Maintaining Motivation during Low Times
For many Major League Baseball teams, the end of September is an exciting time. Clubs that have already clinched a playoff berth are celebrating and looking ahead to the postseason. Teams that are still chasing a spot are highly motivated to make every remaining game count.
But then there are teams that have been out of the pennant chase for weeks (make that months, for a few). Like all workers who have been hired to do a job, the players still need to show up every day. What can they do during this down period?
“There is an old saying, ‘If you know the why, the how doesn't matter,’” says Jason Selk, author of Executive Toughness and director of mental training for the St Louis Cardinals. “The key to staying motivated, even when it is difficult, is to CONSISTENTLY remind yourself of your ‘why.’”
To that end, Selk recommends thinking about your top three priorities in life and the level of success you want in five years in each of these areas. Then, create what he calls a Vision of Self-Image.
“Turn your thoughts of five-year success into a 30-second visualization of how you want your life to be specific to the level of success you want in each of your three priorities. Visualization is the most powerful way to talk to yourself, and visualizing long-term success causes your self-image and confidence to grow.”
When the daily routine feels drab, you can replay your Vision of Self-Image as a reminder of what you are trying to accomplish in life. “Doing so daily will keep your mind focused on your ‘why,’” Selk says. “Remember, if you can stay close to your ‘why,’ anything is possible . . . even for the CUBS.”