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5 Ways to Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Giving Up

There is no failure, unless you give up. Persistence always beats talent. Fall seven times, stand up eight. It’s the person who doesn’t let challenges defeat them that reaches success. Life can get very challenging. Sometimes we can feel ourselves losing faith, and the urge to give up increases. These moments are normal. Adversity teaches us a lot about ourselves and how to process our emotions.

It’s difficult to stay motivated especially when you are dealing with personal issues such as grief, depression, anxiety, etc. Sometimes I find myself searching for reasons to do things I would normally do with ease. For instance, I felt myself adding pressure and self-critique to all my actions just the other day. You may not be dealing with the same circumstances as me, but I know you’ve dealt with feeling unmotivated because we all have.

We’ve all been there completely unmotivated, questioning why you even attempted to do something, day dreaming of lying in your bed or your next vacation. We can’t only take action when inspiration hits. Motivation is elusive. Sometimes you feel it and you’re achieving your goals with ease. Other days, you’re hitting the snooze button ten times and fighting the urge to call out sick from work.

Here are five ways to stay motivated when you feel like giving up:

  1. Determine Your Bigger Purpose

Have clear reasons for why you’re achieving a particular task. Without a purpose, your effort will fall short quickly. When you do things that matter to you personally, they become meaningful tasks, rather than annoying to-dos. If you find yourself working on a task and you don’t remember why you’re doing it, chances are it shouldn’t be one of your priorities. Remind yourself that hard work is a part of crafting yourself into who you want to be. Reflect on the impact that your work as on others. Reflect on your accomplishments thus far whenever you feel doubtful. Keep screenshots of nice things people say about you and your work as a booster when you’re feeling unmotivated.

  1. Narrow Down Your Tasks

Taking small calculated next steps will make moving forward easier. Without clarity, most people begin to feel overwhelmed and give up because they feel hopeless. You can avoid this by planning your next step and taking an immediate action. It’s better to work on your top goals for 20 minutes a day than to work on them once a month. Consistency and repetition lead to developing highly effective habits. Beyoncé was not built in a day. It takes years of repetition, consistency, and persistence to reach your maximum potential. So, trust in the process. Don’t let the journey wear you out. You don’t have to wake up at 5am every day to be a high achiever. Maximize your productivity in the allotted time that you give yourself by setting deadlines for your specific goals.

Don’t just set deadlines for business tasks; schedule your personal time as well. Schedule your dinner with friends and gym time like you would a business meeting. This may sound excessive however, it is a game changer. If you begin with a small task and continuously complete the next small task, you’ll realize that you’ve become closer to conquering your large goals over time.

  1. Reward Yourself

It can be challenging to stay motivated and on top of things if there’s no reward in sight. Many people await big promotions and major news before they feel like they can celebrate. Celebrate the small wins and give yourself something to look forward too. When you find the motivation to not give up and you push yourself to persist, celebrate that advancement. If you do well in a presentation or you complete a difficult workout, celebrate by going out with loved ones or watching one of your favorite TV shows.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Remember how far you’ve come. Reflect on all the mistakes you made that led to your greatest successes. Failure is a massive part of becoming successful. Practice is controlled failure. When I don’t know how to complete a task, my initial reaction is to pause, and then self-doubt thoughts immediately flow into my head. I combat this feeling by just being persistent. If you keep trying and learning, you haven’t really failed.

Even if the first draft is horrendous, I go ahead and get my thoughts out and worry about revising later. Embrace getting the task done rather than getting it done perfectly the first time. Getting things wrong is part of everyone’s process. Many of us spend way too much time revising and second guessing our work instead of finishing it and moving on. That’s why there are many dreamers and not nearly as many high achievers. Enjoy the process of solving your biggest challenges. Use that confidence to fuel your next task.

  1. Change Your Environment

It can be difficult to do great things when you’re not in a positive environment. Make your work environment inspiring. Be deliberate about what’s on your desktop background, what surrounds your desk/workspace, the energy of the people you’re around. Be mindful of what videos/music you’re listening to. Make a playlist of YouTube videos and music that inspire you and listen to them when you’re feeling unmotivated. If you’ve been sitting in one spot too long, take a walk, chat with a coworker or friend. Find a new place to sit so you can accelerate your focus. Your environment should jump start your momentum. Also, make sure to surround yourself with people who support you. A supportive network will hold you accountable and lift you up along your journey.

Take it one day at a time. Stay strong. Wake up with the intention to make yourself proud every day!


"Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight" is September's Mantra of the Month. Get 20% off this mantra during the month of September.


About the Author

Sade Jones is a native New Yorker who now lives in Atlanta, GA. She’s a time management coach and content creator. She helps ambitious people manage their time more efficiently so they can pursue and monetize their passions, navigate their wellness, and personal development. Connect with her on Instagram!