Do you ever feel like you have nothing left to give to a project or task? Maybe you’ve been working on a book, a new business or even a relationship, but the motivation to keep pushing through the struggle seems to have disappeared.
We’ve all been there. It’s part of the process. Often, it’s what creatives and makers feel just before finding greatness.
A tried-and-true method for rediscovering motivation is repeating a mantra designed to inspire and rejuvenate you when you need it most. Here are 11 powerful mantras that can be used to get you back on track and focused on the opportunities in front of you.
1. Be with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.
The people you spend the majority of your time with will have the biggest influence on your life. If you spend time with people who are constantly talking about their goals and pushing each other to improve rather than gossiping and complaining about their circumstances, you will be more likely to achieve your own goals, and your attitude (and life) will improve.
2. Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. (Rumi)
Sometimes you have to let go of things that are no longer serving you. If you’re holding on to something—like a goal—that is no longer in reach, it’s time to walk away. If you’re holding on to a relationship that is causing stress rather than growth, it’s time to walk away. Take an audit of the things in your life that you’re holding on to and assess whether they’re worth it.
3. It’s not the length of life, but the depth of life.
People all over the world are continually on the hunt for the latest supplement, food or elixir to live a longer life. We take vitamins, chug shakes and rub natural medicines on our faces just for the chance to live a few more years. But sometimes we need to remember to take advantage of the years, months, weeks and days that we already have, and to be in the moment. This mantra is a reminder to do things today that will make life worth living tomorrow.
4. Embrace the process, step by step.
If you’re reading this, it’s very likely that you have goals. Maybe you want to hit a certain salary by a specific age. Maybe you want to visit a certain number of countries within the next 10 years. Maybe you want to write a book or learn how to speak a new language. Goals are great. Goals are important. But what’s even more important than our goals are the steps we take on a regular basis to turn our goals into reality.
5. The only one who can beat me is me. (Michael Johnson)
I’ve used this mantra many times when close to my tipping point during a workout or a late-night work session. It’s a reminder that the only person stopping you from achieving something is the person you see when you look in the mirror. The only person stopping you from losing 20 pounds is you. The only person stopping you from gaining the skills you need to succeed in your career is you. The only person stopping you from making a sacrifice to do one thing over the next is you. Use this mantra when you feel like the world is against you, because in reality, it’s not—it’s just you versus you.
6. Be a warrior, not a worrier.
Mantras that rhyme are great because they can be remembered easily. Think about the Spartans and the Vikings—there’s a reason we’re drawn to these historical characters. They’re warriors, people who are willing to put it all on the line to achieve something greater than themselves. They’re resilient, not hindered by their fears.
7. This is what you came for. (Scott Jurek)
Did you sign up for this job? Did you sign up for that marathon? Did you sign up to speak at this event? If so, this is exactly what you came for. You came to the table knowing that there would be challenges. You walked through the door knowing that obstacles might be waiting on the other side. Whenever you face a challenge, remember that’s part of the process and that on the other side of struggle usually lies the strength you need to level up.
8. Action conquers fear.
Fear afflicts everyone, but the people who learn to act on their fears rather than running from them are those who use fear effectively. We should strive to challenge fear, to dig deep into what’s causing it instead of giving in to our prehistoric survival instinct to flee. The best way to overcome your biggest fears is to look them straight in the face and take action.
9. Die with memories, not regrets.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in life is to forget their mortality. We often act as if we’re immortal. In reality, we’re very fragile beings, so we should strive to live a life that is filled with great memories rather than regrets.
10. This too shall pass.
Nothing lasts forever. No pain. No struggle. No failure. When you feel like something is too much for you to handle, keep in mind that it will soon pass. This mantra can be extraordinarily helpful when you’re creating something but the going is tough, or when you’re going through a hard time in a relationship.
11. Find a way, or make one.
The goal here is to be focused on the solution instead of on the problem. It’s easy to stay hung up on problems when times get tough; it’s harder to adjust your perspective and take action to move forward.
When you feel like the world is against you, take a second and repeat one of these mantras to get yourself back on track. Mantras are meant to be personal. Find one that inspires you and use it to help you reset your brain when you feel like you’re unable to keep moving through the struggle.
Do you have a personal mantra that you rely on?
Related: 13 Life Rules to Keep You Motivated
Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked with both startups and Fortune 500 brands. He’s also the co-founder of Crate, a content curation tool, and Hustle & Grind, an online store for entrepreneurs. He’s passionate about entrepreneurship, marketing and all things tech.