One of the most challenging parts of being productive and successful all comes down to finding ways to stay motivated. If you are someone who easily gets and stays motivated, this skill can be one of your greatest tools. If you are someone who struggles with motivation, it can be one of your biggest obstacles. It may seem hard to stay motivated when you keep working but feel like you are not getting anywhere. In these situations, it is more important than ever to find the strength and focus needed to push past the challenging time and to really stay motivated. Here are five ways you can stay motivated, even when it seems like your efforts aren’t getting you anywhere: 1. Start by knowing your motivating force Everyone has their own different motivating force or factor and they can vary from person-to-person. In order to stay motivated even in the most challenging of times you need to know what your individual motivating force is. You need to have a reason to succeed. What is your reason for wanting to keep going? What is your reason to keep working even if you aren’t seeing the results that you want?You need to know what motivates you. What is your big picture goal that put you on this path in the first place? If you can channel what this is, then you will have the strength and vision to stay motivated no matter what comes your way. “The experience of pain or loss can be a formidably motivating force.” – John C. Maxwell 2. Know what you can lose Sometimes just knowing what you want isn’t enough to really motivate you. There are many people who react better to knowing what they can lose. If you are struggling to stay motivated because you aren’t seeing the rewards or benefits that you want, start focusing on what you could lose by giving up. What will happen if you don’t keep going? This outcome may just be the boost you need to push forward. 3. Get yourself organized When you are extremely busy and are dealing with a cluttered over-stimulated brain, it can easily not only ruin your focus but your energy as well. It can seem almost impossible to stay motivated and push past certain challenges when you are dealing with a cluttered and organized brain. Take a moment to really write out all of your thoughts and ideas and get them organized. Many times, just taking a moment to organize your thoughts can give you the clarity that you need to make the right decisions and to find the motivation to keep going. Taking some pressure off your brain by moving your thoughts to a more organized list is a great way to unload, unwind and regain the focus you need to find the motivation you desire. 4. Be ready with a backup plan Many times people find they are not reaching their desired outcome, not because they don’t have the right skills or talents, but because they don’t have the right approach. Instead of getting down on yourself and losing steam when things don’t seem to be working out, try a new approach and come up with a new plan. Be prepared to change courses. It doesn’t mean giving up, it means starting over with a different approach to the same problem. Sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to find success and the renewed energy and motivation required to meet your goals. Thomas Edison once said it best when he claimed he’s never failed he’s just “found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” You may not need to try out 10,000 approaches, but having a backup plan or two can only help you regain your feelings of motivation. 5. Let it go In the words of the now famous Disney song, sometimes you just need to let it go. There are so many people that find a block in their motivation not because they don’t want to keep pushing on, but because something they are holding on to is getting in the way. If you find that you get easily upset or frustrated, or are worried about what other people are thinking about your shortcomings, let it go. “Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse Feelings like this can only leave you feeling pre-occupied and unfocused. Don’t worry so much about what other people are saying or thinking about you and your situation and instead let it go. It can help you regain focus and help you get back to the motivated place you want to be. How do you stay motivated? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!