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iManage, Issue #014 -- 3 Steps to Self Motivation
September 06, 2010

Finding it Hard to Stay Positive? 3 Steps to Self Motivation

Julie runs a small manufacturing business. Not so long ago she was experiencing rapid growth and a full order book. Like many people, she is now being severely impacted by the recession. Reduced demand, lack of credit and higher running costs are some of the issues she is now facing.

She came to me with a question that faces many business owners today. "How can I stay positive and keep my staff motivated, when I am finding it hard to motivate myself?"

If you are in the same position, here are 3 steps to self motivation in challenging times.

Step 1: Focus on Today

Long term, strategic thinking is important. But if you are feeling fearful of the future, sometimes it helps to narrow your focus. What needs to be done, today?

Taking small steps helps to build your confidence. Focus on your daily to do list and feel good about what you cross off the list each day.

Step 2: Focus on Your Words

When someone asks you, "How is business?" How do you reply? It is very tempting to give a negative response. Yet do this too often and you will talk yourself into an even more depressed state of mind.

Listen to what you are saying. Replace that negativity with statements such as "We are making good progress" or "Our customers are very happy with us".

Every situation can be looked at from a number of angles. Which angle will you choose?

Step 3: Focus on Others

When we feel that we are carrying the world on our shoulders, it is very easy to become self absorbed. If you can make life better for others, even in small ways, it will make life feel better for you.

So catch your employees doing something right, and praise them for it. Greet people with a smile and a friendly response. Do something nice for others with no expectation of anything in return.

Even small things can make a big difference to people. You will be amazed at how positive that will make you feel.

Julie compared her current position to steering a boat in bad weather. It is not an easy place to be, especially when the storm feels like it has raged for a long time. Yet nothing will be gained from a fearful, negative view of the future.

Use this time to reflect and refocus on the positives in your business (and your life) until the storm passes - which always happens!

If you want to learn more about motivation, download our Motivation and Performance Appraisal Audio Guide to give you new perspectives. Or if you have a specific question you would like answered, Click here.

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a wide range of topics such as time management, leadership, communication skills, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

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