How many times do you find yourself losing your self motivation? It could be caused by low department morale, losing faith in humanity, or just getting bored. It happens to all of us. The real question is, how do we get that lost motivation back?
If you feel that your motivation is being lost due to low department morale and while I agree this can be a contributor, I believe that overcoming it, as it pertains to your personal motivation, starts with you. It’s a lot easier to change your own attitude than it is to change the attitude of your entire department.
When you lose that motivation, one of the best ways to get it back is to start at the beginning. Remembering and revisiting what or who made you passionate about the job in the first place can help re-light that fire inside you. Everyone always has that one mentor that sticks out in their memory. That mentor is that person who emulates what a firefighter should be in your mind. Reconnecting and visiting with that person can be the kick-in-the-pants that you need to get back on track.
If you find yourself getting bored, maybe it’s time to branch out into other areas of the fire service. There are so many all-hazards areas you could explore, a person could fill their entire career with just learning all of them. Hazardous materials, dive teams, search and rescue and technical rescue teams are just a few specialized areas that you can you delve into. Sometimes branching out into other areas can give you a new perspective into the same job and reignite that passion.
Sometimes after a particularly bad call, we can find it hard to see the good in humanity. We start to question why we even do the job. What’s the point? When you start getting to this point, it’s time to take some time off and talk to someone. This is a career ending attitude for firefighters and it’s paramount to get outside help in this instance. With the customer service aspect of our job, compassion is important to have. However, it’s difficult to have compassion when your outlook on humanity is a pessimistic one at best.
Everyone hits a low point in their career when they start to question the job. It doesn’t even have to be something big. The smallest detail of a call can be enough to shake your foundation. The important thing to do is to counteract these times as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to pick yourself back up and relight your passion for the job. Most of all, never be afraid to talk to someone about it. Remember, in the fire family, no one fights alone.