My girlfriend and I are starting this new company. It’s fun and exciting. We’re learning a lot and we’re having so much fun working together. But truth is that it’s also really hard starting a new company at 50. It’s exhausting learning new things. It’s scary putting yourself out there and putting your money on the line. And it’s often difficult to stay motivated and inspired when we’re not seeing a whole lot of success yet. So to help me keep going and stay focused so we can crush this, I often find myself turning to my 5 favourite motivational quotes.
The days when my energy, mood and motivation are high are the best. It’s easy to take everything in stride with a positive, go-get-em attitude. Those are the days that trying something new and scary almost seems kind of fun.
But more often, there are the days when I feel like giving up before I’ve started. When I know that I need to keep going, take action, move forward, but I feel paralyzed by fear. Stuck in a rut. Unsure of what direction to go. So instead I find distractions and busy work so I can pretend to be productive.
Luckily I am a student of self help and mindset books, so I now recognize when these moments hit. And I know it’s important for me to quickly change my thoughts, focus on the positive and start taking even the tiniest of baby steps towards my goals.
So for the days I need to do a quick shift to move past the self-doubt, I’ve put together a rotating screen saver on my laptop with motivational quotes from inspiring people who know a thing or two about resilience and perseverance.
Whether it’s overcoming obstacles, pushing through doubt and fear, or celebrating life’s joys and accomplishments, I’ve got a quote for that. And so to help inspire you on the days you feel like procrastinating and can’t get yourself moving, here are my 5 favourite motivational quotes. I hope they resonate with you and help to refocus your energy to help you keep going on the tough days. Here goes…
My 5 favourite motivational quotes:
1. “Be brave enough to be bad at something new.” – Jon Acuff
When we were babies, we knew absolutely nothing. We couldn’t walk, talk, or even hold our heads up. But did we let that stop us? Of course not. We pushed forward, failing countless times, until we were able to master those basic skills. We were brave. We were fearless. We were unstoppable.
Unfortunately as we get older, we often lose that sense of fearlessness. We become afraid of looking foolish or making mistakes. And we forget that being bad at something is the first step to getting better.
I love this quote because it remind me that sometimes learning something new is scary. And it takes a little courage (sometimes a lot) to lean into the fear of the unknown and move beyond it. To know that you’re going to fall a few times a long the way.
But, I’ve learned that fear is my brain trying to keep me safe (another great quote, but I don’t know who said it). And that my brain can’t distinguish between the fear being chased by a lion or the fear of me growing into my full potential. So it reacts the same way. Tells me to stop. To stay in my comfort zone. And to stay safe.
So we need to be brave. And we need to remember that even the most successful people in the world started as beginners.
This one helps me daily. When I’m trying something new and building a new set of skills, it helps me remember that it’s going to be tough at first and that it takes time to see progress. Learning something new takes practice and a whole lotta repetition. And who knows what hidden talents we may discover if we don’t let fear hold us back?
2. “Do one thing every day that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
Fresh out of school, I had a mentor, Jackie, who once told me that “when you feel scared and uncomfortable, it means that you’re growing.” Not truer words have ever been spoken to me.
This quote by Eleanor Roosevelt always reminds me of Jackie. The idea that we need to be ok being scared. Feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe even a little pain. Because it means we’re growing.
It reminds me that the more we practice living in this discomfort – by doing something scary on the regular – the more comfortable we become living in this new state. Taking risks becomes less scary once you’ve proven to yourself that you’ve already tried scary stuff and you’ve lived to tell. And the more you practice, the more strength and confidence you gain.
Soon your mind will learn that you can do scary things. And guess what? Each time it does, the size of your comfort zone expands just a little, until soon you are absolutely unstoppable.
3. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” ― Suzy Kassem
This quote always reminds me of a podcast I heard with Sara Blakely. She said that her father used to ask them every night at the dinner table what they had failed at that day. And then he would celebrate it. The bigger the failure, the better.
Wow! This blew my mind. It made so much sense. Was such an incredibly powerful lesson. And it taught Sara not to fear failure, but to embrace it. She wasn’t afraid to try something new, because well, so what if she failed? She didn’t let doubt stop her from building a billion dollar nylon empire. Even when everyone told her the idea was ridiculous.
So many of us give up before we’ve even started. We let doubt creep in and it can stop us dead in our tracks. It’s easier to not try something new than to handle the disappointment and embarrassment of failing at it. But where’s the logic in this?
And imagine. If it wasn’t for some ridiculously smart people failing at their first attempts, we wouldn’t have things like penicillin, the microwave, fireworks, silly putty or even post it notes! No post it notes? What we would ever use to sprinkle our motivational quotes around the house?
So next time you feel doubt creeping in, do the thing anyway. Just take a little action towards your dream. Because fail doesn’t have to be a four letter word.
4. “You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” ― Shonda Rhimes
As a rule follower, this one took me a little bit of time. I feel like we have lines (or rules) in our life to keep people safe, civilized and treated fairly. Our household rules help to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and how to behave respectfully so we can live in harmony. I like a nice, quiet, conflict-free space.
But when I saw this quote, I realized that all the rules and lines I was drawing we’re a bit of a buzzkill. They were keeping me in tight lanes. Keeping my horizons, and my world, pretty small (and safe). The truth is that life is going to throw many barriers at us. Why would I create even more?
I realized that if I wanted to grow as a person, start a new business, amass great wealth, that I was going to need to start crossing some of the lines I’d created. And bust through all the barriers in my way. I need to be bold and fearless. I needed to think beyond the box I was living in, and push myself to try new things. To cross through my comfort zone and find out what’s waiting for me on the other side.
This quote also reminds me of one from the late, great Katharine Hepburn, “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” So here’s to having a little fun and adventure. To exploring new possibilities. All the possibilities.
5. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right,” ― Henry Ford
I absolutely love this one. And I wish I could tattoo it to my son’s forearm. He seems to doubt my ramblings about how powerful our brains are and how much power a positive mindset can have on our lives.
I guess I don’t blame him. Mindset has gotten bad rap. He associates it with all ‘that mystical, woo woo crap’ (his words). When he hears me say ‘mindset,’ he imagines me encouraging him to sit on the top of a mountain, in the Sukhasana, visualizing money so that it will appear.
Well we all know that’s crap! But Mr. Ford was definitely talking some powerful mindset shit in this quote.
Ford knew that our brains are powerful. That our thoughts are the key to our destiny. That our mindset influences our attitude and our attitudes impact our actions.
If we start something with the belief that we can do it, we’re more likely to see it through to completion. Even when things get tough. And let’s be honest, things often get tough.
On the flip side, if we doubt ourselves from the beginning, we may never get started or we may throw our hands up in the air when things are hard. Essentially, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.
There is great power in our thoughts. As Tony Robbins says, “The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.” So let’s make sure we’re telling ourselves the right story.
And there you have it, my 5 favourite motivational quotes. They help me to change the narrative in my head. To be brave and try something new and scary. To celebrate my failures and stop my self doubt in its tracks. Bust through the boundaries that are keeping me small. And to focus on positive empowering thoughts.
I hope that these quotes help to motivate you as well. And if you’ve got a few gems up your sleeve, please share them. I’m always keen for a little motivation!