Saturday, 26 March 2016

Motivation...and Other Fairy Tales

It's been awhile!  Like most people I go through phases in my everyday life where my get up and go gets up and leaves.  Sometimes life just gets in the way of my best laid plans.  Or sometimes I even procrastinate the days away...or at least I used to.

I can't believe I'm telling you this.  I think we've been sold a big fat lie.  There, I said it.  A. Big. Fat. Lie.  That lie is summed up for me in one word..motivation.  Hello, let me re-introduce myself.  My name is Kathi and I am a wife, mom, business person, personal trainer, instructor and coach.  I am also a HUGE procrastinator by nature.

Back to motivation.  The word itself even bothers me now that I have thought about it.  What is it?  By definition it is the "general desire or willingness of someone to do something".  Ok, what does that really mean in real life terms.  I'll sum it up for you in phrases I have heard over and over again in my work as a coach or trainer.

  • I'm really motivated to change 
  • I wanted to go to the gym but I wasn't really motivated
  • I just need some motivation
My list could go on for days but I think you get the idea.  Motivation is the desire to do something or to change something that doesn't appear to be working.  Great, so what's the problem?  Think about it for a minute.  In real life almost every motivational statement is followed by one word...wait for it...BUT.  Take all of those statements written above and add the word BUT to the end of it. BUT changes everything!

I recently gave a talk to a group of people that had recently had trauma in their lives and were working through the process of trying to get back to their every day life and perhaps even back to work.  Since I had some life experience with trauma, obesity, depression and making life changes I was asked to share my successes and my struggles with the group.   We were discussing motivation and our "get up and go".  We were discussing how we go from wanting to doing.  Part of the discussion went something like this...

We have been sold a lie.  Advertisers, mediations, speakers and shiny memes have shown us that all we need is to be motivated and things will happen.  All we have to do is wish for it and POOF it will come true.  It's all a lie!  My example was clear.  I had rushed from my previous class to make it to the group on time.  I had wanted to stop and get some tea but traffic was heavy.  I wanted tea.  One of the fellows in the group had a travel mug full of tea and he was sitting across the room from me.  I was MOTIVATED to get his tea...However unless I took ACTION and got off my butt to walk across the room to GET the tea, nothing was going to change.  I wasn't getting any tea by sitting on my ass thinking about how motivated I was to get it.  Think about this for a minute and let it sink in.  

All those times you said you wanted to do something and you were motivated, did you take ACTION?  Did you take any of the steps necessary to make the changes you wanted?  Nope, me neither.  Don't get me wrong, it is so much easier to blame the results we didn't get on "not being motivated" than to see the reality that is right in front of us.  I just didn't take the ACTIONS needed to get the results I wanted.  We can blame anything we want - but what's the point?  The only thing accomplished by trying to place blame is to delay looking at the real reason we didn't get the result.  We didn't put in the effort.  That's much harder to face, isn't it?

It's so much easier to blame the outcome on something outside ourselves.  The good news is that you have the power to change that dialog!  You!  Take the opportunity.  Take the action.  Say YES to your life and just see what can happen.  

Until next time.....