How to Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Giving Up

June 22, 2016, 3:30 PM UTC
Photograph by Hero Images Inc. via Getty Images

The MPW Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you stay motivated? is written by Shannon Wilson, founder of Kit and Ace.

I’m lucky to work side by side with the people I love while I pursue my passion. And as the co-founder and creative director at Kit and Ace, I’m fortunate to be in an industry that aligns with my core values, so it’s easy to stay inspired.

Setting goals and holding yourself accountable will help you live an authentic life and ensures that you’re being honest with yourself. Take the time to write out both your personal and professional goals, and be specific about what you want to accomplish—down to the last detail. This will allow you to focus on your vision and ensures that you’re maintaining balance in all areas of your life. Surround yourself with supportive and inspiring individuals—those who constantly motivate you and challenge you in the best way possible. For me, that’s my family.

When my co-founder and I started Kit and Ace, we were driven by the desire to create a work environment built on integrity. We now have an overwhelming amount of talent at our company, and it’s incredibly motivating to be around people of this caliber every day. We work to push the limits in technical apparel and hold each other accountable to what we set out to achieve. Seeing the innovation we have already accomplished with our fabrics in such a short time makes me excited for other possibilities in the future and eager to keep the momentum going.

Outside of work, I draw motivation from my passions, and of them, staying active is key. It keeps me on top of my game in all areas of life. I think of myself as an undercover athlete—someone who approaches life with the same resilience, passion, and success applied in the gym—so a good sweat or a few laps in the pool allows me to clear my head and reset. Whether I’m traveling or just at home, I make sure to find the time so I can stay present and focus on my priorities.


Above all else, it is paramount to make sure you have a good relationship with yourself. I lead a busy life, and the expectations I set for myself are incredibly high—and challenging. But by reminding myself to take a minute to recharge—whether it’s working out or just having a mindful pause—I can set ambitious goals and get closer to achieving them. When you’re faced with challenges—at home or at work—ask yourself what you can learn and how you can improve. This internal dialogue motivates me, and allows me to be inspired by change rather than limited by it.