Motivation Killers & How To Avoid Them
As this publishes, there is a group of people working through a free, live, guided interactive challenge with me through GILD’s Facebook group. It’s “7 Days to a Habit that Sticks” which is meant to help either make a new, healthy habit or break an old, bad one. A week is a pretty aggressive goal for such a task – making or breaking a habit – but with a little motivation, a mastermind of teammates around you working for the same goal, and your very own life coach guiding you along the way, it’s not impossible.
No matter how much support we have during life’s challenges, though, there are still things that will stand in the way. I’ve put together a list of things that will slay our motivation even on the best day… and of course, added instruction on how to avoid them. These killers create little holes in our motivation, and that’s where the energy leaks out of them… slowly but steadily, and then we find ourselves at a dark and lonely place with little progress and a lot of disappointment.
Let’s kick those killers where it hurts and get ahead of the game, shall we?
- Toxic & Negative People
This is an entire blog post all to itself – negative people and how their negativity impacts you. Really – it posted months ago.
Negative people may not even realize they’re negative. That doesn’t mean they aren’t. They also may not realize that the negativity they’re allowing to perpetuate has one goal: to bring other people down. It may not be their core nature; I believe most people have, at their heart, good intentions. That said, when negativity takes over – get the heck out of dodge.
People who do not accept you, say hurtful things, don’t give you credit where it’s due, don’t appreciate your input or contribution, and otherwise suck your joy are also sucking something else… your energy.
It’s impossible to stay motivated in an environment with people who are toxic and negative.
Usually negative people hold a great deal of envy for your life – again, they may not actively realize it – and actually, they most likely do not. Realizing you are envious of someone or something takes a great deal of humility and emotional intelligence that negative and toxic people usually do not have.
A good way to remove negative people from your life is to review your last five texts, social networking posts (each network, individually), phone calls, and emails. Look at the name of the person and then ask yourself:
“Does _______________ bring me joy?” (fill in the blank with the person’s name)
Then, listen to your gut. If the answer is no, that person needs to exit stage right immediately. Just end it. You deserve better. (I realize some of these people may be family. If they are family, perhaps your boundaries need an adjustment. Here’s a resource for that – your boundaries assessment.)
- Negative News
If you know anything about my story, you know I’m an award-winning journalist. Yea for me. No, not yea for me. That was a very stressful and potentially depressing career path. If the evening news is a downer… imaging working all day to produce the evening news. Whew. I was good at it, but dang, that was rough.
We are constantly being influenced by different sources of news: friends (if they are in the previous category, they are probably frienemies – there’s another blog just for that, too), family, tv, radio, twitter, etc.
Just turn that sh** off. Seriously. Stop it. Keep on top of world events, but don’t fall into the cesspool of stories and opinion churn. Float above the muck and not only will your stress be lower, but you will find your motivation won’t get sucked out of you nearly as easily.
The world is a sad, depressing place… if you allow it to be.
The world is a beautiful, uplifting place… if you allow it to be.
It all depends on what you’re allowing to influence you.
Take note of the different influences in your day. If you feel as though you’re getting “brought down” when you watch/listen to/experience information from a certain source, eliminate your exposure to that source.
If you have goals, and you do nothing, your motivation leaves you – it’s like a muscle. You have to work out to keep your muscles in shape. Just like that, you have to stay in action toward your goals to keep your motivation in shape.
A coaching colleague of mine has always said “You’re going to have challenges one way or the other. You can either seek them out and choose what they are or just take what the Universe brings to you.”
Do you choose to pick what your challenges are, or are you fine with letting life just happen to you?
If you say you’re fine with just letting life happen to you, I’m calling B.S. on you. There’s no possible way you’d be here on this blog if that were really true.
So, get up, get going, and be in action. Don’t do “NOTHING” – because you’ll end up being miserable.
This is no surprise to anyone who has attended my master class recently.
Fear is the thing that keeps us small. It keeps us in what we call our “comfort zone.”
The name of that zone is quite inaccurate. Our “comfort zone” is not comfortable at all- it just includes things with which we are familiar.
Know those times…
When you’re bored?
When you’re sad?
When you’re unfulfilled?
Those happen in your comfort zone. I like to call it the FAILURE ZONE instead. That’s more accurate.
There are several ways of getting around your fear. The first step is to actually write down your fears. This takes their power away.
That monster underneath your kid’s bed isn’t quite as scary if you name her Sally Sissy-Pants (trust me… it works!).
So, write down what you’re actually afraid of. When those tiny words are on paper, it takes them down to size and allows you to realize that you’re bigger than they are and you can kick their butts.
- The Past
It can creep up on you at any time. Your past experiences either work for you or against you. My favorite coaching method is exclusively purposed at pinpointing how your past has created subconscious barriers to your happiness in the present. We can talk about it if you want to book a free breakthrough session.
Otherwise, it’s important to understand that your brain is not savvy enough to disconnect events of the past from your present. That means when something happens in your present that your brain senses as similar to a past trauma or event, it has programmed itself to work or deduct next steps in a particular way. It’s a defense mechanism that may have served you in the past, but is most definitely not serving you now.
The way to get over this is to call it out, and then say out loud “You served me then, but you do not serve me now. Go away.” (You have to mean it.)
If that type of woo-woo exercise is a little too much for you, then just take me up on that free breakthrough session and we’ll work on it together.
The future… unknown territory.
Do you know why we humans are limited by time?
Because our brains are not capable of taking in more than we have at our fingertips in our present moment.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to plan for your future, but to dwell in the future is a scary and dangerous thing. It increases your stress, and completely sucks all the energy out of your motivation.
Understand your goals (write them down, write them down, write them down!) and then live the present moment with them in mind.
If you keep focused on the task at hand in the present and you have aligned it with your goal for the future then there’s nothing to worry about because your goal will come to fruition.
- Commitment… a little too far
When you take commitment a little too far, it sends you into orbit. We all know people who are workaholics. If you think you don’t, you’re wrong! There are workaholics all around you, and if it weren’t for my super-expert scheduling system that I use everyday, yours truly would fall into this trap. I definitely have workaholic tendencies!
When you take a commitment a little too far and over-extend yourself, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
The way to stop over-commitment from carrying away your motivation is to set reasonable expectations and stick to them. My rule is if 75% of your to-do list is done, you’ve won.
Oprah Winfrey has some awesome quotes. One of my favorites is “If you don’t have it in you, then you don’t have it to give.”
Self-Care is your number one job.
When you’re guilty of #7, you’re probably falling really close to the hole for this motivational killer #8.
How to prevent neglecting yourself? Simple. Start with yourself.
Schedule self-care into your calendar before you will allow anything else to go in there, and then honor the appointments. It works!
If you need more help on this subject, register for my free master class where your basic scheduling skills are covered – this will be a turning point in claiming time in your schedule for what matters!
The one thing all of these have in common is that you are in control! Doesn’t that feel good? You’re in complete control of avoiding or busting out all of these motivational killers.
If you want to join our habit-making challenge, we’re half-way through the week, but you can hop on the train and see how far it can take you. I’ll be repeating it again for anyone who missed it the first time through.
xo- Coach Jane