We’ve taken the risk here in assuming that as many of our customers are performers you probably have some big goals for the future. But like everyone else you’re only human so could probably do with a motivational pep talk along the way!
Whether it’s playing the O2 (Millennium Dome to any of us born before the early nineties), getting your first booking or acing an audition, everyone has their own goals. Unfortunately in this modern world of plentiful distractions and boastful social media posts from peers, lack of motivation can be a hindrance for all of us. Read on for some top tips on keeping your motivation in check!
Own Your Goals
When you feel like you’re flagging ask yourself ‘do I really want this?’ Not ‘would this be an achievement for my friends and family to be proud of?’ and definitely not ‘I know someone who has this goal, so I guess I should do the same.’ You need to ascertain whether you really want this. It can be all too easy to find yourself caught up in someone else’s dream or someone else’s idea of your dream. You’re going to spend a lot of your time working on this goal, so whatever it is make sure its something you genuinely want. Your goals must be truly your own and not just created out of a sense of expectation. If you’re not trying to achieve something for your own heartfelt reasons staying motivated will always be a challenge.
Share Your Goals
As well as helping to explain in advance why you won’t always be able to join friends at the pub, announcing your plans sends a strong message of intent to your unconscious mind. It’s worth taking a considered approach to who you talk to though; everyone knows someone who may be a lot of fun but not great at keeping you motivated towards a goal. With the best intentions some people can also be inherently negative at the times when you really need a boost in self-esteem. As Bustle note, be sure to surround yourself with positive people and you’ll reap the rewards!
Take A Flexible Approach
In the words of the late great Aaliyah ‘if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again’. Elvis Presley was told he couldn’t sing and that he would be better off returning to his truck driver job. Horror master Stephen King’s first novel Carrie was rejected on no less than thirty occasions. These are just two examples of triumph over adversity tales, but they’re powerful in demonstrating how you shouldn’t fear failure. Huffpost express the importance of not worrying about factors outside of your control. If you’re sending demos to record companies it can be tempting for thoughts about whether anyone will listen creeping in, but what can you do about it? Nothing! Focus on what you can control, such as the quality of the track and artwork in this example.
Keeping the end goal in mind can help keep you motivated. In performance disciplines goals are highly personal so you can easily feel attacked and vulnerable when facing criticism. Apple’s Steve Jobs expressed how essential a strong internal drive is. He felt so driven to accomplish his goals that both criticism and praise became dulled to him. As Lifehack have identified, personal gain, a material reward, being a step closer to a larger goal and a feeling of accomplishment are the key reasons why you’re striving toward your goal.
Think in Big Terms
Whilst the trappings of the traditional rock star lifestyle are attractive to most of us, they’re usually a byproduct of less materialistic goals. Taking the example of the rock star, most musicians start out because playing makes them happy and its the only thing they can think about. With each album they’re thirsty for more adulation, bigger crowds and greater critical acclaim. Yes, the results may include your romantic success directly correlating with the growth of your bank balance, but you’re still in it for the love of music. Make sure something you’re truly passionate about is at the heart of your goal.
Break it Down
When you set yourself a goal it can seem very intimidating. This is why its important to break it down into manageable stages. Not only will this make accomplishing your goal more realistic, your brain’s reward centre will release the feel good chemical dopamine as you achieve each step. As the saying goes, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’; its important to keep organised, setting yourself deadlines for each step and specific mini-objectives.
Visualise Your Goal
As Forbes note, elite athletes imagine their performance in advance, including details like the smell of their sweat and the sound of audience applause. Visualisation can be an effective means of significantly increasing your motivation. It can also help to use positive affirmation as a visual aid. Performing a positive affirmation is the act of using positive statements to counter negative or unhelpful thoughts. If you’ve ever nearly reached your limit whilst exercising and said to yourself “Come on, you can do it!” then you’re familiar with positive affirmations.
Identify What Makes You Flag
When trying to stay motivated, everybody has a particular set of behaviours unique to them. If you’re trying to lose weight do big family occasions prove your downfall? Do you pursue something with full enthusiasm then waiver at the first hurdle? Once you’ve identified your motivation problem areas you can probe why exactly they occur. As mentioned before, it can be good to lend yourself a sense of perspective by researching particularly motivated historical figures who have triumphed over adversity.
This could be something as simple as taking a rest right up to treating yourself to a day out or a meal. Don’t forget, you must agree some markers for progress which warrant rewards first; you’re not going to get anywhere if you reward yourself every half an hour!
Make it Fun
It may seem a challenge at first, but it’s possible to find some kind of enjoyment in even the most mundane tasks. In most work towards a goal you’ll take varying degrees of enjoyment in each aspect. Try to balance your day, doing little bits of the more boring tasks interspersed with the fun stuff. Ask yourself: how can this become the best part of my day? How can I make this fun for myself and others?