8 habits of people who stay motivated, even when others doubt them

Where you have dreams, you have doubt.

And not just coming from yourself.

Whilst your own insecurities and feelings of inadequacy might lead you to question your capabilities, you’ll most likely find that other people doubt that you can just as much as you doubt yourself. 

If not more.

It’s incredibly difficult to stay motivated especially when faced with outside voices telling you 1) that you’re not good enough, 2) that there’s no point in trying, and 3) that you should give up now.

So how do the super-motivated amongst us maintain that drive and dedication, even in the face of doubt?

Well for starters, they usually stick to these 8 habits:

1) They remember what they’re working towards

It’s easy to get wrapped up in feelings of self-doubt and worry if you lose sight of the end goal.

That’s why incredibly motivated people keep a distinctive reminder in their heads of what it is exactly that they’re working towards.

Whether it’s running a marathon, being promoted to head of a company, or just becoming a tidier and more organized human – they keep that goal in mind.

So when the haters start nipping at their feet and telling them they can’t possibly achieve those goals, it’s easier to tune out those voices and concentrate their thinking on what’s really important; what they want to achieve.

2) They know that envy breeds doubt and criticism

Additionally, highly motivated individuals know that for the large part, outside doubt and scepticism only comes from people who know themselves not capable of achieving said goal.

They’re jealous.

They know that personally, they’d never be able to work to whatever position or achievement you’re aiming for.

And the toxic outlet of human nature leads them to do what makes them feel best; criticize the person trying in a bitter attempt to make themselves feel better.

Highly motivated individuals therefore know that being belittled and doubted just means that the source of doubt is themselves insecure.

 3) They focus on themselves

What better way to drown out the haters than to focus on yourself?

In doing this, motivated individuals are also able to refocus their attention on to more important matters.

Drowning out the demeaning comments and belittling remarks can be difficult, but those who have mastered the process of thought regulation are often excellent at dividing good thoughts from bad.

They know that the opinions of sheep mean little to a lion, thus will politely nod and diffuse any situations wherein they face doubt and criticism, but avoid taking it to heart.

4) They remove themselves from the haters

On top of ignoring the squabbling of individuals who doubt your journey, one key aspect to clarifying your mind and your ability to focus is to simply remove the poison.

By this, I don’t mean start cutting off friends left right and center just because they said your outfit wasn’t the best choice or they suggested you open up a little more.

Instead, motivated and driven individuals know when it’s time to cut off toxic relationships that demean their self-worth.

There’s little point surrounding yourself with people who only seek to cause you to doubt yourself and your abilities.

If anything, your close social circle should lift you up and celebrate you.

Owing to this, motivated individuals tend to know when it’s time to cut off friends or partners who repeatedly draw their abilities into question or depreciate them.

After all, it’s very difficult to flourish when you’re being held down by bitter people.

5) They listen with graciousness and humility

use these little phrases to instantly brighten someones day 8 habits of people who stay motivated, even when others doubt them

Part of navigating people who doubt you is also not putting your hands over your ears and telling them that they’re incredibly wrong, you’re perfect, just they wait.

Listening to a constant barrage of criticism is also not okay, but motivated people are never cloSed off to feedback.

They know that often, feedback can help them to improve and build upon areas in which they lack.

Thus, they tend to take an open and reverential tone when interacting with people who doubt them.

Take an archaic grandma for example. 

She’s literally the smartphone’s number 1 nemesis. 

She’s convinced you’re being brainwashed or cancerous cells are being siphoned into your head, and the government is listening.

(Maybe she’s right on the last one).

Rather than shutting down meemaw and telling her to do one, a motivated and respectful individual will listen to the other side of the story.

Being able to objectively see both sides of the story and understand someone else’s perspective is key to being able to navigate conflict and override doubt.

In this situation, for example, you’d likely nod politely and reassure granny that no cellphones will be entering her apartment.

But that doesn’t mean you’re binning your iPhone and never laying a finger on a smart device.

It’s all in knowing when and how to speak up, and how to see differing viewpoints to formulate a healthy conversation.

6) They practice self-compassion

All this having to fight off the haters and find a way to live when surrounded with doubt is taxing on the soul.

Thus, motivated individuals tend to excel at self-care practices.

This doesn’t mean moping around and sinking into a pit of self-doubt and listlessness after having repeated conversation after conversation about how it’s never going to happen.

Instead, it means finding the hobbies you enjoy and engaging in them on a regular basis, so that you can keep your mood up and your mind and body healthy.

Maintaining a healthy state of mind and body means you’re more capable of navigating outside doubt without feeling stressed or overburdened.

So go read your favorite book.

Get your nails done.

Let loose on a Sunday golf session.

Whatever self-care practices tickle your fancy are exemplary methods at reducing stress and maintaining a balanced state of mind capable of arming itself against outside doubt.

7) They remind themselves of their worth everyday

“I am enough”

“I can do this”

“I am successful”

“I am confident”

“I am getting better and better everyday”

All examples of positive affirmations, which highly motivated and confident individuals use daily to reaffirm themselves of their worth.

Heard of power posing?

A controversial theory, but one in which arguably widening your stance and spreading your body can lead to positive psychological outcomes including an increase in self-confidence.

Amy Cuddy speaks in length in her TED Talk about how body language can impact a person’s self-confidence and leave them feeling more powerful.

So regardless of where you stand on the power-posing debate, posture is always a good one.

You can be sure that you won’t find motivated and driven people slouching or curling in on themselves.

In fact, you’ll probably catch them in the bathrooms before a meeting staring themselves straight in the eyes and citing these affirmations to help bolster up their confidence and wave away those who doubt them.

8) They humbly demonstrate their capabilities 

Shouting about your brilliance from the rooftops won’t get you anywhere.

In fact, arrogance and boastfulness tends only to come across as egotistical and insecure.

But demonstrate your worth and your value to your doubters in a quiet and confident manner.

You don’t need to name drop or post your accolades on Linkedin, nor upload them to your Facebook status.

But there’s no harm in deftly mentioning how well you did in a recent project or how you’re excelling in your field of study in a humble manner.

There’s little that haters will be able to do when faced with hard facts proving your worth.

In a world full of skeptics…

Be an optimist.


Encourage those around you who you think are in need of a reassuring push in the right direction.

We all have motivation, creation, and ingenuity within us.

Sometimes it just takes a little digging for it to come to the surface.

And whilst you’re busy wading through the naysayers and the haters of the world – hopefully employing some of the above tactics to help you – another approach you can take to deflect doubt is to protect others from it.

So next time a mean thought pops up into your head and you consider telling your friend that they’re not funny enough to try stand-up comedy, or they aren’t ready for a promotion…

Try and nip it in the bud.

Blissful ignorance isn’t great, but neither is condescension and placing seeds of doubt into the minds of people who instead need support and encouragement.

We could all benefit from a little more positivity and reassurance, so why not start with yourself? 

Picture of Liv Walde

Liv Walde

London-based writer with big thoughts, big dreams, and a passion for helping others.

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