overcoming obstacles http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10276/all en-US 9 Ways to Maintain Motivation When the Going Gets Tough http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5393008343_c7569ef52d.jpg" alt="Despondent young woman contemplates lack of motivation." title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is full of difficult situations. Whether you&rsquo;re cutting back financially, trying to save a failing business, enduring a difficult job, or walking through a hard place of a more personal and private sort, it&rsquo;s easy to lose your motivation to keep to moving forward. We&rsquo;ve all been in those muddled, trapped places where it&rsquo;s hard to keep going, let alone to feel like we know how to do so.</p> <p>But you really can stay motivated. After all, it&rsquo;s the motivated people who manage to see difficult times through to the other side. These are skills worth developing, even if you&rsquo;re not facing hardship right now. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">25 Ways to Get Motivated Today</a>)</p> <h2>Remember What You Love</h2> <p>We choose to do the things that we do for a reason. Even when we choose to do things that aren&rsquo;t pleasant in the moment, like cutting back our spending, we do it for a reason. Nearly always, that reason has to do with something we love. We stop spending so we can save to take a vacation, send our children to private school, or know we can buy groceries next week. We work jobs we dislike so that we can have health insurance, or so our children can have a comfortable home.</p> <p>When things get hard, we tend to forget why we&rsquo;ve chosen a particular action. We forget what we love. And when we remember this, when we intentionally focus our minds on whatever it is that we love, we find that we have the strength and motivation to get through the hard times.</p> <h2>Celebrate Small Steps</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to get frustrated when all we&rsquo;re looking at is the light at the end of the tunnel, and even moreso when we feel like we can&rsquo;t even see that anymore. But when we realize that every single step we take is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-changes-or-small-changes">small step</a> in the right direction, even when it&rsquo;s dark and we can&rsquo;t see our goal anymore, we&rsquo;ll find the motivation to push through.</p> <p>When we celebrate these small steps, we&rsquo;ll have even more motivation. Making an extra payment on the credit card this month, even when it&rsquo;s not as much as you&rsquo;d like, is worthy of noticing. So is cold-calling 10 more people, even when they aren&rsquo;t interested in your services, or getting through another day at a job you hate. Note these and celebrate them, and you&rsquo;ll find you&rsquo;re able to keep going.</p> <h2>Maintain Perspective</h2> <p>When one part of life is going miserably, it&rsquo;s often hard to see that any other parts are going well. Take the time to look at your life as a whole, to examine all the different aspects, and put the negative parts in perspective.</p> <p>While a miserable job can make you unhappy while you&rsquo;re at home, too, it doesn&rsquo;t have to ruin your relationship with your kids. Not being able to buy as many gifts for Christmas is hard, but you still have family and friends around you. When you see the difficult parts of life along with the good, you&rsquo;ll be able to keep plugging away even when it&rsquo;s hard.</p> <h2>Know Your Limits</h2> <p>No one can work at something difficult all the time. When your business is failing, there&rsquo;s not enough money, or your children are struggling, it&rsquo;s easy to focus only on that thing that is so hard. When we don&rsquo;t give ourselves a break, though, we tend to lose our ability to come up with new ideas and solutions, and eventually we burn out.</p> <p>Learn how long you can spend focusing on a problem before you have to focus on something else. Take a break to be with people, read a book, or do something else that is completely different from the part of your life that is hard. You&rsquo;ll return to it later better able to think through your problems objectively, and more motivated to try and tackle the difficulty again.</p> <h2>Take a Deep Breath</h2> <p>When our minds worry and struggle, we tend to bring our bodies along for the ride. We get ready to fight or flight, and so we&rsquo;re tense and amped up on adrenaline. While this is great for situations that are actually dangerous, it&rsquo;s not a good way to live long-term.</p> <p>Taking the time for some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-solid-yoga-tricks-to-help-you-relax">deep breaths</a>, even one or two, helps us let go of this tension. Being relaxed means that our bodies are happier and healthier, and so we&rsquo;ll feel better even while dealing with a difficult situation. Feeling crummy is almost always dispiriting, while feeling well gives us energy to put into the task at hand.</p> <h2>Find the Good</h2> <p>Almost every situation, even the most dire and difficult, has something good about it. Taking the time to identify the positive things and focusing our minds on them will help lighten the load even in a hard place.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to feel like identifying the good is fake or false or weak, especially when the bad feels so overwhelming in return. However, bringing our minds back to something good in the situation, no matter how small, will eventually help us to feel more positive about what is going on. When we feel positively, we&rsquo;ll be motivated to make things even more positive by attacking the situation from different angles.</p> <h2>Discover Companions</h2> <p>Walking through a hard place is much easier when you have other people walking with you. These can be people facing the difficulty along with you, people facing a similar difficulty, people who have faced a similar difficulty in the past and overcome, or simply people who love you and are willing to walk a hard road with you.</p> <p>Asking people to walk with you can be difficult. Working through a hard situation takes a lot of energy, and it&rsquo;s easy to feel too tired to share your difficulty with others. Taking the time and energy to find companions will pay off when you have people to share your burdens. When the load feels lighter, you&rsquo;ll be in a better place to go back into your problem with renewed energy.</p> <h2>Tell the Truth</h2> <p>It can be hard to believe, but telling the truth about a hard situation can actually provide needed motivation to look at it squarely and figure out a way through. When we say that everything is fine even when it&rsquo;s not, we limit our own ability to let a hard situation be hard. We end up hiding, which means we can&rsquo;t acknowledge the situation for what it is.</p> <p>While it can feel awful to talk about how hard a situation is, afterwards we&rsquo;ll feel more freedom. We&rsquo;ll be able to rest in the fact that we know what&rsquo;s true about our difficult situation. When we&rsquo;re not fighting ourselves, we&rsquo;ll be able to put that energy into sticking with the hard situation.</p> <h2>See the End</h2> <p>When things get hard, we often forget that, somehow or some way, our difficult situation will come to an end. We feel like we&rsquo;ll be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-fighting-debt-today">paying off debt forever</a>, or like another door will never open, or like the world might end before we find a workable solution (though that is an end in and of itself).</p> <p>Keeping in mind the possibility of an end will help us walk into each day with hope. Even if that hope is disappointed time and time again, we&rsquo;ll know that a solution may be just around the corner. Hope is always motivating, because it give us a reason to keep pressing forward.</p> <p><em>When you&rsquo;ve walked through a difficult, dark time, how have you kept your motivation? What keeps you going when everything feels hard?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development depression life challenges motivation overcoming obstacles positive attitude Wed, 12 Dec 2012 11:36:32 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 959566 at http://www.wisebread.com Bouncing Back When There's No "Bounce" Left http://www.wisebread.com/bouncing-back-when-theres-no-bounce-left <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bouncing-back-when-theres-no-bounce-left" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/710058_35620054.jpg" alt="No More Bounce - Image Courtey of Stock Xchng" title="No More Bounce - Image Courtey of Stock Xchng" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have our ups and downs. We've all faced some pretty depressing odds and come out on top.</p> <p>But sometimes, it feels like you just can't get ahead, no matter how hard you try. So what do you do?</p> <p>Here's how to bounce back when the &quot;bounce&quot; is all gone.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Breathe</strong>. When stress rears its ugly head, we tend to hold our breath, figuratively if not literally. We tense up, we dig in, and our body kicks into survival mode while our mind races in sheer panic. What will we do? How will we survive? When will we see the light at the end of the tunnel? But what you need to do, above all else, is breathe. Just breathe. <p>Breathing allows you to think, it allows you to focus and it helps combat anxiety, something that more and more of us are claiming as an affliction. So, when you feel that &quot;holy #&amp;@*%&quot; starting to set in, stop. And then breathe.</li> <p></p> <li><strong>Count your blessings.</strong> A very old friend of mine used to say &quot;so what... they can't take away my birthday.&quot; I've come to live by this motto. Before you try to analyze your situation, count your blessings, be it your good health, your loving family or your close network of friends. Do you still have a job? Do you have a roof over your head? If the entire world went to pot, could you go home again or join forces with a friend? <p>Seriously... what's the worst that could happen? Would you survive if it did? Its much easier to face your impending disaster when you've got all your &quot;good stuff&quot; backing you up.</li> <p></p> <li><strong>Get Real.</strong> We all know the serenity prayer - change what you can, accept what you cannot, and be able to know the difference between the two - and its good advice to live by. Life is what it is. Yes, that's one of those &quot;easy to say&quot; statements but make it your mantra and you'll find it much easier to face problems with a clear head and a calm heart. <p> Figure out what options are available and then focus on those that will actually &quot;better&quot; your situation. We can all rant and rave for example, but will that really bring us closer to a solution. Anger, fear and doubt will never serve you. Instead, keep your head and look for viable options to turn things around.</li> <p></p> <li><strong>Play Offense.</strong> If you watch football then you know that the offense's primary objective - besides actually scoring - is to dominate the ball and there's a reason for this strategy. One of course is that if we have the ball, the other team's offense doesn't but more importantly is that running around chasing offensive players makes a defense very, very tired. <p> Why?</p> <p> Because the offense knows what play they're about to run - the defense on the other hand is simply &quot;waiting to see what happens&quot; and then reacting as the play unfolds. This can get exhausting very quickly and its equally tiring when its your approach to life.</p> <p> Instead of reacting as events unfold around you, try taking the offensive approach. There is nothing more motivating than coming up with a new idea or plan that will make things better. If money is the issue - and isn't it always - then perhaps now is the time to start putting that new business idea of yours into action or take that second job that you've been tossing around. The point is, take control. Get the ball back and start driving down the field.</li> <p></p> <li><strong>Formulate a plan.</strong> There is nothing more supportive than having a plan of action that you believe in. Pool your resources. Get back to basics. Implement a new budget or start sending out resumes. Whatever it is that you need to do, write it down and start putting things into action. When you have a gameplan, then you have a much better idea of what to expect. <p> Yes, the collection calls may still come or the layoff might still happen but you'll be &quot;expecting it&quot; instead of cringing in that &quot;wait and see what happens&quot; mentality.</li> </ol> <p>And last but not least, remember to hang in there and look on the bright side. This isn't after all the first time you've hit a roadblock and I'm willing to bet that it won't be the last. Did you know for example, that we've had around nine recessions (including our current one) plus the Great Depression and that's just in the last one hundred years? And what do you know... somehow, we managed to pull through. I'm not saying its always easy and I'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned, but the reality is that everything works in cycles... And if you're &quot;down&quot; now, then there's no where to go but up.</p> <p class="rteindent3">&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bouncing-back-when-theres-no-bounce-left">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-travel-free-or-at-least-really-darned-cheap">3 Ways to Travel Free (Or At Least Really Darned Cheap!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-big-dental-bills-with-safe-and-inexpensive-products">Avoid Big Dental Bills with Safe and Inexpensive Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-romantic-ideas-for-valentines-day-and-any-other-day-of-the-year">Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine&#039;s Day (And Any Other Day of the Year)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Life Hacks General Tips Lifestyle dealing with distaster overcoming obstacles personal finance Wed, 07 Jan 2009 05:17:48 +0000 Kate Luther 2716 at http://www.wisebread.com