If you have ever suffered a major setback, be it in your career personal life or education, you know how difficult it can be to get back on track and move forward. You also know that moving forward is exactly what you must do.
Yes, you should give yourself time to mourn or otherwise process what you have gone through, but ultimately you won’t just want to move forward, you will need to. The key is to find ways to get and stay motivated. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to do this from a low point. They assume that what motivated them on any other occasion will work just as well now. This isn’t true.
Fortunately, there are ways to motivate yourself after a setback. Here are just a few suggestions.
Be Physically and Emotionally Gentle With Yourself
When you are in an emotionally and mentally vulnerable state, one of the best ways to prepare yourself to move forward and begin working towards full function is to simply take very good care of yourself. This begins with ensuring that your physical, mental, and emotional needs are met. So, take care of yourself.
Get enough sleep. Eat healthy foods and plenty of them. Get a massage. Talk to your therapist. If you get overwhelmed, take a break.
You may not make quick progress, but that is fine. It is certainly better than finding yourself in a situation where you have experienced a backslide because you have put too much pressure on yourself.
Give Yourself Time to Regroup, but Do It Productively
There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking the time to regroup and assess your situation. However, you should make sure that regrouping does not become code for remaining stagnant, or worse, code for dwelling on the negatives.
Here are a few things you can do to help yourself regroup in a productive and positive way.
- Do something symbolic to process and release your negative feelings. These feelings may be frustration at yourself, anger towards other people, or simply an expression of rage at a situation that may not be anybody’s fault.
- Create a simple but detailed action plan that you will put into place the first day you are ready to begin working towards your goals again.
- Spend some time with a helpful and supportive friend or colleague who will give it to you straight. After all, anger and other emotions may stop you from considering what you could have done or should do in the future.
- Clear the air with others involved so that everybody can make a clean start.
Do at Least One Positive Thing Every Day
Forward progress is so important when it comes to keeping yourself feeling upbeat and positive. Even if you cannot bring yourself to the level of productivity, you had before, make sure that you end your day with the ability to list at least one positive accomplishment that you have made. Then, as you make more progress, increase your daily goal.
Surround Yourself with People who Are Good for You Right Now
Just because a friend or family member truly loves and cares about you, does not mean that they are the best person to spend time with in every circumstance.
Almost everybody has the friends they hang out with when they need to blow off steam and have fun, the friends that they go to when they need help or emotional support, and the friends who keep it real.
Determine which friends and loved ones are the best to spend time with, and then reach out to those friends.
Look Forward Don’t Dwell
Depending on what happened to cause your setback, you may feel guilty, resentful, or simply afraid to move forward. You may even replay the events that occurred over and over again until it becomes unhealthy. You have to break this pattern in order to move on. This means giving yourself reason to look ahead, rather than getting stuck.
One thing that you can do is to make plans, and to find ways to force yourself to go through with them. At the beginning, this might be as simple as signing up to attend an event and inviting a friend.
You may also try to use some visualization techniques where, you replace negative imagery with positive images that portray you moving forward and getting past your current situation.
Read or Watch Something Affirming
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting motivation from external sources. If there is a book or movie that is life affirming or motivational to you, by all means read or watch it again. If you haven’t found that book or movie, now is a good time to search for it. It may be more helpful to you than you realize.
About the Author
John Unger is a blogger who likes to inspire others with new ideas. He is looking for success, personal development and inner growth. So, mostly, he covers these topics.
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