As a business owner, we all have highs and lows — good days and not-so-good days. Days we’re fired up and feel unstoppable, and days we feel discouraged and hopeless.
Having rough days or weeks may be disappointing, but it’s a sign we’re human and doing hard things outside our comfort zone (which is good!).
“So how can I snap out of feeling discouraged and make progress again with my motivation and business?”
I’ve got you! Here are five things you can do when you’re feeling discouraged in your business.
Step 1. Celebrate Your Wins
It’s easy to fixate on how far you have to go and forget how far you’ve come! But the more you celebrate and focus on your wins, the more wins you’ll experience, and the more motivated you’ll feel on your journey.
Start by listing out as many wins and successes as possible from the past weeks or months. No win is too small to include. Small wins add up to huge successes!
You can list just 10 wins, or you can give yourself a challenge of listing 100 wins! I love this exercise because after the first 10-20, you have to dig deeper to identify all the ways you’re progressing.
Step 2. Revisit Your Goals
Rekindle your motivation and inspiration by reconnecting with your most exciting goals… and maybe updating them to reflect how your vision and values have evolved.
Do your goals still light you up and inspire you? Or is your energy pulling you in a new, more exciting direction? It’s okay to adjust your goals as you gather more data and evolve in your thinking.
Once you land on goals you feel a little buzzed about, spend some time imagining the day you actually reach those goals. How do you feel? Reconnect with that feeling and name it for yourself: Peaceful, joyful, expansive, powerful, etc.
Step 3. Analyze Your Obstacles
Take an honest look at what’s getting in the way of making progress so you can see your obstacles clearly. Here’s a simple exercise you can use to take inventory of what’s in your way!
Grab a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. At the top-left write external challenges and on the right, internal challenges.
Write down the external forces that have kept you from making progress (e.g. time constraints, distractions, etc.). Then write down the internal forces that have kept you from making progress (e.g., limiting beliefs, fear of judgment, etc.).
Step 4. Visualize Your Progress
For each obstacle, spend two minutes visualizing yourself surpassing it. Connect with the future where you’re taking action, making progress, and showing up the way you want for your business!
And then answer these questions…
How do you feel?
What’s your body language like?
What habits do you practice?
How do you talk to yourself?
Which of your strengths are you leaning on?
Step 5. Map Out Your Action Plan
Create a simple roadmap for getting where you want to go. Break each goal down into small milestones that feel achievable in one-week, one-month, or 90-day increments, depending on the size of your goal.
For example, if your goal is to write a short e-book on your area of expertise, your steps might be:
Conduct interviews to understand reader questions (Week 1)
Outline ebook in Google Docs (Week 2)
Draft ebook (Week 3)
Collect feedback from test readers (Weeks 4–5)
Finalize + self-publish book (Week 6)
Don’t get buried in details! Just define your 2-3 immediate next steps, and then the broad strokes of your top priorities and milestones in the weeks and months ahead.
I hope these steps help you on those hard days. Remember, it’s normal to have highs and lows in our business. The harder days will pass and following these steps will help you get through them.