Tonje Lilleås

How I stay motivated facing a setback

a reversal or check in progress.”a serious setback for the peace process”
problem, difficulty, issue, hitch, complication, upset, disappointment, misfortune, mishap, piece of bad luck, unfortunate development, reversal, reverse, reverse of fortune; blow, body blow, knock; stumbling block, hindrance, impediment, obstruction; delay, hold-up, check; informalglitch, hiccup, (double) whammy, kick in the teeth, knock-back, one in the eye; archaicfoil

After picking up a camera for the first time (long before I got my first DSLR) a dream started developing inside me. I dreamed of working as an adventure photographer and videographer. Today I’m a legal counsellor, and photography is “just” my biggest hobby and passion. I have to say that there are many reasons why I’m not an adventure photographer at this point. And some of them are setbacks I have faced on the road since the dream was born.

Setbacks, big or small, can be so frustrating and demotivating. It can leave us with thoughts of giving up on whatever we are trying to achieve. But it doesn’t have to kill the dream, does it? I for one still dream of working as an adventure photographer and videographer at some point. Preferably before I’m turning 40. So how can we keep motivated facing one setback after another? Here’s a short list of tips I find works for me.

1. I give myself a break

We are often serving our own setbacks or at least making them worse than they would have to be because we are way too hard on our selves. And giving yourself a break from whatever isn’t going how you thought it would, can give you that extra motivation to keep going once the batteries have been charged.

2. I actively search for inspiration

It might be going to an exhibition, listening to some of my favourite music, reading a book/magazine/blog or watching a movie or some YouTube vids. Whatever I feel like as long as it feels like something positive.

3. I work out

Working out releases endorphines. Endorphines make me happy. It’s easier to stay motivated when I’m happy. Simple as that.

4. I spend time in nature

It gives me a sense of purpose. It makes me happy. It calms me down. I really love nature.

5. I focus on enjoying the process instead of focusing on the end goal

The end goal can seem so far away, even furter than normal when facing a setback. If I only was focusing on the end goal, I would get discouraged and I’d be missing out on so much great stuff along the way.

What do you do to keep motivated when facing setbacks? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below. Hope you’re all having a great weekend!



  1. Reply


    April 26, 2018

    Focusing on the process sounds like a good one. The end result can be just too far…


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