Life is full of problems. There is a saying that says something about for every two steps you move forward, you inevitably take one step back. It is a simple fact of life that not everything in your life is going to go perfectly, according to plan, and turn out the way you expect it to.
So, the question arises, how do you keep yourself motivated despite those setbacks? Well, step one is simply realizing that setbacks will occur. Just knowing that can be a big boost to your self-esteem. Next, when you hit one of those setbacks, stop and take an assessment of your situation. So, OK, maybe you did not get that plum job or that key promotion, or your incredible script was rejected by a studio. Ask yourself, is it really that important? Of course, getting a job can be vital to your life, but being unemployed is not the worst thing in the world.
Often, you can make yourself feel better by reviewing all the good things you do have in your life. If your girlfriend or boyfriend just left you, try thinking about all the friends you do have. If you got passed over for that big promotion, be thankful that you have a job. Maybe your house has a broken window and a leaky roof; remember that there are many people forced to live in even worse places, and there are some who are homeless. If you have ever seen the TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" you will have seen countless families who are dealing with real tragedies.
Sometimes you may get bad news from your doctor; you have cancer or some other serious medical problem. In such a situation, maintaining a positive mental attitude is not only best, it is actually beneficial to your long-term health.
The next step in helping yourself to stay motivated is to look at ways to improve yourself. If you are a writer, and your latest novel has been rejected by an agent; look at what you can do to improve your chances the next time. Do you need to re-write your book? Maybe the agent you sent it to was not the right one. If you have written a science fiction book and you sent it to an agent who handles romance novels, then your setback might just be the result of poor planning.
Another excellent means of maintaining your motivation is to look at others who have overcoming adversity. If you look back at classic Greek history, the Spartans lost three hundred of their finest warriors at the Battle of Thermopylae. This was an awesome setback for them. Yet, they were extremely successful in defeating the Persians. The British suffered many defeats during the Hundred Years’; War, yet won the Battle of Agincourt by virtue of their archers and their longbows.
Looking for ways to improve yourself can be a key element in
keeping yourself motivated; part of that is looking at what things can help you. Do you need to take come classes to help you in your goals? If you are an engineer, and you are seeking a promotion into management; maybe you need to take some business courses. On the other hand, are you an actor looking for roles? Maybe trying out at a local community theater can not only get you roles, but you can meet people with similar interests. Networking will not just keep you around like-minded people who will help to inspire you, but they might be able to open doors for you.
As the saying goes: when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. A positive mental attitude is item number one in keeping you motivated, no matter what life throws at you.