How to Re-Create Momentum After The Pandemic Paralyzed Us
The stay-at-home order and pandemic resulted in temporary paralysis. It still continues.
Life already has a lot of stops & starts. The pandemic merely added another heavy layer.
Personally, I find myself stopping mid-stride into a building only to turn around and go grab my mask. I have questioned whether I can even go into buildings or out to eat. Then I question why “that” guy isn’t wearing one.
I start over-thinking mid-conversation if I’m too close to this person. I’ve mini-freaked out on a car ride because I forgot my mask. (thankfully, I had a back-up).
We went out to eat at a restaurant and were told that my wife and I can’t dance. It felt like Footloose. The place was state-ordered closed a week later.
My kids didn’t start school, then started virtually, then 1/2 time, followed by who knows?
People have experienced much more strain and trauma and heartache than just turning around to get a mask. I get it, I’m not ignorant to the suffering. So, what happens when everything stops, suffering continues, and we’ve loosened into a “new normal” where we can’t be normal?
The toughest part about stopping is re-starting. So, here is what we need to do.
How we can re-create momentum is an important tool if we want to be mentally tough and succeed.
Momentum, even in sports, is a rare-bird.
It’s almost always a feeling rather than a real construct and a psychological trick that we play on ourselves. It’s also the most-tired and over-used cliche’ that sport reporters use- “Oh, this team has momentum.” I never understood how a team can have positive mo’ from one season into another. Here’s how to-do it!
1- Face The Fear and Do It Anyways-
There is more apprehension now regarding most anything where other people involved.
Flying for instance, I’ve seen people post pictures of themselves on a plane like they are summiting Mount Everest or plunging into the depths of an Arctic Ocean.
Sure, there is fear around activities that used to be normal, but is that fear keeping you from pursuing your life?
The fear around many activities that were mundane is both real and imagined. It’s both! As you’ve followed along with me for some time, you know that fear doesn’t always tell the whole truth. There is a host of lies within that fear.
If you want to re-create momentum, then it begins with identifying the big fears, then, blowing past them.
2- Create The Habit-
The first hour of the day sets the rudder for the rest.
Whatever routine that you’ve created was probably rocked to its core. We need to start over, fresh, a new beginning and orchestrate a bullet-proof morning routine.
It must be a battle that you win every morning.
That’s how it becomes a habit. Some say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Frankly, nobody knows because everyone is different and has different “why’s.”
What I can assure you is that the habits you create will result in massive momentum. Some of us are trying to remove something, while many are trying to build something. Know what it is exactly that you want and create a small daily morning routine that will create the habit.
3- Eat The Frog-
In order to build mental toughness, we have to put ourselves in situations that stress us. Doing the things that you don’t want to do.
Hence, the incorrect way to create a morning habit and routine is to do something easy.
It’s wrong, because all you are doing is exhausting mental energy and delaying the inevitable; which is “that tough stuff is still waiting for you.”
The right way to get after it is to EAT THE FROG! Do the toughest thing 1st thing in the morning. That’s how you re-create momentum.
Ask yourself, what is it that is important to me, that I DO NOT want to do. Then, Start With That.
4- Check That Success Sauce-
Momentum simply means having good outcomes. It results in us getting on a roll. Hence, we need to have successes.
Confidence flows downhill
Confidence is contagious
Doing the tough stuff early in the day, even if we weren’t perfect, means that we have already secured a win!
We build off of wins and thus need to recognize and appreciate the good things, the successes, no matter how small they are. That’s why make your bed became a best selling book.
Success is the mental toughness sauce that is needed to fulfill the mission.
5- Just Keep Moving-
Life shows us that if we just keep moving then a miracle happens. The miracle is our second wind!
We ALL get a second wind IF we don’t quit. By continuing to show up, stand up, be counted, and keep pushing, you’re giving yourself the best opportunity!
Life is more about opportunities than comfort.
Seek opportunities to push yourself and struggle and comfort will follow.
If you do what is hard, life gets easier. If you do what is easy, life gets harder.
When we welcome the challenge we will adopt a perspective and gratitude. Comfort can’t be sought before struggle. Re-create momentum by birthing opportunities and never giving up.
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.
Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly.