Chris Farmer, leadership and management expert at Corporate Coach Group, discusses some of his top tips for creating a positive mental attitude as we move out of lockdown.

ALTHOUGH BUILDERS’ merchants have been able to remain open in lockdown, the start of the year has been a challenge for many. While some people in the trade have remained busy, others have seen business drop off considerably.In a bid to help people stay motivated during the ongoing lockdown and to help those in the trade inspire themselves and their colleagues to achieve their personal and professional ambitions.

What is positive motivation? Before we explore some of the best ways you can keep yourself motivated, it is important we identify what motivation is and how it can positively impact the way you approach challenging situations.

Positive motivation is a mind-set that enables people to effectively adapt themselves to difficult circumstances (such as lockdowns) and respond appropriately to bad business conditions.

Those who have not learned ‘positive motivation skills’ feel powerless in the face of adversity which reduces their productivity and wellbeing. In contrast, those who do succeed in developing positive motivation feel more emboldened and are therefore more likely to be constructive, effective, calm and confident. Clearly, positive motivation is a valuable asset and it can be developed by taking the following five steps.

1) Set goals Our feelings are direct reactions to our thoughts because we always feel whatever we think

Positive motivation is a mind-set that enables people to effectively adapt themselves to difficult

circumstances... and respond appropriately.

about. Whenever people think about their difficulties and problems they feel worried. On the other hand, if they think about their goals and plans then they feel motivated. The word ‘motivation’ is derived from the word ‘motive’ which is simply another word for goal. Ultimately, motivation starts with thinking about goals and not thinking about your fears. It is important to remember you are the one who decides what you think about. From a professional perspective, why not set yourself a target of developing your knowledge of a relevant skill or subject?

2) Create a plan for achieving success Many people lack motivation because they fail to think about goals and therefore fail to set plans to achieve them. Goals are the first step and plans are the second - without detailed plans a goal is nothing but a dream. Written plans set out how we

April 2021

intend to achieve the goals we have set. In order to write plans, we need to answer the following three questions: In order to achieve the goals, what additional information or skill do we need, and from where can we get it?

What additional resources (money, technology and human resources) do we need, and from where can we get them? What is the time deadline by which we should aim to have achieved our goal and is that deadline reasonable? When we answer these three questions we have the information we need to create our plan for achieving success.

3) Surround yourself with the right people The pandemic has provided us with plenty of time for reflection with many of us spending more time on our own than ever before. If you are continually feeling demotivated then check out your mates. Are they bringing your mood down? If you find that a difficult question to answer then here are three classes you can arrange your friends into: • First-class friends: Those that motivate you • Second-class friends: Those who have no impact on your motivation • Third-class: Those who demotivate you Surrounding yourself with the friends who inspire and motivate you to achieve your goals is a great way to keep yourself on track to success. Having this positive support network will also help you to pick yourself up when you suffer setbacks or are

going through difficult moments such as through the current lockdown

4) Use role models as motivation Whether it’s in our professional or personal lives, we all have people we admire and aspire to be like. Role models are great sources of inspiration and help us to recognise the steps we need to take in order to improve. Pick out a few ‘heroic people’ who exemplify the characteristics you find motivating and see what you can learn by studying their methods. This could be somebody you look up to at work or even a sportsperson who is competing at the highest level.

5) Gain Knowledge While you might be finding it difficult to motivate yourself during the ongoing lockdown it is important you make good use of the additional free time you have rather than using it to feel sorry for yourself. You should recognise this as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. For those who have aspirations of becoming a manager why not learn about team dynamics and the methods you can use to maximise the potential of individuals. Others may wish to develop a skill such as learning how to play a new instrument or cook a new recipe. Learning is a great way to keep yourself motivated as you’re working towards accomplishing an end goal and you should celebrate the progress you make along the way. BMJ


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