An internal look at motivation
As I have been recovering from my ankle surgery 3 weeks ago, I have been giving myself the grace to go at the pace that I need. However, I am generally a tenacious person and as soon as I started feeling a bit ready to go I started diving into work... participating in online business coach challenges, building an online course and the promotion time line, revamping all my behind the scenes software (huge overtaking, brain breaking experience for me), etc....and then BLAM! NO MOTIVATION FOR ANYTHING!
Sure it can be easy to say I was just over doing it or maybe hormones or other micronutrient deficiencies are at play, but nevertheless I think the best thing I did for myself was to just allow my motivation to have a lack of motivation. Every time the mean voice in my head said..."You just keep sitting here", I added... "and that's ok". "I barely want to get out of bed today... and that's ok". "I really don't feel like doing anything...and that is ok". This made the heavy feelings feel much lighter. I also gave myself space from anything related to work because I felt so much resistance towards it in the moment. And started doing more things that offered less resistance which actually sparked energy. I folded laundry and put away most of it. I purged out our bathroom drawers and cabinets because reality is we do not use most of it (too many chemicals for this moving to low toxic home-more on that later). And before I was at that point, I played multiple mindless and brain provoking games on my phone and binged in Netflix (which was ok too)! I will add that I am not promoting increased screen time as we all know the effects it can have mood and our overall health; however, I do believe there is a difference between numbing out, overusing, and addiction with technology than a few days of conscientious mindless down time (ok that's enough of that-phew).
This morning (and last night) my mind was buzzing with creativity and all the things I would love to offer out in the world. However, I paused and took some time to reflect. What is different today? What was different the last few days? I will not pretend to have all the answers, but I do provide many questions and some of my thoughts. And I truly believe that we all have the answers within us. My thoughts, outlook, and interpretation may be different than yours...and that's ok.
First, I take a look at the simple classic definitions of motivation...
- "The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way."
- "The general desire or willingness of someone to do something."
There are loads of books wrote on this topic and while I have not read them all, I presume many circle around in much of the same basic premise.
Why are we as a society obsessed with motivation? Is this simply feeding into the ever so popular, but majorly damaging "not enough" society that so many of us unknowingly entered? In this sense, I would like to say...
- We ARE enough!
- We have ENOUGH motivation!
We are never truly lacking motivation. If we have motivation to binge on Netflix, we are motivated! We are motivated to binge on Netflix. If we are motivated to numb out, we are motivated to numb out. If we want to find a new way of nourishing our bodies, we are motivated to nourish our body in a new way. In contrast, if we are not ready to make changes to how we nourish our body, we are motivated to continue with our current eating patterns (and that's ok). Those current patterns may be supporting you in other ways.
As I asked myself these questions, I believe motivation is found when we connect to our inner most truest self. Signals of motivation can come in many forms. Maybe it's getting that uplifting phone call that you needed to essentially shift the direction of your motivation. Or maybe you just received a new health diagnosis and you are motivated for change.
With this in mind, I believe conscientiously allowing our current state and then gently shifting towards our next current motivation is the key. With this mindset, this allows us to be in the present moment and focus on our future motivation without looking back and negatively analyzing our past motivation. We can ask WHY am I where I am at right now and allow this to shape our shift.
You may be wondering...but what about the ever so (not) popular... "I have to's"....
---- "I have to go to work". Stop and consciously think... "Why do I have to go to work?"
Take that answer and ask WHY again. Do this at least 5 times and you will likely end up with a "I want", such as, "I want to provide for my family and I am enjoy when I have a little extra to do something fun".
This can help with shifting our motivational mindset. Let's try it again, but with a different topic...
---- "I have to lose weight". Stop and consciously think..."Why do you have to lose weight"? Is it because society has deemed this for you? Or because a well meaning medical professional has told you to? Or because you don't like the way you look? Whatever the case may be.... YOU NEED TO DIG DEEPER! This surface level motivation is not the real deal. Go on....ask yourself at least 5 times WHY to every answer you bring up. And again, you will likely end up with a "I want" answer instead of an "I have to" statement.
----- "I have to get up out of bed and be productive". This is where I was at a few days ago. First, I conscientiously allowed my current actions and then I did ask why? I ended up with... "I want to be present for my family and I enjoy being creative and sharing." And so I gently started moving towards this and suddenly all resistance I had was gone.
I hope this article my friend will shift your motivation to be truly connected to your inner most motivation and will help shift your motivational mindset as well as your desired actions.
Always with Love,