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What is Momentum?

If you enjoy sports like I do, you have most definitely witnessed swings in momentum during games. Maybe it was a great defensive play, or a player just succeeding on pure grit, that fired their teammates up and they rallied behind it.

Sometimes it's easy to pick the moment the energy of a game changed. Other times it's more subtle. Recently, someone asked me if I could quickly give a definition of what momentum is in relation to getting people started down the path to make a sustainable change. Here is what I had to say:

"Momentum" happens when two different sides of coaching come together.

There are two different sides of coaching and there are times that momentum is really kind of where they meet. The first side is around energy, that consciousness, that self-awareness that we talk about.

One challenge, I see at times, is that people really begin to dive into this consciousness to understand what has them thinking the way they think, feeling the way that they feel, perceiving the way that they perceive the world. They really start to open up in that regard, which is great; but they don’t necessarily translate that into action. They get caught up talking and talking and talking and feeling like there’s always something else to figure out before they get into motion.

The alternative side is where the energy, that consciousness, is missing. Too often people just jump into action.

When they jump into action they don’t really understand the energy that’s behind that action. They don’t understand the true motivations and what’s really behind the actions that are meant to take them to a goal - a goal that they may not even want. They jump in and they’re kind of spinning their wheels, and so they might create some activity. They may create some motion, but I wouldn’t describe that motion as momentum. It requires a lot of effort but it’s not necessarily taking them in the direction that they want to go.

Momentum combines understanding the energy of self-awareness with a set of actions.

What momentum represents is when that energy and action meet together. It’s the combination of helping somebody to increase that level of understanding they have of themselves, of their own patterns, of their own thoughts, of their own perceptions, of what they really want and their motivations, and then being able to marry that through a progressive set of actions.

That’s what it really is about – helping people harness that energy and putting it into the first steps.

And those first steps are always the toughest.

What's your definition of momentum? I would love to hear your comments!

Live on Fire!
Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

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