01 Oct How are you Motivated? Find your drive during uncertain times.
Motivation is always a topic of interest for performers. How do I stay motivated? How do I motivate my kids, athletes, students or employees? Understanding motivation and how you or others are motivated takes time and self-awareness.
During this uncertain time we all need to make time to breathe and be kind to ourselves, but I also believe we need to continue to live with purpose. As mentioned in one of my latest blogs, Vitor Franki wrote, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, only by lack of meaning and purpose.” Without purpose we can get in a downward spiral, and given the countless unknowns the world is currently faced with, I believe that having something to focus on is a positive.
First, it’s important to understand there are different types of drive. People who are internally driven wake up and say “let’s go”. These performers are disciplined to do the work without anyone or anything having to ‘motivate’ them. People who are externally driven usually have someone suggesting or telling them to get going. This could be a parent, teacher or coach telling their performer to do their homework, go lift, or go practice the piano.
Both ways of motivation work, however, the different mindset can determine longevity of activity and purposeful training (keep in mind, how you are motivated can change over time and with interests). There are also two different types of rewards, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic reward is pure love and joy, and these people embrace the process to get where they want to go (embrace the journey). Extrinsic rewards come from the love for the outcome such as money, food, safety, power and winning (they seek the finale).
So how are you motivated? Are you driven to unlock that feeling of learning something new to improve on your personal journey or are you seeking to get the job done to support yourself or family, are you seeking fame and fortune? What is driving you?
Through my 20 years of practice and my personal experience, once a performer is established in their craft and are purposefully driven they don’t often need someone to light a fire in their belly. They are go-getters and self-starters. Their work ethic is usually one of their strongest qualities. Everyone needs support, but usually these performers are the motivators in the long run.
Those motivated extrinsically are often in the game for short-term pleasure instead of long-term stability and success. For example, as a performer, accomplishing something because you are passionate about it and you enjoy the process is more sustainable than doing something for fame and rewards. I am certainly not saying everything you do you have to enjoy and that life is all puppy dogs and rainbows – but what I am recommending is that you find something that is yours. That you love. That provides you with purpose and passion. That makes you smile and maybe even a bit kinder because you have your thing.
Before I share some tips, let me first start off by saying this, don’t be a follower. Ask yourself questions like, “What do I need during this time for my mental health?”, “What is the best for my training”, “What is the best for MY family?” and, “Am I comparing myself to other performers or people on social media and is that making me feel inadequate or insecure?”
Guess what, what you need or what motivates you may be totally different than your friends and family, especially at this time in the face of a global pandemic. So please, keep checking in with others but more importantly with yourself. Living with purpose and staying motivated is great, but living in a constant state of comparing and second guessing is not.
Here are some tips to stay motivated when athletes lack competition, musicians have no performances and some professionals are not in their office.
- Value check: When looking at your values in life, reflect each day with a statement, “did I live my values today?”
- Try new things: If you haven’t found your passion, begin to try news things. I just decided to take my first tennis lesson since I was 11. And wow – was I bad, but I had a blast! Now I am dedicated to going out once or twice a week to work on my game.
- Be disciplined: Having the discipline to stay on track is a game changer for anyone who wants to perform at a high level. This includes the little mundane things like strengthening or stretching or rehab exercises.
- Be in the moment: I know I say this all of the time (and of course we are all guilty of the ‘what if’s’ once in a while) but staying in the moment keeps us on track and focused on the HOW and not the WHAT.
- Be Patient: We need to be kind and patient with ourselves when we are on this journey of performing. When we are in the moment, focus on the deliberate steps we need to take and the results will come…I promise! Which leads me to the last tip…
- Stop comparing: Please, please, please! Live your journey. Try not to get caught up in what other people are doing or what they have. It may not feel natural or easy to choose ourselves and embrace our journey, but the rewards are self-love and performing at your best ability.
As a result, I believe you will feel more motivated to start your day and live a purposeful, disciplined and rewarding life.
Be kind. Be bold. Be great.