October 15, 2018
I love this time of year because, with fall, comes college football. Yeah, there’s pro football too, but I really love college football because every week brings with it surprises that just don’t happen in pro sports.
One of the things that most intrigues me in sports is the concept of momentum. Momentum is a term in physics, but it’s also something you can sense even when you’re not live on the field. In fact, you can sense momentum even if the TV is completely turned down.
The way I personally describe momentum is a state of hope and belief that the current actions you are taking are bringing you to the outcome you want.
Momentum isn’t just a sports phenomenon. Momentum is actually relevant to every area of life.
And here’s the most fascinating thing about momentum, even a team (or a business, or a family, or a person) who appears to be losing can have a momentum shift that causes them to win. And that shift can be born – not from an earth-shattering breakthrough – but, in most cases, a single, often unimpressive action, that turns the tide.
Here are 4 ways to help you create momentum:
I don’t want to use sports as a metaphor for this entire article, but if you can humor me for a moment, let me share something I’ve learned from coaching people who are in slumps.
Slumps for athletes are a myth.
For example, baseball players who strikeout 15 games straight are not in hitting slumps. Basketball players who can barely hit a shot for 10 games at a time are not in a shooting slump. We could go on.
It’s possible that an athlete can develop a technique issue in their swing, but, in most cases, that’s not the issue at all. What actually kicks in for an athlete that creates a slump is in the subconscious. They replay a bad performance, and that subconscious wiring kicks in so that their muscles contract when they need to be loose. They find themselves overthinking things that they used to do with very little thought.
In the same way, when I have coached people in sales, I can say that sales slumps are a myth as well. You can’t be a great salesperson one day and a terrible salesperson the next day. What changed? The mindset that’s caused by disappointment.
Let’s say a salesperson loses out on a really big deal. When that disappointment kicks in for a salesperson, I find that they don’t do the same things they were once doing. They’re overthinking what they used to just know and practice.
Disappointment is a very real thing. We all lose sometimes. We all have performances that we wish we could go back and change. Well, the fact of the matter is none of us can go back and change anything.
The reality is that the way we are wired, every time we look back in regret, your subconscious mind isn’t just reliving what happened. Your subconscious mind actually thinks it’s happening again and again.
The athletes who successfully bounce back and the people who bounce back from disappointment in their own lives have all found a way to not allow one moment to project into their future.
Trying not to think about the disappointing performance isn’t a good strategy for breaking free because your subconscious doesn’t know how to not think about something. When you try not to think about something, it actually becomes your focus.
What you have to do is being to visualize and dream about performances where you did win, where you were successful. So what if you don’t have any? Well, that’s what your imagination is for. Dream about your performance as a winner with whatever it is that you feel you need momentum in your life.
If you ever watch any team make a comeback to win a guy, it was usually one small action that took place the allowed them to seize momentum in the game. Sometimes that action was just routine. It wasn’t glamorous, but it happened because, regardless of the score, it was something that was part of their duty and they did it with belief.
When a team is losing, you can tell when the will of the team is broken because they more and more mistakes, get lazy, and don’t do any of the routines they’ve been taught since they were children.
But those who choose to not simply go through the motions, but do what they are doing as though it matters, with a belief that it can change things – those are the ones who initiate momentum.
As a coach, I’ve done this with my clients as well. Sometimes the odds are overwhelming. For instance, I had a client who had 2 major money deals fall through within a week in their young company. Not only were they look at the loss of those deals, but they were thinking about the debt they had incurred while putting those deals together. They wanted to quit.
Trying to overcome what amounted to a $500,000 loss in a week’s time was daunting. I helped them think not of the $500,000 that they needed to turn around, but one small action that they knew they couldn’t allow to slide. They needed one small win that wasn’t a $500,000 step, but it was still a win that empowered them.
They needed to do one thing that was a statement that they were in control and we’re going to be destroyed by it.
For you, create action. Do something. The lack of doing anything will dig a much deeper hole.
Get one small win that is accomplished with the hope and expectation that you are in control and you will win this thing.
And celebrate that action as a win. It’s critical that you feel it.
Sometimes we lose momentum because life is happening and we’re being pulled in every direction.
If you feel like you’re not making headway, that should be a cue that you’ve lost focus of your why.
I have reminders all over my office of my why, but it’s amazing how I can still find myself slipping into a slump. As soon as I recognize it, I’m thankful that I’m surrounded by reminders, and I’ll turn the computer off, put my phone on airplane mode, dim the lights, and I’ll choose a reminder or two to focus on.
One of those reminders hangs on the door I open and close every day. When I see it, I remind myself that I walk the planet to open doors of opportunity for myself and others. I’m reminded that it’s critical that I choose to step up and be who I’m supposed to be because people are counting on me.
I believe your purpose and calling are things that can always give you life.
Your why can always shift the momentum for you.
Sometimes getting back on a routine can create a momentum that we’re lacking. However, sometimes it’s the routine that’s killing us.
Changing it up could mean a lot of things.
It could mean you walk to work.
It could mean you choose a different place to work.
It could mean you clear your office of clutter and make it an inspiring place.
It could mean you do tasks in a different order.
It could mean you add something new to the mix.
It could mean you change the music you listen to.
It could mean you join a think tank locally or online to inspire you.
It could mean you change your working hours.
There are endless ways to change it up, and one change can create a momentum shift in your practice.