So, you've just been told that you've missed out on leading that new, exciting project. Or you find that two of your colleagues are getting a promotion over you. Or the presentation you made to the board last week didn't seem to go over as well as you had hoped. All of these events (and probably one or two you are thinking about as you read this) can lead us to feel demoralised.
The problem then escalates. The disappointment we feel from this one event spills over into everything else we do. Not only do we feel bad, but others around us start to notice our lethargy and things like our negative talk too. How can we get ourselves out of the despondent feelings and negative behaviour brought about by disappointments such as these? There are two things that will help.
Firstly, we need to understand the three factors that are working when we are highly motivated. This is important so that we can aim to get them back into our life when things aren't going so well. Secondly, a list of helpful tips to get us started back toward normality. All the work done by the sports psychs over the last 20 years to help athletes perform at their best, has been really helpful for us mere mortals as well. For instance through their research, we now know that when we are performing well (and highly motivated): - We are being mentally stimulated, i.e.
our mind is being used in a way that challenges and stimulates us (e.g. business, pleasure, creative) - We are emotionally well balanced, i.
e. we feel happy within ourselves and we have satisfying personal relationships with friends and loved ones - We are physically fit - eating, sleeping and exercising well. So, the tips to get motivated should apply to getting our mind, emotions and body quickly back into shape. Here they are . . .
1. How to get your mind fit again: - List on a sheet of paper the three or four things you do really well. - Then, jot down some answers to these questions: 'If things were going well for me now, what would I be doing?" "Which of my strengths would I be using?" - Take each one of your answers and write out an action plan. Write it as "My goal is to . The next steps I will take immediately to move toward my goal are ." - Next, some mental practice.
Make yourself comfortable, either sit or lie down. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths. Allow your imagination to flow freely. Picture yourself as you take action to achieve your goals.
Visualise them coming true in every detail. How do you feel? When you open your eyes write down any thoughts that come into your head. - Do the first thing on your list now! Over the longer term, you might consider having a chat with a supportive friend, or reading a stimulating book, or even perhaps taking up a new and creative hobby.
2. How to get your emotions into balance: - Immediately look for someone else who is doing something well (business, sport, study etc). Tell them in detail what a great job they are doing. Praising what others are doing, not only makes them feel good, it has a reciprocal effect.
You will feel better as well. - Tell your loved ones that you love them. Build the bridges, now! - Share a laugh with someone you know.
For example, watch a favourite comedy movie or video with someone. Laughter is a fantastic medicine. Recent studies in Japan have shown that patients who laugh more get better more quickly than those who don't. 3. How to get physically fit: - Start some exercise straight away. If you are not into a lot of exercise, start with a short walk.
Remember the old Chinese saying "A journey of 1,000 miles starts with the first step". - Be regular with your chosen exercise. Physical exercise is not only good for your body, it stimulates the brain.
In fact, it's been shown that we can get the same stimulus from physical exercise that can be achieved with drugs. Besides, it's cheaper and better for you. Getting one's motivation back again is all about building energy. Next time you find yourself a little demotivated, keep in mind that you need to re-energise your mind, emotions and body.
Bob Selden is the author of the newly published "What To Do When You Become The Boss" - a self help book for new managers. He also coaches at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Australian Graduate School of Management, Sydney. You can contact Bob via http://www.whenyoubecometheboss.com/