Are you playing to win?

No matter how talented the sportsperson, psychologists leave nothing to chance in motivating top athletes to perform at their best.

Experts believe there are at least two main types of motivation: ego orientation (playing to win) and task orientation (where improving personal best performance is the key). It is better, the psychologists suggest, to be high in ego and high in task orientation, or low in ego and high in task orientation because people with these combinations don’t give up when they hit a bad patch. People with high ego and low task orientation do not always succeed and may give up when they’re not winning. Which category best fits you ?

The principles of motivational techniques apply across the board and, when you feel unmotivated or your motivation needs a boost, realistic goal and target-setting is the best way to get the ball rolling.

Motivation and commitment not only to your job but also to your health relies upon a number of factors including confidence and self-esteem. Important here, too, are praise and recognition for effort spent and / or the personal satisfaction of achievement. And fairness, or at least the perception of fairness, is also key both in the workplace and personally.

The out and out ego-orientated winner is not what you want to be but motivation is what bounces, or on a bad day drags, you out of bed every morning. Self-motivation, however, is an admirable quality. It makes you a higher being (yes!), moving towards personal fulfillment which, importantly, is different for every single one of us. And that happy state of being is underpinned by a number of fundamentals including good health and positive self-esteem.

Written by Ruth Tongue
(MSc Nutrition)