I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation. What motivates us to take the next step or anything at all? I believe we all know what to do on some level and we choose not to do the thing that will propel us down the path. Yes we choose not to – we’re too busy, too tired, too fat, too old, too young. Our job is too demanding, we have a bad relationship, we aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, athletic enough. The question is really what is keeping us from doing what we know to do – not why aren’t we motivated enough to do the thing. Let’s face it – we’ve found the strength the motivation, we’ve dug deep before so we know how to do something to push forward. So what’s keeping us on the couch, our mouthes shut, our minds numbed with too much to do?
The answer could simply be the thing you know you should do shows results much more gradually and we get discouraged and frustrated and want a quit hit like an addict. We do the thing for quick, although often counterproductive, results – staying put on our path forward. Working out and eating right show results over time whereas that cupcake or yummy dish makes you feel really good right this minute and then over time worse and worse as those jeans stop fitting just right or your suit gets a little tight around the shoulders and middle. Doing other things that help us move forward, lose weight, learn a new skill, or nip an addiction – takes time – results are so gradual you never really see them. So to get the faster results, the seemingly more satisfying results, we do the easy, though not always better, thing.
The answer is unique to each person for the specific issue. The issue could also be rooted in – wait for it- FEAR. That ugly F word. Fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, fear of being left out, fear of being found out, fear of whatever your dark bit is you hide away under bitterness, aloofness or cattiness. Unless we acknowledge that fear and say I See You – we stay stuck, fat, alone, sad, and standing still. Notice I said acknowledge the fear. Most believe we must conquer it – fear is necessary. It’s kept our species alive for millennia. The fear is usually a result of a part of us trying to protect the rest of us from some perceived harm or potential pain based on past experiences. All good things – the stove is hot it will burn you, people can be mean, cruel, thoughtless, self centered and oblivious to others, new shoes hurt your feet sometimes, and liver tastes ridiculously bad. Once we can acknowledge the pain, the feeling less than, the desire to find a partner, the need to feel loved – whatever is tugging at your coattail and saying let’s stay here – let’s be comfy and cozy right here in our current well known state of being – we can move an inch forward. Just an inch everyday is all we need. Acknowledge the fear – tell that fear, “It’s okay. We got this. Thank you for bringing that potential to my attention. I’m gonna step forward a bit and touch the veil. Poke at it a little just to make sure it’s a real threat.” That tiny action is so powerful and will soothe that fear enough to go an inch. Then we can get bolder and be like “So what if that happens. It happened once – I survived – I’m here. I got this.” One tiny action, one tiny inch all moving forward. Choose to acknowledge the fear. Choose to see love in its place. It’s all the motivation you’ll need.