In my life, I’ve had many moments both personal and professional where I’ve perhaps lacked a bit of self-motivation; you know those thoughts that manifest themselves as a limiting self-beliefs. - We tell ourselves, “I can’t do this” and what happens next? Precisely what we manifested; we more often than not fail in our task!  What though can happen if we add a little self-motivation before we try?

In this blog, I’m going to share with you some personal experiences of how I discovered my rather bizarre self-motivation technique and hopefully this can help you find yours so you can succeed in your tasks and challenges!

One of the things I always found a challenge while serving in the Royal Air Force was when they introduced fitness testing which was the Beep test, sit-ups and push-ups at an age-appropriate level.  Now I enjoy playing sports but find the gym quite dull if I’m honest but found that playing sports and having a sedentary job behind a desk wasn’t exactly perfect for maintaining fitness. I started to struggle with my fitness and the test, and no matter what I tried to motivate myself, it didn’t work. I spent some time reflecting on what had motivated me in the past and figured it was when I had been shouted at in the military when I was lacking in something or was making mistakes.  Was this behavioural technique something I could actually use though as it wasn’t ideal or appropriate to ask someone to shout at me when I needed it so what could I do?  Well, I decided I would shout at myself!  First time I tried this technique on the fitness test, I was running with the others and started to shout very loudly (I do have a loud voice) at myself to give extra encouragement when the going got tough.  Rather surprisingly though, the technique really worked despite the funny looks from the others and happily for me, I’d learnt my very own self-motivation technique!  Fast forward to now, and I use it when performing challenges in things like my sports such as tennis and skiing which always draws strange looks from others around on court or piste which is always very funny.  Talking of sports though, next time you watch have a look to see how many athletes all use self-motivational techniques ranging from visualisation, shouting, hitting themselves, making themselves angry or even putting ice down their backs.

What do you use as yours or do you actually have one in the first place?  - I’d love to know what you do if you have?  If you don’t, why not try like I did and think back to a time where something or someone has really motivated you; then work out how you could channel that yourself into improving your performance?  Maybe though at first, you might want to avoid that ice one!

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.