How to get Motivated
Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.”
Stephen R Covey
Motivation is an important skill and is one of the hardest things to develop. We know what we need to do, what we should do but if can be so hard to get started. This then leads to negative thoughts about ourselves “not being good enough,” affirming negative core beliefs which in turn promotes apathy. We can get into a negative cognitive behavioural cycle that compounds the problem.
Let us explore motivation in more detail. Essentially there are two main types of motivation; Extrinsic and Intrinsic
Extrinsic motivation is driven by external sources for example: to gain a reward, to avoid a punishment or to achieve a goal.
Intrinsic motivation is in play when we do something because we are interested in it. This is not always goal oriented.
Intrinsic motivation has been shown to be more powerful that extrinsic in multiple settings.
A great way to motivate one’s self is to marry up the two. To do this we need to set goals that fire our intrinsic motivation. When we do so, we will find we are hugely more motivated and our goals are easily achieved.
When your goals are set for you however, the power of intrinsic motivation is lost and it can be very hard to feel motivated. Indeed there are often things we positively do not want to do. When these tasks still need to be done then it is important to be able to motivate the Self.
We have talked in the past about setting intentions. This is vital for motivation. Without a clear intention then we manifest chaos and can quickly feel overwhelmed. You may have experienced this when your list of things to do is so long or the house is so untidy that you do not know where to start.
It is useful here to look at what stops us moving forward and finding remedies for that. The main blockers to forward progress are procrastination and rumination. We spend more time worrying about what might happen and analysing what has gone before that we ever do in the doing.
We need to bring ourselves into the present moment, what has happened and what might happen are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what you are doing right now and whether that is moving you toward your goal.
Setting a clear intention and prioritising your task list, gives you a sense of control. Staying in the present moment helps as this is the only place where we have real power.
The present moment is the place where we can plant the seeds for the future. You can do this in your 'White Room'
In the present moment you can take the time to psychologically prepare for the tasks ahead, visualising success in your venture.
This week's tool is a Motivation Visualisation:
This type of exercise is often used by sports people.
Before a race or competition they focus on their breathing and empty their mind of thoughts about the upcoming event. They visualise the race and experience themselves completing the course with perfect technique. They see themselves on the podium with the gold medal.
This kind of visualisation is a brilliant way to get you motivated. You literally see your desired outcome and the steps you need to take to get to it.
Find a quiet comfortable spot.
Take your awareness to your breathing
The tidal in and out of your breath
Allow your shoulders to soften and fall
Feel the tension leave your body
Now having set a clear intention
You know what you want to achieve
See your desired outcome in all its glory
Hear the cheers and accolades
Feel the intense satisfaction that comes from accomplishment
Smell the sweet smell of success
Taste the victory of having overcome all obstacles
You are fulfilled
You have accomplished your goal
You are exactly where you want to be
How does it feel?
Savour this moment, it belongs to you
It is yours
When you are ready, bring yourself back to full awareness with the knowledge that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.