by Sara Lee

Maintaining Motivation in the Face of Fatigue

What happens to us when fatigue sets in and our motivation starts t...
Maintaining Motivation in the Face of Fatigue

When it comes to motivation there is no shortage shared throughout the fitness industry.

Whether we are turning up the volume of our favorite playlist, scrolling social media, or just looking for a good whiff of ammonia and slap on the back we are inundated with hype. The energy can be absolutely intoxicating.

What happens though when we strip athletes of external motivators?

We take away the shallow stimulus of the music or a crowd and in some we can see a decrease in focus or drive. In others this removal goes unnoticed because their action is fueled by something more profound. Simply, we see some rise while others back down in the face of challenge.

There is something that happens within the human psyche when we are faced with challenge.

Imagine for a moment back to your most difficult experience. The sights and the sounds, most importantly, think back to your thoughts. In the beginning, the external motivator of “man it would be badass if…” or “ it would make a cool post” was enough to get you to the starting line.

Then the fatigue sets in.

You are past the shallow edge of the water and begin weigh and measure your choices. Now the shallow motivators aren’t as powerful. You begin to reach deeper. You start to question what about pushing through the struggle makes it worthwhile.

As you shed the superficial motivators you find power in the self. “I am doing this because I believe in the cause”, whether the cause is test of personal mettle or something tied to your values. This is your internal motivation assessment.

If you found yourself in that moment deciding it wasn’t worth the struggle you successfully identified that your motivation was not rooted within the self. The motivation that was held at the time was completely external. It’s not to say that there is not a time and place for extrinsic motivators, but when it comes down to navigating the deep dark woods it is the intrinsic that will see you through.

The Golden Circle

Simon Sinek uses the concept of the Golden Circle as the principal behind a successful business. The Golden Circle also speaks to the success of a person.

Simon Sinek's Golden Circle
Image Credit: VarChannel Marketing

When motivation is in synch with a personal “why” it has been tied to a core value or believe. It is internalized in the most powerful way to the individual. As the fatigue sets in and the body and mind are tested the “why” holds it together. The intrinsic drive weights the scales of bargaining to move forward. This is HOW we see individuals keep their eyes forward on the end goal.

Instead of searching for superficial fuel of external motivators, they dig deep and rely on their training and their convictions. As a result, WHAT the hell do they do? They are able to overcome the tests of adversity and succeed.

So how do we root ourselves in “why”?

We must have an honest conversation with ourselves. Before taking on a serious task ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why is this task important to me?
  2. Why do I want to do this?
  3. Why will this make me better?
  4. Why does success in the event matter?
  5. Why do I care?

At the end of the five whys you find yourself coming to similar answers you are well on the path to holding a deep motivation for the task.

Guest Blog by Sara Lee. Sara is a coach, athlete, service member and on mission to live a life dedicated to improving the world she lives in. Read her blog here or connect with her on Instagram here.

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