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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Motivation


Flex Your Motivational Muscles

Elaine Currie

Self motivation is like a muscle, it needs exercise to keep strong and in good shape. If you fail to exercise a muscle it will gradually atrophy until it becomes completely useless. If you allow this to happen, it takes a great deal of extra effort to restore the muscle to full power and to regain your previous fitness level. Self motivation is needed when the wear and tear of daily life slows you down and you need to give yourself an extra push to keep going. Getting into the habit of daily exercise will ensure your motivational muscles won't let you down when you need them.

Whether you are aiming to improve your work productivity, trying to break a bad habit, or if you want to make a big change in the direction of your life, you can benefit from performing self motivation exercises. Motivation is the force that drives you to achieve your dreams, realise your plans, and reach your goals. There will be times when the ordinary pressures of life wear you down. Stress, anxiety, and fatigue can sap your energy and rob you of your joy and passion for life. A self motivation exercise or two will help to reverse the effects of those negative forces, and give you the power to reshape your future.

A simple but effective self motivation exercise that you can perform anywhere and at any time is creative visualization. To implement this technique you literally picture yourself achieving your dreams, carrying through your plans and reaching your goals. A good time to carry out the visualization exercise is when you are falling asleep at night. Alternatively you can set aside some time when you won't be interrupted to perform the visualization in a relaxed atmosphere. You should concentrate on your mental picture of you reaching your goal. Once you have the picture clear in your mind, imagine the feelings that accompany your achievement. Feel the elation, happiness and fulfillment you are feeling at that moment in your visualization. Practice this visualization every day and over time you will find that just conjuring up the picture will bring with it the positive feelings associated with reaching your goal.

To enhance the effect of these positive thoughts, you can add a further exercise: positive speaking. This exercise, however, is best done in a place where you won't be overheard, otherwise your exercise might be mistaken for eccentricity. Once you have your vision in place, say positive and encouraging words that promote and affirm the picture you are imagining. If you are overcome with self-doubt, then speak aloud the opposite of your negative emotions. Speaking the opposite of the negative words associated with your feelings will empower you and restore your self-belief.

If you allow your mind to dwell on negative thoughts, your attitude will become negative but the damaging effects of negative thoughts and feelings can be eradicated by positive thinking. By repeating the exercises daily, you will achieve a positive mental attitude. As Aristotle said: "We are what we repeatedly do". These exercises, although simple, can have astonishing benefits and by using them you can change your life.

If you believe that you can reach your goals and make your dreams come true then you will.

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