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motivational idioms

25 motivational idioms

25 motivational idioms

Learning idioms can be fun and helps you understand everyday English much better. Here are 25 motivational idioms that can inspire you and help you sound more like a native speaker. Each idiom comes with a simple explanation and a sentence showing how you can use it.

1. No pain, no gain

You need to work hard for success.

I exercise every day because no pain, no gain.
Sarah studied hard for the math competition, knowing that no pain, no gain, and it paid off when she won first place.

2. The early bird catches the worm

If you wake up and start early, you’ll succeed.

She got the job because she applied first. The early bird catches the worm!
Tom always starts his workday before everyone else, proving that the early bird catches the worm by finishing his tasks first.

3. Every cloud has a silver lining

Look for something good in a bad situation.

Even though he broke his leg, the time off work was a silver lining since he could read more.
When she missed her flight, she found a silver lining by exploring the city she was stranded in and discovering new places.

4. Bite the bullet

Do something difficult because it’s necessary.

I really don’t like studying late, but I have to bite the bullet to pass my exams.
Even though it was raining, we had to bite the bullet and continue with the yard sale as planned.

5. Burn the midnight oil

Work late into the night.

She burned the midnight oil to finish her project on time.
Jack burned the midnight oil last week to prepare his business proposal for the upcoming client meeting.

6. Keep your chin up

Stay happy and don’t give up.

I know your grades aren’t great, but keep your chin up! You’ll improve soon.
When Julie lost the tennis match, her coach told her to keep her chin up because there was always another chance to win.

7. Go the extra mile

Do more than what others expect.

He went the extra mile to help his friend move.
The teacher went the extra mile to ensure that every student understood the lesson, staying late to offer extra help.

8. Shoot for the stars

Set high goals.

If you shoot for the stars, you can achieve anything.
Our coach always tells us to shoot for the stars, which is why our team practices with such dedication.

9. Pull yourself together

Calm down and take control of your emotions.

He was very nervous about the speech but pulled himself together in time.
After losing her notes, Emily had to pull herself together quickly to deliver the presentation from memory.

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10. Take the bull by the horns

Handle a problem directly.

She took the bull by the horns and confronted her manager about the issue.
When the project started to fall behind schedule, he took the bull by the horns and reorganized the entire timeline.

11. The ball is in your court

It’s your turn to make a decision.

I’ve done all I can; now the ball is in your court.
After the offer was made, the ball was in her court to negotiate a better salary.

12. Turn over a new leaf

Start behaving better.

He decided to turn over a new leaf and start getting to work on time.
This semester, Mark turned over a new leaf, arriving on time for every class.

13. Up the ante

Increase what’s at stake or the effort.

We upped the ante in the game by doubling the prize.
In an attempt to win back their customers, the company upped the ante by improving their warranty conditions.

14. Weather the storm

Survive a tough situation.

They weathered the storm and their business is doing well now.
The small town weathered the storm of the economic downturn better than expected, with many businesses finding ways to thrive.

15. When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Strong people work harder in difficult times.

When the going got tough, she got going and passed all her exams.
As soon as the work becomes difficult, the best employees show their true skill, because when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

16. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs

You can’t achieve something big without problems or sacrifices.

To make these big changes, remember that you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.
During the office remodel, the manager reminded her team that you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, expecting some disruptions.

17. We’ll cross that bridge when you come to it

Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary.

Don’t worry about that issue now; we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
He decided to not worry about the potential problems of his plan, preferring to cross that bridge when he comes to it.

18. Get your act together

Organize yourself to perform better.

You need to get your act together if you want to pass your final exams.
The director told the actors to get their act together before the dress rehearsal to ensure a flawless performance.

19. Hit the ground running

Start something energetically.

She hit the ground running in her new job.
New employees are expected to hit the ground running, as the company prides itself on its dynamic work environment.

20. Make hay while the sun shines

Take advantage of a good situation.

He’s making hay while the sun shines by investing his money wisely.
Knowing the good weather wouldn’t last, the farmer worked from dawn till dusk to make hay while the sun shines.

21. Push the envelope

Go beyond the usual limits.

She’s always pushing the envelope with her art.
The new marketing campaign pushed the envelope with its innovative use of technology and creative content.

22. Raise the bar

Set higher standards.

The new manager raised the bar for what he expects from his team.
After setting a new sales record last quarter, the team raised the bar for what they aimed to achieve in the next one.

23. Kick into high gear

To start working very effectively or energetically.

As the exam week approached, her study sessions kicked into high gear.
As the deadline approached, the entire office kicked into high gear, with everyone staying late and ensuring that the project was not only completed on time but done to the highest standard.

24. Start with a bang

To begin something in a very exciting or successful way.

Their new product started with a bang, selling 1000 units on the first day.
The new restaurant in town started with a bang, hosting a grand opening that attracted hundreds of locals eager to try their unique dishes.

25. Grasp the nettle

To tackle a difficult problem bravely and decisively.

She knew she had to grasp the nettle, so she finally asked for a promotion.
Knowing that delaying the decision would only create more issues, the team leader decided to grasp the nettle and addressed the conflicts within her team during the meeting.

These motivational idioms can help you express motivation and determination in English. Try using them in your daily conversations to improve your language skills and impress your friends!

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