Emotional regulation is one of the most important skills a performer can develop. Leveraging proper emotions to fit environmental demands allows for optimal performances. For those that struggle in this area there can often be a pattern of thoughts or images that can be linked to negative outcomes.
Here are some quick-hit tips for m.otivation:
1.) Make it your own.
People find the greatest motivation and satisfaction when they are pursuing a goal they set for themselves. Doing this allows them to tap into intrinsic motivation which is the desire to do something for its own sake.
2.) Pursue Progress
Motivation is reinforced not surprisingly when we experience small wins. Establishing sub-goals can be an effective strategy to promote motivation. For instance if your goal is to perform a pull-up, your short term goal may include performing a certain number of reps using a band.
3.) Eliminate Goals that threaten Well-Being
Goals that are pursued to build popularity or status hinder intrinsic motivation and shift the locus of control from internal to external.
4.) Honor your Values
Acknowledging your strengths and values can go a long way to helping you identify an intrinsic goal and to help you deal with obstacles. Peoples who can leverage values appropriately persist through setbacks and are naturally more process oriented.
The skill of mental contrasting requires a person to not only identify the benefits of reaching their goal but to also acknowledge the obstacles they will face during their pursuit. People are more likely to accomplish their goals when they not only can envision those goals but a...lso when they develop a clear image of the challenges. This has been proven in multiple studies including those focused on weight loss, academic performance, and injury recovery.
People who recognize that goal pursuit will be difficult plan more and put more effort into success than those who believe it will be easy. They plant the seeds for a growth mindset and develop action steps to counteract negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and doubt.
There is one prerequisite to performing mental contrasting. In order for it to be successful you have to believe the goal you are pursuing is actually achievable. If you have an achievable proceed to step 2 below.
Step 1.) On a piece of paper create two columns labeling one benefits and the other obstacles.
Step 2.) Write down one benefit to accomplishing this goal in the benefits column.
Step 3.) Write down one obstacle that stands in the way of you reaching this goal below obstacles.
Step 4.) Write down another benefit.
Step 5.) Write down another obstacle.
Step 6.) Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have exhausted both lists.
When your lists are complete decide whether this goal is achievable and worth your best effort. If it is begin to think about how you can plan and overcome your obstacles.
Former San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Bill Walsh is considered one of the NFL's greatest coaches. In his book The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership Walsh outlined 12 reminders he used to keep himself focused during a losing streak.
Below are selected reminders that translate into most pursuits.