Motivating yourself and others in 9 easy steps!
Often times we get stuck in our old ways. We look to the future with so much hope for something to change, to improve, to help us get better, but then, we wake up 1 month, 2 months, 6 months down the line and still, nothing has changed. We stand still, with our dream in our head, and no one seems to help us reach it.
So what is the cause? Why is it that we know what to do, we know how to do it, but we can’t seem to get things moving?
The whole purpose of change is to improve isn’t it? Who doesn’t want to improve?
I’ll tell you who:
Whoever doesn’t see what’s in it for them!
Whoever doesn’t have an emotional connection to step forward and get to that next iteration!
Whoever doesn’t know what you are trying to accomplish and how that accomplishment will yield positive emotions for them!
Think about anything you have achieved, that required constant motivation. Why did you consistently or regularly follow the plan? Because you had purpose, a goal, the big picture spoke to your dream and your dream triggered an emotion!
There is no difference between a person that needs to lose a great amount of weight and had to learn to eat properly, exercise and follow a program, AND someone that is working to achieve any professional goal. Everybody needs purpose and that purpose needs to be tightly connected to a dream!
As a leader you must stay motivated but you also need to help others stay motivated to achieve your dream. To motivate yourself or others, there has to be something that triggers the motivation through a core value. Some people are driven by love, some by money, others by popularity, to each their own… but the one common motivator is achieving a dream! Being inspired by something you are trying to achieve is a fantastic emotion!
Here are the 9 steps to remind you what needs to be done to achieve your dream and keep others motivated:
Figure out your dream and visualize it
Find out how your dream aligns with theirs
Communicate the victories frequently
Keep a positive attitude
Use failure to learn
Keep your dream alive by reminding everyone often
Figure out your dream: What is the big picture of what you are trying to achieve? Each day people come in to work for you, why? What is the purpose of each step they are taking, each task they are accomplishing? When you started to lead this group of individuals, what was your end goal, your dream? Find out what that is and write it down somewhere, where you can see it every day and be reminded of why you are doing what you are doing and why people should follow up to accomplish it! Visualize as often as possible yourself achieving that dream and the emotions it will trigger in you when you have realized that dream!
Ask questions: Get to know who works with you. What are their dreams? Why are they working, and what are their goals?
Listen: Listen to what they are telling you. Don’t lead the conversation or influence their answers. Just ask and listen. You’ll find that people have different dreams than yours in their professional careers, and that there just might be a link between your dreams and theirs.
Align their dreams with yours: Find a common denominator between your dream and each of the people who work with you, to help you achieve this dream. How will your dream impact theirs and what can you tell them about your dream that will trigger their motivation as it reaches theirs. Help them visualize achieving their own dreams and how they would feel when they reach it!
Communicate frequently: You need to build the motivation as frequently as possible. Send communications through e-mail, Social Media, personalised messages and press releases. Do everything you can to communicate as much as possible when you are stepping closer and closer to your dream and theirs. Talk about their dreams; how the big picture is getting increasingly closer as they help reach those smaller iterations that will lead to your dream as well as theirs.
Keep a positive attitude: As a leader, people are looking up to you to lead the way and you need to show the right attitude and lead by example. Analyze the failures, identify the positive outcomes and communicate that throughout the organization. Use the sandwich concept, be positive!
Use failure to learn: It’s not cliché, it’s very true. Famous leaders have failed multiple times and what distinguishes them from their peers is that they have used these failures to learn and grow! You don’t know everything, and chances are everything will not come easily. You will fail and you will have to pick yourself up and try again. Make sure you learn from what caused you to fail.
Evolve: While being able to identify and analyze your failure, you must absolutely modify your strategy and evolve through this process. Keep in mind the big picture and adjust the plan to reach it. Having a plan is just a drawing, you can always erase and draw something else. Just keep moving forward!
Keep the dream alive: Keeping the dream alive means you need to communicate frequently and clearly the big picture. Come back and address each person’s dream. Meet the people, display the results of each iteration that is getting you closer to that dream!
Put some emotion and passion in the dream! Give them a sense of purpose that will be aligned with every goal to reach that dream. Accomplishing your dream needs to serve as a path for them to accomplish theirs.
The emotional connection between your dream and theirs is what will help you the most to sustain the motivation. You must feed that motivation frequently and stay focussed on the big picture while celebrating each iteration that brings you closer to your dream!
When a moment of doubt occurs, visualize yourself succeeding and visualize the progress you have made so far. Associate your goal with the feelings and emotions that go hand in hand with why you have this dream. The days that the motivation starts to dissipate, you’ll be able to recapture that enthusiasm that you initially had, and the self-esteem and self-worth that achieving that dream will bring.
Keep your focus on the benefits of achieving your dream. This will be your principal source of motivation. There is a main purpose for everyone.
Most importantly, keep reminding yourself and your employees that when you fail, it should be a source of learning and growing. Experiences accumulate and make you move forward; it allows you to learn, evolve and move forward with a baggage of knowledge that will prevent you from making those mistakes again, and will bring you closer to your dream.
What’s your dream?
Sophie Barbara Desilets