- Frank D LoRiggio, LPC, NCC
Motivation is Overrated
Yes you just read a therapist write that motivation is not all that it is cracked up to be. You are still reading because a part of you agrees. Sure in therapy there is a whole approach called Motivational Interviewing which has its merits and you would have to live under a rock to not see one of the many motivational advertisements from Peloton, LA Fitness, or insert any health craze product or program that has been running for the past two months.
Motivation is emotional and situational. You finish watching Rocky and tell yourself "I am going to wake up at 6AM tomorrow and go for a run!"
6AM shows up and motivation is nowhere to be found. "It's raining out! I can't find my running sneakers. I think I read an article online that said that running is bad for you!" You rationalize your situation and emotionally comfort typically wins out. Truth is motivation is just one of many tools that can help you achieve your goals.
This hit home for me when a client in one of my groups had an "Aha Moment." In a rut and struggling with the simple act of getting out of bed most mornings he turned and said to the group but was profoundly speaking directly to himself: "Action comes before motivation."
This is such a simple tweak to a message you experience and tell yourself often. "I just need to get motivated before I do..." What an empowering shift it makes. If you want to change your life take action. But what type of action?
Two common pitfalls when someone is making a commitment to change are they overdo or overthink. Overdoing it will just burn you out and overthinking will paralyze you from ever getting stated. Making small and consistent changes has proven time and time again to lead to lasting changes that create and fuel the momentum you need to keep growing and achieving your goals. Meditating for three minutes a day, going to bed an hour earlier than usual, or gathering the family for one tech-free family meal a week are a few examples of something simple that done consistently can transform your life.
Consistency does not mean perfection. Missing a day or losing focus is not the end of the world. In fact, these challenges can be blessings if we remain open and curious. Maybe what you thought was simple or small really was not. Maybe there is a better way. Take note and get back to action.
People who live a life of achievement and fulfillment were not born that way. Nor did it fall from the sky. They took that first step towards what they wanted and despite their slips, falls, and failure they kept going. Odds are you already know what you want and you may have even taken some steps towards it. Use the power of action to keep you moving forward. You are capable of transforming your life and you are worth it!
What action are you taking to better yourself today? Let us know in the comments below.