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Loss Motivation

Loss Motivation

Written by Dave Gannaway
I guess just about everyone has experienced loss motivation at some time. Most of us have started a new project full of enthusiasm only to fall flat on your face when the first challenge hits. Loss motivation claims more than its fair share of good ideas, good men and great progress like that. The damaging long term effects can be self doubt in the individual’s ability to complete or succeed with the project. It can also create destructive doubts about the idea itself, ‘maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all!’ How many times have we heard that?

The classic example is the college student who starts to become disenchanted with thier course work. It becomes so easy to quit. Doubt begins to invade the conscious mind. Other negatives follow thick and fast. I don’t really want to do this, … there must be an easier way. Such moments as these make us extremely vulnerable to failure. Naturally it becomes extremely important that these doubts be overcome. The whole future career of an individual or revolutionary idea can be jeopardized in such moments as this. Support of friends or colleagues can become the vital and saving grace, and lack of it can sound the death knell.

I recall working in the extremely complex environment of a research aircraft establishment. The work I was asked to undertake pushed my technical ability beyond, what I thought, were my limits. There was no room for errors, I was very aware of that, so rather than place myself in a vulnerable position I decided to quit. My boss would not accept my explanation for wanting to leave. “I can’t do it, it’s beyond me!” I tried to explain. “No it’s not,” he began to explain, “Look, let me show you…” He broke the job down into smaller, component parts, bringing it back within my range.

I was convinced to give it another try, and through the support and understanding of my boss, he helped and inspired motivation in me. This truly helped me overcome and move on to even more rewarding areas of my life. But my whole future, in that area, would have terminated right there had my boss not had an understanding of loss motivation and perhaps, the time to give me a little TLC.

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