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How to Stay Motivated When Experiencing a Loss


Whether it’s the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or the loss of a job, you’ll experience a range of feelings and emotions when something like this happens, none of them likely to be conducive to staying motivated.

It’s tempting to just hide under the covers and pray that things will go back to the way they were, but the reality is that you’ve got to move forward with your life.

Easier said than done, right?

In this article, I’ll give you a framework for getting back on track and maintaining your motivation if you’ve had a major career upset.


Take a Vacation

This is probably the last thing you would think of to boost your motivation, but it could be exactly what you need.

Have you ever noticed that while you’re on vacation, some of your best ideas come to you? It turns out that 1 in 5 successful entrepreneurs, including Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, came up with the idea for their startups while on vacation.  

Here’s why it works: the break from a daily routine frees your mind to explore new topics. Instead of being caught up in the day-to-day, you start to think bigger.


Beautify Your Environment

There are a lot of factors in life that you can’t control. If your company’s merger makes your job redundant, there’s not much you can do about it. If there are layoffs due to a missed quarterly target, that’s a tough break. When you feel like the world around you is in flux, there’s one thing you can always have complete control of: your physical environment.

Whether it’s your home, your office, or your home office, do what you can to make it clean and organized. Create a space that sparks joy. Being in an area that’s tidy and suits your taste will make you feel more energized and ready to tackle any task the world throws your way.


Get Inspiration from Others

The human struggle is real. We’ve all had moments when we haven’t felt like doing much of anything. That’s life. Instead of wallowing, think of people who’ve had it much worse than you and still managed to achieve greatness. Read an autobiography or watch a successful person’s daily vlog to remember that everything is relative, and if you want something worthwhile, it’s going to take work.

If no one inspirational comes to mind, take a look at Gary Vaynerchuk’s content. This guy works insanely long days and never seems to lose energy or focus.


Get Support from People You Care About

The people who love you want you to succeed and be happy. If you’re struggling with something, resist the urge to stoically keep it bottled in. Instead, talk about it. Phone a friend or ask a trusted colleague or mentor to give you advice on how you can get back on track.

Resist the urge to turn this into a pity party or vent session (although some venting is okay). Discuss the problem you need help with, describe how it’s affecting your motivation, and then actively seek out solutions.


Practice Gratitude

There’s a meme that’s been circulating on social media for a few years that’s borderline trite, but undeniably true. The gist of it is that if you’re reading the meme, it means that you have shelter, an internet connection, eyesight, literacy, time to waste on social media, and a whole host of other first-world privileges.

So, how can you use this to get motivated? I recommend spending a few minutes each morning and evening journaling about what you’re grateful for and what went well during the day. The Five Minute Journal is perfect for this. It literally takes five minutes each day. It sets the tone for your morning and allows you to reflect at the end of the day to see what went well and how you could have done better.


Help Others

Flight attendants advise you that you’ve got to secure your own oxygen mask before you assist those around you. The best way to put yourself in a position to help other people is by making sure you’ve got your own life sorted.

Helping others, whether it’s volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or at a local animal shelter, should show you that way to make the most significant difference is to be powerful in your own right. After all, the more successful you are, the more you’ll be able to have a positive effect in someone else’s life.

We all have setbacks and experience loss in our lives. It’s part of the human experience. If you need a day or two to regroup from a loss, that’s normal. What’s not normal is letting the loss define you and turn you into a victim. Dust yourself off, get back on your feet, and go back to crushing it.

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