7 Weeks to Glory – Motivation System Week 3

We need motivation to succeed at life. You will face many tests, but strong motivation will drive you to success no matter how tough times are. Whether you are losing weight, studying for exams, looking for work, or trying to earn more money, we need motivation to keep our eyes on the prize. This Motivation System is divided into seven weeks. Have you completed last week? This week we will focus on using support groups as a valuable tool for self-motivation. Support networks arouse and sustain motivation.

Support Network

I am a very independent person. I’m the sort who tackles a problem for hours before finally asking for help. I just love the sense of pride when I succeed without help. However, there are times when even a lone ranger must seek support to maintain a healthy balance between solo and team work.

5 reasons why you should have a support network:

1. Expertise

I have lost almost 80lbs and 20% body fat, but I’m no fitness expert. I haven’t sat exams or researched intensively like scientists, personal trainers, and dieticians (should) have.

A support network exposes you to others’ expertise. They took years to reach a qualified level, but you can access the same information right now by politely asking them. Even better, they can explain everything in simple terms almost anyone can understand.

2. Accountability

Instead of waiting to become a success story, enter the public eye now because when you’re accountable to others it’s harder to fail. By quitting, not only do you let yourself down but everyone who believes in you. Missing your own goals is bad enough, but when giving up holds back the team it hurts even more. What better incentive is there to maintain success?

3. Inspiration

Support networks (off line and on-line) are full of success stories willing to help others. When you join the group, don’t browse every few months and disappear again. See what others have accomplished. Join some team goals. Visit at least once a week. Active participants are successful because they’re surrounded by supportive people on a regular basis.

4. Honesty

We don’t see the truth unless we want to. The truth is hard to face. The truth requires change. The truth leaves you exposed.

A good support system will always give you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If you can’t or won’t be honest with yourself then your support network will provide an unbiased, outsider’s perspective. Of course there’ll be some ignorant people who don’t have tact, but your overall network will be positive and constructive.

5. Vent

Maybe you know the truth and have confronted it head on. Well done! Unfortunately, you still feel a bit lost. You’re ready to move on but something is holding you back. Is it anger, frustration, or even disappointment with your progression?

Time to vent.

Your support network listens when you release stress. It would be nice to vent with loved ones, but sometimes they’re part of the problem. To avoid arguments or hostility at home or work, vent to your support network of strangers instead.

Do you know the best thing about venting? Every time someone vents, people offer great advice. The help doesn’t have to be asked for, and might not even be needed, but a support network is so loyal people help anyway.

Those are the five reasons why support networks lead to success. What next? Time to build your network!

3 ways to build a support network:

1. Join a support network

The common way to build a support network is to join established communities, which includes anything from major corporations like LinkedIn or Facebook to smaller groups in your local community. Don’t focus on the community’s main aims. Just because the overall group is heading towards success in one area doesn’t mean they don’t have smaller goals too, for example, an animal forum might have a sub-forum for finance support. Always ask around on your favourite websites to find others like you.

It’s exciting when you join different support networks because you’ve found others like you. However, don’t go overboard and join too many groups. Be a valuable member in a few groups instead of a distant stranger in many.

2. Expand a support network

The easiest way to build a support group is by expanding the network you already have. Ask family, friends, your partner, co-workers, neighbours, etc whether they would like to join forces. If not, I bet they know someone who does. This way of building a support group is ideal for less confident people because they don’t have to confront or share with strangers.

3. Start a support network

The most daring way to build a buddy system is by starting your own network. Major communities like Sparkpeople were started by someone who used their success to help others. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same. Start small and expand as the community grows.

Keep in mind that starting a support network won’t be easy. As a normal member you can come and go as you please, but being a team leader means people are counting on you to guide everyone. Set personal goals for the team, hold friendly contests, visit your community on a regular basis (once a week in person or daily if on-line), and don’t be afraid to delegate jobs to others like a thriving community should.

There’s no time like the present. Look back over the ways to build a support network and read through them carefully. Only you know which option is right for you. If necessary, expand and/or combine my suggestions, for example, start your own community but link with established support networks. The flow of expertise, members, and exposure would be invaluable for both parties.

Summary

1. Team and solo work should co-exist.

2. Support networks provide expertise, accountability, inspiration, honesty, and a private place to vent.

3. Join, expand, and/or start a support group.

4. Active group members always succeed.

5. The best community leaders are active, visible, and dedicated.

When you are ready, move on to next week.