by Marie-Pier Charron
Why you don’t need motivation
As a life coach, I often hear people say they lack motivation in fact, the motivation discussion is almost a ritual with my new clients. You really want something, in fact you almost need it, but you just don’t have the drive to get to it. As a result, you blame yourself; you get stuck in your disappointment, your guilt, or your frustration further and further away from your goal.
But why are we not always driven enough to meet our objectives in the first place? Is it that we are not sufficiently determined? Or maybe we are not tough and strong enough?
The way I see things, motivation is akin to the sap that runs in the tree: it keeps the tree alive in fact, it’s essential to it but it’s useless if the tree (our objective) is rooted in poor, unhealthy grounds. it’s not our motivation that makes the objective real, it’s the other way around: when our goals are healthy, the drive to take action flows naturally. When our goals are unhealthy, we have to push ourselves all along the path to success and we don’t even feel like celebrating at the end (when we do get there).
So what is an unhealthy objective? it’s an objective we hold for the wrong reasons, or with the wrong attitude: it’s rooted in poor grounds. it’s not that we should not lose weight; it’s just that we decided to do so because we don’t like (let alone love) ourselves and we think that will patch the problem. It’s not that we should not start this new business; it’s just that we are dead afraid of failure. And there’s nothing wrong with studying law, it’s just that we do so only to honor our (deceased) father’s values and wishes.
There are many factors that can literally kill our motivation at its roots, but weakness certainly isn’t one of them. The real motivation inhibitors go more along this line:
- Our objective is not a real priority (Going to the gym, when you have three children to take care of)
- We feel our objective is inaccessible (A brand-new Volvo when we can’t afford a Toyota)
- Our objective was inspired or chosen by someone else (That law degree or maybe your partner wants you to stop smoking)
- Our objective is motivated by self-rejection rather than self-respect (Very frequent, and always overlooked. People trying to lose weight often experience that)
- Our objective is a strong should, or a vibrant must; but not a want (It would be appropriate to be in better terms with the other members of our family, but we are too resentful about past events to really change anything)
- We are afraid of success, afraid of failure. Afraid of something (We are conflicted about our objective, we have mixed motives even if we are not aware of them)
- Our objective is not in alignment with our true self (Looking for a job in a field that doesn’t feel right to us)
- Some part of us doesn’t want to reach our objective, for some reasons (We know that when we do reach our goal, we ll have to do or experience something that repulses us)
- We feel overwhelmed by all the actions we have to take (we have a hard time taking one small step at a time)
- A recent failure makes us feel powerless
When we start looking at this, we realize that the results we get (or do not get) are an accurate reflection of what we deeply think, and feel. We do not experience in life what we hope for, but rather what we think we deserve, what we expect, what we are the most confident in. That’s how we create. We will not feel much motivation for a goal that is incongruent with our profound beliefs and thoughts as idyllic as this goal may be.
Motivation isn’t about toughness and strength it’s about alignment. It’s not necessarily about wanting something very badly, but more about wanting something completely. When we lack motivation, some part of us is saying, I don’t want to reach that goal it doesn’t serve me . Maybe it’s time to change our objective, maybe we need to look inward and take care of other things first (see the list above). Or maybe we just need to take a deep breath, relax, and listen to the wind for a while.
Marie-Pier Charron, life coach, is founder of Implosions, and editor of a monthly newsletter filled with practical tips and powerful self-growth strategies. To get your own free subscription, visit her at http://www.implosions.net