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Mary Schmid, Business Coach

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Motivate Your Brilliant You

April 2012

Motivate Your Brilliant You

motivation [mo·ti·va·tion]: a driving force that leads us to our goals, an internal force that moves us to act

Life offers many challenges and perhaps one of the toughest is staying motivated.  Whether you work from home or you are in a place of business, It is normal to lose motivation from time to time, even if you love your work!  Even though you know your work makes a big difference in your life, and you have plenty of reasons to keep going, sometimes it is not always enough.

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There is no simple solution for staying motivated.  Like the ocean with her inconsistent ebb and flow of momentum, motivation is not a constant but rather a pattern that comes and goes.  The key is to understanding motivation lies in your thoughts and emotions. Recognizing your thoughts and emotions, and learning how to correct it is the key to maintain you motivation so you can keep moving forward.

THE WHY FACTOR:
Often times the focus of a task is on the how. It is difficult to stick to a task if we do not know the reasons why we are doing it in the first place.  The why provides the bigger picture for context of your work.  It provides meaning and it is the stake around which to rally.  When you know why what you do contributes to a larger whole, it is much easier to stay motivated and engaged because we are making a difference.

THE FLOW FACTOR:
Have you ever been so involved in what you were doing that the hours passed without realizing it?  Researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered the concept of flow in his book Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement in Everyday Life. He writes that frustration with the work is the mismatch between what people must do and what they can do.  When what we must do exceeds our capabilities, the result is anxiety.  When it falls short of capabilities, the result is boredom.  But when the match is just right the results can be glorious.  One of the greatest motivators is making progress in one’s own work. When we are conscious of our own flow and what puts us there, we can figure out how to get there, we can navigate through the musts (or delegate) and do the work that is really important.

THE BOUNCE BACK FACTOR:
If you think you can’t you are right!  The neurobiology of the brain has it that we think in upwards of 75,000 thoughts a day and 95% of the thoughts we have today are the same ones we had yesterday!  So if we are thinking negatively about a circumstance or work we need to do, the mind distorts reality to confirm what it wants to believe and what it already knows.   It drains us of our motivation.  By recognizing this, we can consciously choose to redirect the negative thoughts into positive action.  Focus on a goal directed to what you do want instead of what you do not want.

 

3 Simple Steps to Take When Your Motivation Starts to Slip

1.) Notice the negative feeling and the thinking that says this cannot be done. ask yourself, what am I thinking and feeling that is keeping me from my work?

2.) Go back to your WHY.  What is your stake in the ground and your purpose for doing what you are doing?  How will this contribute to the bigger picture of the people you serve?  What is important to me?

3.) Look at what you are currently doing and identify the work that pays off and the work that does not.  I ask yourself if  this is work you can do or you need help with?   Take action.  Get back into the flow.  Stop doing what is not giving you forward progress.  Focus on a simple task that you can get done immediately and builds your momentum to take on a bigger task.  And when you need help, find others to work with so that you can correct your course and stay positively motivated.