Tuesday, 8 November 2016

staying motivated.

I am currently in a state of limbo in my life, so finding ways to stay motivated in a world of negatives couldn't be more relevant. 

Now I don't know about you guys, but coming from an arab family myself, the fact that I am trying to pursue a career in marketing seems like the end of the world to them. If you aren't a successful dentist or lawyer by my age you are quite frankly a failure. Not only that, but the field I'm trying to break into is no doubt more competitive than ever, and you can start doubting yourself all over again.

Whenever I'm feeling sluggish and lacking a bit of enthusiasm, I turn to some of these methods that I've mastered over the years to avoid beating myself down. Abracadabra.. magically appearing in front of you is 'Dina's book of stop being a bum and start kicking some ass'. 

1) Seek inspo.
If I'm feeling uninspired with my own work, well I seek that inspiration elsewhere. This is in no way to copy other people's concepts, but I just get a real buzz when I see others striving in what they do best and love. This sense of accomplishment always pushes me to want to do more - I guess that's the arab competitive streak that's been embedded in me all my damn life! If everyone else is fighting to show what they can do, then why the hell shouldn't I?! Even just proofreading this is making me feel all Wonder Woman. 

Also, I heard something on youtube that always stuck with me - never look for inspiration in the same field as you. This just leads straight to comparisons, so avoid at all costs. It's not only time consuming but will drain all the motivation right out of you! I still do thrive off anything creative, but instead of looking what other bloggers are doing I turn to different forms of art like photography, sketches, paintings, fashion motifs etc. Brace yourselves for a bit of incoming cheese: don't ever feel like you need to be better than anyone, just be the best version of you. (I did warn you)

2) Find your energy spot. 
Go discover that peaceful place that will allow you to unlock every dream you have in your head. Whether that's your bed, your office space, or my personal favourite - the bathroom (don't ask!). You need that area where you can shut out everyone else and just let your ideas flow. 

Some times I find that helps once I've cleared that area totally, and other times my space can be covered to the point of no recognition - but I guess that's all part of my magic.  

4) Set goals.. and write them down!
In order to really make things happen, you need to envision it first. Go make a mental list of all the things you wish to achieve, from the realistics to the unthinkables. When you have things in mind, go actually write them down. You can have all kinds of wacky craziness going on in your brain in those sudden moments of madness, but like me, you'll probably end up forgetting all that once you start lacking motivation again. Thinking of a goal, and then seeing that actually written out will only drive you to make it happen for yourself. Also, I love the feeling when you can finally tick off the thing you've been aiming for. 

In the world of technology I suspect you'll turn to your phone/laptop/iPad to do the trick. But go try the old fashioned method of pen and paper kids. I feel like by physically writing them down, it makes it that much more real. I have an endless supply of notepads with all my plans in them.

3) Just keep moving (quite literally).
Fitness has honestly been such a saviour for me recently. If I didn't have those exercise classes and personal training sessions scheduled in, I would become lazy beyond belief. Forcing myself out of my shell, whether that's early on a Saturday morning or even after a long day at work, adds an extra needed spring in my step.

If I'm feeling a little frustrated where things are going, that's where some much needed weight training or boxing comes in handy. Or if I just need to clear my head, a run on the treadmill usually does the trick. I think exercise should never be underestimated in the journey of making things happen. And if we are going to get all sciencey on the matter, every time you exercise it releases endorphins... long story short, they trigger something that makes your brain feel more happy and less anxious. 

5) And I quote...
So going back a few steps when I mentioned my endless supply of notepads. Yep, I have tons, and the best thing about them is the fact they are covered in all kinds of quotes. I took my obsession to the next level with framed quotes, and currently in the process of revamping my desk area with a wall of art feature full of them. 

When I'm in a funk and feeling crappy, reading something funny or full of the vulgar language my mother loathes just puts things into perspective sometimes. To quote the great Joker, "Why so serious?". And with that I just stop worrying so much, let go of all the things that's bringing me down and just press the restart button.     

6) Block out the debbie downers.
One of the things that certainly can be extra baggage in my life comes in the form of people. Now you can't change the family you're born into, but since getting older I have been really selective about the ones I call my friends. Anyone that isn't adding anything great to my life doesn't deserve to be part of it quite frankly. Sometimes I can be too hard on myself, so in that particular state I don't need negative nancy's making things worse for me. You want to surround yourself with those that are going to remind you of all the wonderful things about yourself, and equally who will give you some (constructive) criticisms from time to time. It's not easy, but once you find that group of special people they are gold!

And on a final note, don't ever let someone tell you that you can't do something. In the past, I definitely gave others so much power that they felt they could constantly make me doubt my own abilities. From my own experiences, this happened a lot during the course of my time in education. I had one teacher tell me I was a failure of life who would most definitely fail her class - I ended that module with an A grade. In college, one of my lecturers tried to talk me out of doing English in university, and patronisingly explained how there would be too many books to read - I ignored her, did it anyway and graduated with a 2:1. And then other times I've actually had teachers laugh at my ideas.. well they didn't laugh when they saw the end result. The thing is, you can't make those people disappear, but you can certainly take away that platform that allows them to put you down. Most of the time they are like that because they are unhappy with themselves, so why the hell should you value their opinions with such importance. 

If you want to make something to happen, it's got to be all down to you.


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