. We overlook the magnitude of how important it is to cultivate a genuine love for ourselves and to then use that as our motiving force.  Now at first glance, self-love almost seems like a given, right? Most people, if asked the question, ‘Do you love yourself?’  would readily say that they really do love themselves. Unfortunately, a quick look at their habits and actions would beg to differ.

True love for one’s self would automatically be accompanied by a force that (because of its very nature) would organically motivate you and spur you to action. That’s because it would be through your actions that you would display the love that you have for yourself. This type of love involves hard work, discipline, sacrifices, and accountability. Equally as important, it also involves lots of self-care and fun, as well as being kind and forgiving to yourself, and providing yourself with plenty of room to learn, grow and make mistakes. Loving yourself involves establishing clear boundaries, being disciplined,  and investing time and energy into things that may be inconvenient or not enjoyable at the moment (ie working out, eating healthier, creating a budget, reading/educating yourself, ending toxic relationships, etc). When you love yourself, you recognize that not only do you deserve to be happy and healthy (physically, mentally, and spiritually) but you also are responsible for doing everything within your power to make that happen. The pure essence of self-love is what motivates you to be very intentional with your actions and to take corrective actions where necessary. Furthermore, you should never view self-love as an act of selfishness. In fact, self-love is very accommodating of others and is helpful not only for you, but those around you as well.

No matter what goals you have set or what area of your life you are needing motivation in, if you first work on developing a genuine love for yourself and you lead with that love, then motivation will undoubtedly come to you. Whether you are looking for motivation to get healthier physically, to address mental health issues, to further your career/education, or pursue other dreams, cultivating self-love is key.   The love that you have for yourself alone (or in combination with your passions and your love for the people around you) will leave you with no other choice but to be motivated. This is, of course, a journey and not an overnight process. You must remember to always be kind and patient (but also very honest) with yourself during this time.

What is your current motivating force? Are you struggling to stay motivated? Do you think self-love is the answer? Leave me a comment with your thoughts!