Have you ever been “in the zone”? It’s that state of mind where you’re firing on all cylinders. Ideas and answers are coming to you rapidly — and they’re good ones. Professional athletes have games like this, in which they break records and bring their teams to the top, largely because of their own performance. It would be nice to be able to create this state of mind every day. How can we do this? First, you have to find the state, then you have to be able to trigger it. On top of that, there are ways to help your team do the same, so they can have a positive mood and work toward their goals at peak performance.
When you’re trying to find your state, think of a time when you were in that zone. It doesn’t have to be job-related; it could have been a time when you broke a track record in high school or gave a flawless speech at a sibling’s wedding. Think back to your physicality in that moment: Were you standing up straight? Did you feel a sense of calm? Were you smiling? Noticing these sensations makes a difference. As you prepare for the next time you would like to get back into that state, mimicking the physicality of how you felt will help bring you there more quickly.
Once you’ve found your state, you can try to trigger it. Mimicking the physicality of your “in-the-zone” state will help, but you will also want to find something external (a trigger) that helps facilitate it, such as a song that pumps you up. Maybe looking at a family photo helps remind you of why you do what you do, which centers you. No matter what your trigger is, it’s important to remember not to confuse enthusiasm or excitement of being in the zone with preparation. We have to have the knowledge base, built through repetition and practice, but being in the zone will elevate what you are trying to do.
Now that you know how to create your state, let’s look at how you can encourage it in others. It’s common to say that you cannot force others to be motivated. You can only motivate yourself. While this is true (I’ve said it myself), you can try to ignite the spark in others that will lead to motivation. They will benefit by triggering themselves into a positive state. This, in turn, has an effect on others, which can lead to better engagement, even higher average ticket sales. But it starts with us.
Instead of trying to create motivation, ask team members what they want. Then, ask what they are willing to do to get it. A lot of times, this is where we stop. What we can do next, to help fuel the spark, is to ask, “Do you truly believe this is possible? Is it reality?” If they don’t see their goals as realistic, show them that they are. Give them examples of people who have gone before; ask them what makes them any different, or more importantly, what makes them alike to these people who have achieved the goal. Additionally, they must track their progress toward their goals. It’s easy to get discouraged when we’re not tracking and don’t see progress. A person who commits to regularly checking in can become 95 percent more likely to achieve their goals.