If you’ve felt your motivation dwindle over the course of the pandemic (or really any time), this science can help us figure out why and what to do about it.

As humans, we have some basic needs. You know this. If I asked you what our physical human needs are, you’d probably say things like food, water, sleep, movement, etc. We need those needs to be met before we can thrive.

Turns out, we also have some psychological needs that need to be met in order for us to thrive:

  • Autonomy (sense of control),
  • Competence (need for growth and mastery)
  • Relatedness (need for human connection).

When these 3 basic psychological needs are met, our natural motivation flows. We are happier, healthier, more engaged, and perform better.

In 2020 in particular, we all lost a large sense of control over our lives – literal restrictions on what we can/can’t do are only the start of it. We also feel loss of control when things are just UNKNOWN or constantly changing.

Most of us have also lost our sense of growth. Maybe you’re an athlete who hasn’t been able to practice, get coaching, or compete. Maybe you’re a leader who hasn’t been able to work in-person with your people.

And, we’ve all lost some sense of relatedness as we were limited to whom we can see, where, how long, etc.

This is the science we can use to our advantage. We can use it as a lens through which to view our lives, a new way to tune-in and increase our motivation more effectively.

When you feel a lack of motivation, come back to autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Which bucket is empty or draining? How can you fill it back up?

  • Autonomy: where can you deliberately regain sense of control? What part of your schedule is yours and how can you leverage that? Can you reconnect with what you’re doing and why?
  • Competence: where can you focus on growth and mastery in your life? Is this a time to study other people (film or books)? Is this a time you can focus on your mental game or resilience? (buckets spill across)
  • Relatedness: how can you connect with your team? Your family? Make most of virtual or small groups? How can you build relationships with those you do see

If you’re a leader and want to know more about how to help your people through these 3 BPN, reach out and let’s chat one-on-one.

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