Italian Version here / Versione Italiana qui: Up and Downs Ita
How to find motivation when inspiration fades.
Did you ever feel like quitting? Or giving up? Or that the path you have been walking for your whole life and training just doesn't seem to lead anywhere?
If the answer is YES, don't worry you are not alone.
The life of an athlete, a martial artist, a competitor or a tricker, as per any other human being, will be most likely shaped into up and downs that are caused and influenced by several factors:
- and, why not, luck.
We cannot have complete control of these factors but we can manage some of them to strive to avoid our down moments. Inspiration is not something you can teach, but our motto is S for Sharing, so I'm sharing with you my tips on how to find motovation and improve your skills.
Set goals: Give yourself small daily goals, weekly goals, long term goals and a big dream that should represent your final destination that your whole training aims to through the smaller steps. Fullfilling these goals will keep you satisfied and focused on the big picture.
Make it fun: Martial arts and tricking are interesting and challenging disciplines but the learning process can become boring and frustrating when trying to master some techniques or land tricks. Sharing your training with someone else is surely a way to make things more enjoyable. Also, try and be creative in your workout schedule, make your boring cardio session fun by trying new exercises, and push yourself into trying something new. Planning is a very good method to be constant and dedicated, so writing down a workout plan can be a good call.
Find your models: Spot the best people around you. Find those at your gym, at competitions, and in the rest of the world, so that you have an idea of it all. Once you have found them, learn from them. Learn their habits, their attitude, learn what keeps them in the spotlight and how they got there. If someone is doing better than you, don't ever become a hater. The only way forward and upward is with an open mind in a state of continuous growth. Find someone you like, admire and look up to, and let their example lead you in your training.
Go back to your roots: Up and downs are part of everyone's life, also top athletes. If you are a pro athelte, or a very experienced competitor and you somehow find it hard to find inspiration in 'your rivals', step back. Think about the moments in which you had the strongest interest and motivation. One of these could be when you started. A white belt or an absolute beginner could be your next inspiration. Someone that reminds you of how you started and how far you got. Exploring the same path together may lead you to find the spark that you missed or new motivation to improve as an athlete, a person or a coach.
Stay in the game: taking part to events and competitions always gives a great boost to our motivation. In the down moments, though, it can get hard to decide to jump in the group when you are feeling 'too average' or 'too old' or 'not fit enough'. This can become a scary black hole that could lead you in the wrong direction. Shake it off, stay humble, aware of your skills and put your name on the list. It doesn't always have to be the brightest, but it has to be there. Sharing is the key of growth. Personally watching top competitors or trickers perform has been the most powerful influence I ever received in terms of inspiration. It's not something that I can put into words, it's the energy you get by being around them. So once in a while throw yourself out of your comfort zone, reach out for something bigger, travel. If you dare, motivation will find you.
To be succesfull, or happy, or always on top, it takes our most positive and adapting attitude. Work on yourself. Without this predisposition, even the best coach in the world would struggle to motivate you because you are not ready to receive. Set goals, enjoy, focus, learn and share. Remember to look for motivation around you, be obsessed with what you do, dedicate your whole thought to it, and inspiration will come.
These are only our little tiny modest suggestions on how to keep yourself going.
Hopefully some of you will find themselves in these words and maybe just realise it is a natural process and that everything can change.
Thanks for reading till the end.