Published Articles by Snowden McFall

Keeping the Motivators Motivated-
How to Reignite Your Fire When You're Close to Burn-Out

by Snowden McFall, MAT
Chair of Motivational Professional Experts Group, National Speakers Association

I have never seen so much blood. Dark red blood everywhere, seeping out of the poor young man who had just crashed into my car with his speeding motorcycle. In a split second, both of our lives changed forever. Sadly, he now lies in the hospital with broken bones and 100 stitches. Other than a mangled car, my wounds were hidden on the inside. Tuesday afternoon came and went with sickening finality.

As I struggled through the rest of my work week and handled immediate deadlines for upcoming presentations, it occurred to me how tough it can be for us to keep giving out when we are spent, either emotionally or physically. Our job is to inspire and encourage our audiences to have better, more productive lives. But how often do we take our own advice? How do you motivate the motivator, when he or she is severely stressed or close to burn-out, as I was just a few days ago. Here are a few tips that might help you one day; they may sound simple, but theycan have a profound impact.

Spark #1

Take Control of Something Small

When we're very stressed, we feel out of control. Remedy the situation by taking control of something small and manageable, from clearing a cluttered desk to cleaning your kitchen. Experience the completion of that activity. That will get you back into a more positive frame of mind, and let you know that you do accomplish things, even if you're not feeling that way now.

Spark# 2

Go On Vacation for at least a week, as soon as possible. Get someone else to cover your engagements. Pick a peaceful setting where you rest and take care of yourself. If money is tight, ask a friend if you can stay in their vacation home.

Spark #3

Just Say No to anything new, "no" to any additional tasks or responsibilities, "no" to any social events that mean work for you. Get yourself in balance, and take care of yourself first.

Spark # 4

Ask for Help Level with the people in your life, at home and at work. Tell them you're going through a tough time, and you need their support.

Spark # 5

Stop Doing and Start Being Start honoring yourself as a worthwhile individual regardless of what you accomplish in the world. Go on an inner journey and discover who you really are. Consider going to a spa or meditation retreat. Whatever your source of spiritual inspiration, whether you believe in God, Buddha, Mohammed, Christ or just love, spend some time developing that part of yourself.

Spark # 6

Play Like a Child Spend some time thinking about what you consider fun. Pick three favorite activities and schedule them into your life, right away.

Spark # 7

Focus on Good News and Avoid Negative People

Spark # 8

Help Someone Less Fortunate

In my experience, this is the single most powerful antidote to stress and burnout other than a vacation. No matter how bad your life is, no matter what's wrong, there is always someone who has it worse. Always. Get out of your self and serve other people.

Spark # 9

Pamper Yourself with bubble baths, your favorite music, and your favorite foods. Get a massage, manicure, or pedicure. Let someone do something for you, for a change.

Spark # 10

Practice Healthy Life Habits from exercising often and sleeping 8 hours to frequent laughter and celebration. Remember that people are what's truly important.

Maintain a gratitude journal and recognize that the Golden Rule applies to everything.

I hope you won't have the same kind of wake-up call that I experienced this week. But when your embers are dying, use these tips like kindling to reignite your fire and set it ablaze.

©2000, Snowden McFall, All Rights Reserved


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