CUNA Community CU & Growth Conference

Give Yourself a Motivational Makeover

Don’t surrender to pessimism during turbulent times.

October 11, 2013

Remember that disembodied voice on vehicles’ navigating devices that blurts out “recalculating” when you miss a turn?

Through the economic roller coaster of the past several years, people in all industries have been forced to regularly “recalculate” as circumstances dictate they adjust on the fly.

But there’s no sense in being a whiner about it, motivational maven Sarita Maybin said Thursday in an energized keynote session at the CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference in Uncasville, Conn. Rather, you can adapt, succeed, and thrive during turbulent times.

Consider these strategies to navigate change, Maybin said:

Think big picture. Always keep a long-range view, confident you can surmount inevitable setbacks. Make a mark inside your credit union by defining who you are and what skills and intangibles you offer.

Evaluate your network. Studies show you take on the traits of your five closest friends or associates. Do you need to upgrade your circle by weeding out the whiners?

Humor helps. Sometimes, you have to laugh to keep from crying. Are you able to see the levity in a situation? Commiserating can help a group through tough times.

Change the pronoun. How do you coerce cooperation? How do you pull rank when you have no rank to pull? To avoid backlash, make a subtle pronoun shift that’ll produce a major change. Instead of saying, “You need to do this,” try “I need you to do this.”

Mind the three Ps to protect yourself against others’ negativity. Don’t take things Personally—it’s usually not about you. Most difficult stretches aren’t Permanent—remember that this, too, shall pass. And always retain your Perspective—how important is this development in the big picture?

What are your workplace motivators? Recognize your personal needs and address them. Sometimes, you can’t be fulfilled by your job. Try joining a committee at work, or getting involved in outside organizations and charities. For instance, Maybin joined the board at her local YMCA to feed her leadership fix.

Maybin also outlined methods to rekindle passion, in your professional and personal life:

Set a worthy goal, and meet the challenge. What’s the measure of a worthy goal? The end of any sentence that begins: “Someday I will … “ It could be taking a trip around the world, finally cleaning out the garage, writing a book, or building your dream house.

Remember the “two-sided coin.” Learning something new can be a shot in the arm. But so is showing the ropes to a new co-worker. The exercise helps you remember why you appreciate your job.

Rely on “Resiliency Resources” -- enjoyable activities that help us counteract some of the things we can’t control. For Maybin, that’s working out at the gym.

Serve. Helping others makes us feel better about ourselves. Volunteer for an organization that makes a difference in the community.

Maintain an attitude of gratitude. This is tough for natural ingrates, said Maybin, acknowledging membership in that group. A Type A personality, Maybin is wired to set a goal, achieve it, and then … turn her attention to the next goal. Take the time to appreciate and be grateful for what you have.

Find more coverage of the conference here and at News Now.