It’s Thankful Thursday, Dreamers!
This week I am grateful for being able to pursue what I love and go after my dreams. I am also grateful for my wonderful, supportive husband who is immensely motivating for me personally. He, along with our daughter, of course, helps me feel absolutely amazing and celebrates my dream goals as I achieve them.
He is my very own, built-in motivational dream team.
But not everyone has their own loving support team whirling about them in the mornings, evenings and on the weekends with words of love and encouragement. In fact, many dreamers face doubts and criticism from those they love most who believe that they are making a big mistake with their life. Some people begin their dream journey entirely on their own against those who think they are fools.
Is this you, my dear dreamer?
If so, then I have written today’s post just for you! Because I imagine that without your own support team you have to look elsewhere for motivation and encouragement when you feel battered and down about the current direction your dream journey is taking you.
Here are 5 ways to keep yourself motivated –
1. Keep your mind focused
Mental battles can get you down. It’s too easy to allow negativity to creep in like a dark cloud covering the beams of hopeful sunlight that illuminate your dream.
The way I deal with it is when a negative thought shows up is that I stop what I’m doing and start playing a song that brings about a good memory or a positive feeling. If music doesn’t work then I watch an inspirational video on YouTube – there are so many for free!
The moment we realize that we do have power over our negatives thoughts the less we will allow them to destroy our confidence and derail our dreams. Besides, your brain is probably just repeating negative comments that were said to you as a young child by someone you loved and admired who stung you with their words of criticism when you were too young to stand up for yourself.
And those comments made their way into your subconscious mind and now replay themselves back to you when you are tired or scared.
2. Believe in yourself
I’ve heard this so many times, but I will admit that it’s easier said than done. There are times when I am my own worst critic. When I first started public speaking I’d listen to my speeches that were recorded and all I’d see were the mistakes I made. When I’d ask someone who was there about them, they’d reply, “What mistakes?” There’s that subconscious mind trying to mess with my enjoyment of the experience.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Recently I made myself a dream a to-do list for each day. Sometimes the items are something as simple as reading about someone I admire who has made their dream come true. With every line item completed, I allow myself to feel happy about it. I end the day with a grateful heart and appreciate the small accomplishments I made towards my dream.
Doing one small thing towards making your dream happen – even if it’s just making a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do before you die makes you feel like you are taking your dreams seriously and you have the ability to make them come true. Because you do.
3. Think Bigger
When I started my dream motivational blog, Just PerSue It, I would stress about the content, until I was advised by a friend to just be myself in my writings.
I then started to blog from my heart. My big dream was to touch the hearts of an international audience. Once I relaxed my writing the words flowed more easily. I began to request interviews from successful South African women for my Inspirational Woman Series on my blog. Would you believe that women turned me down? To this day some of them still haven’t replied.
But that’s okay — it didn’t stop me from going after my dreams.
I just created a bigger vision for my dream and simply made the decision to reach out to the international audience sooner. When I made that big leap women began saying yes to me from all over the world. The problem had been that I wasn’t thinking big enough!
It feels great knowing that I didn’t give up — that I chose to continue with my dream in spite of all the early rejections. Perseverance pays off.
Maybe the problem with your dream is that you aren’t thinking big enough. Try something bold. Reach for something that seems impossible. Move outside your comfort zone. Take a big risk. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.
4. Find your tribe
It’s vitally important to your dreams to surround yourself with people who share your enthusiasm and commitment. As they say, “Birds of a feather flock together.”If you allow yourself to have negative friends, or family who are always putting you down to your face (or behind your back), they will draw you down to their energy level and you will find yourself eventually ignoring your dream.
Just watch what happens to your life when you distance yourself from negative people. And the funny part is that they probably don’t think of themselves as negative. But you know that they are. You know what it feels like to be around them.
I made the decision to surround myself with only positive people in my life — those who are not always looking for reasons to be mad at someone or something, or those only looking for material gain, or those who do not value my friendship for the person that I am. I now surround myself with like-minded women entrepreneurs who understand what it’s like to balance motherhood and a business.
By doing this simple change I have learned so much about myself. I believe that successful people are ones who possess a strong-willed, but loving character that won’t be easily be stopped from achieving their dreams. They also won’t allow you to be down. They want to lift you up to their level of success.
If you can’t find people to support you – start your own Meetup group or join a Meetup group. Find people wanting to do what you want to do and band together and help each other succeed.
Helping someone else make their dreams come true makes your dreams come true in the process.
5. Challenge yourself
When I started my blog I said I would just blog once a week. I then got a challenge by someone to blog 4 times a week. I became stressed-out just thinking about it. But the challenge allowed me to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of doing.
Challenge yourself to do one thing you think you cannot do. Try giving up sugar for a week, or caffeine or smoking. Do one challenging thing – see it through to the end – and prove to yourself that you are stronger than you give yourself credit. Small successful challenges lead to bigger ones.
Motivating oneself is hard work. It demands the perfect combination of a positive body, mind, and soul to keep you going. But there is nothing better in life than seeing your hard work pay off and the success you achieve.
I know there have been times that you have been happy in your life — remember those times and use them as a catalyst for motivation this week.
You will be surprised at what you can actually achieve.
This week, let’s be grateful for motivation and visualize it catapulting our dreams into reality.
Just pursue it –
Give us your thoughts!
Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves.