Has anyone ever told you they want to do something, but they can’t seem to get themselves to do it? As a lifecoach, I often hear something down the line of: ‘I want to do X but I’ve got no motivation’.
Does that sound anything familiar? Think about that line for a moment. Having no motivation, is that even remotely possible? I guess at this point you’ll probably say, ‘Well, uhm…. yes of course that’s possible! I’ve had such a moment not too long ago!’
And that’s absolutely fine, you’re entitled to have that opinion, especially when I haven’t given you any reason to make you think otherwise. However, if you’re willing to gain another perspective then hold tight, if not don’t bother and go back to whatever you were doing.
Still with me? Good, let’s crack on then.
Motivation, what is it?
In order to change your idea about motivation, we have to start at the very basic and that’s what we actually mean by motivation. So, here’s my definition: ‘Motivation is the desire to do something.”
And that’s all to it. Nothing less, nothing more.
If you accept the definition then it’s simply not possible to have no motivation. That is, unless you’re 6 foot under the ground. You ALWAYS have a desire to do something. Making a decision not to do something is a desire as well. For example, you might not want to go the gym right now and rather do something else. I get that. I often can’t feel bothered either. If you don’t believe me, simply ask my partner. Anyway, the fact that you can’t feel bothered doesn’t mean you have no motivation. It simply means your motivation to avoid discomfort and to do what feels good in the short term wins it over your motivation to keep fit and work out.
The excuses you keep on using
A very similar thing is when people say they haven’t got the time. That’s simply not true either. What they mean to say is that they HAVE got the time but CHOOSE to spend it on something else instead. Again, it’s not wrong or right – no judgement here – it’s just our little ways of expressing ourselves in the everyday life. Those words might look innocent and harmless, but actually they’re not. It reinforces your belief in the lousy excuse you keep telling yourself, just like when you keep on saying I don’t have the motivation. Every time you say something like that you further cement the belief into place until it becomes an unmovable object. A barrier that you put into place yourself but a barrier still complain about nevertheless.
How about this one, ever used this before? ‘I haven’t got the discipline’ or ‘I haven’t got the willpower’. Again, that’s a lot of horseradish. There is no such thing as willpower. It’s another one of those innocent lies you keep telling yourself. It might take off the pressure, but if really want to move forward you to drop the excuses.
Drop the excuses
If you keep sticking to those beliefs – I don’t have the motivation, time, willpower, discipline – you voluntarily throw a spanner in the works. You’ll keep feeling stuck because you keep telling yourself that in order to take action you need to feel right, whatever right is for you at that moment. I’ve got to feel motivated, feel disciplined, etc. It’s just a load of nonsense. It sucks you into the trap a need to feel motivated BEFORE you can take action but in reality it’s the other way around. Taking action comes first, feeling motivated comes later.
Once you start to accept and realise that motivation simply means desire, you’re in a much better space to make a decision. If you feel stuck that probably means you’ve got competing desires at play. Don’t keep using a lousy excuse though, be honest to yourself. It’s up to you if you want to want to avoid discomfort or act on your values. These two routes often put you on a very different path.
After the New Year I will go into that a bit further. For now, I’ll park it. Not because I don’t have the time or I lack the motivation. No, I rather want to avoid the discomfort of writing another blog because it’s time to celebrate Christmas with the family 🙂
Speak to you after the New Year and if you need a hand you know where to find me.