In our last blog we talked about motivation. Motivation, as we defined it, is the desire to do something. Nothing less, nothing more. It’s a bit like an emotion, it comes and it goes. You might be able to influence it but you simply can’t control it. That’s why, if you keep telling yourself you need to be motivated in order to do something (e.g. wash the dishes, go for a run, let the dogs out for a walk, etc.) I can guarantee that you will get stuck from time to time.
Well, can you rely on something that’s fleeting and uncontrollable in nature?
No, of course not. That would be like counting on Pembrokeshire’s weather always to be sunny, warm and glorious. You don’t do such a thing. So why would you do the same with motivation?
You should know better than that!
A more sensible approach would be to take action first. Go out for that run, go and do the dishes, or open that book you were planning to read today. You’ll usually feel motivated (proud, a sense of achievement, etc.) AFTER committing to whatever you set out to do.
To illustrate this, I’ll share you a few wise words of Hannah, a qualified nutritionist and personal trainer who also works at the Therapy Rooms Pembrokeshire. Earlier on this month she wrote:
‘‘My motivation isn’t always there. […] I could find a million excuses and just sack it off, but I don’t, I push on through, do the session and don’t look back. It has become a habit! This is key! Once exercise becomes part of your lifestyle and routine you will do it regardless. Like I always tell my clients, I know many of us may not feel like doing it but I don’t know anyone who looks back after a session and thinks ‘I wish I didn’t do that session’, but we are more than likely to wish that we did it.’’
She hits the nail on the head there. Your mind, that inner critic, will naturally feed you negative stories (words, pictures and thoughts) as soon you plan to do something that takes effort. It will therefore strongly advice, even urge you NOT TO GO AHEAD.
When that inner struggle happens you’ll start to feel something. That something is called discomfort. It’s unpleasant and the natural reaction is to push the difficult thoughts away, argue with them, or simply give in and give up. For example, you’ll start to think ‘’Well. I don’t feel motivated now, so why the heck should I start?’’.
Whether those thoughts are true or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the action you set out for yourself is helpful or not. Is it good to read a few pages, walk the dogs, do the dishes or go out and do some exercise now? If the answer is yes, you know what to do. Exactly. Go and do it.
However, if you continue to be guided and persuaded by the stories your inner compass will continue to be unreliable. Sometimes it will point you in the right direction, but when it really comes to it, your inner critic will most often be an untrustworthy guide because it will feed you whatever it takes for you to stay in your comfort zone.
And as we talked about this in an earlier blog you don’t want to get stuck there. It’s the drain zone, the stuck zone, the stagnant zone, the stand still zone, the freeze zone, the flight zone, the missing out zone, the half-lived zone, the I choose not to take action zone, the avoidance zone, the habit zone, the not daunting zone, or simply the same old sh*t zone.
On that note, I guess it’s time to walk our dog, Munchie. See you around next time. And as always, give me a shout if you’re interested in life coaching.