Where’s your motivation to change?

Understanding your motivation for change can lead you to gathering a momentum that will take you away from your current life.

The reason that you’re looking to make a change is the motivator that will drive you towards success.

Both of these sentences pretty much say the same thing, but have a different focus, and that’s the interesting thing with motivation. You can be motivated by trying to get away from something in your life; be it boredom, poverty, climate, depression; all of these will be a form of escape. It’s normal to be motivated in this way. People often want to get away from where they’re from, or they don’t want to have to worry about money anymore, or they want to move away from a particularly bad situation. You can use this motivation very successfully, and it can push you further and further away from your dreaded fears, but at some point the motivation will begin to decrease.

At the point where you are not as motivated as you were, you unconsciously create a crisis that pulls you back towards your fears, so that you can become motivated all over again and move away once more from your fears. People can live their whole lives like this. Some classic examples of incredibly successful people that have gone on to lose it all only to rebuild again, are Donald Trump, Richard Branson, and Simon Cowell to name just a few. It’s as if the thing that motivates you the most to get away from has a magnetic force that continues to pull you back to it. Imagine that your fear is a wall, and you tie a bungee rope from the wall to your back. You fear the wall so you use all of your energy to get away from it, but the further you get away the more of a pull you can feel on your back. Eventually, there is a tipping point where you are far enough away from the wall that the fear becomes insignificant but the force of the pull from the bungee becomes overwhelming and pulls you straight back towards the wall. You then must start all over again.

This same shape can be displayed as a sine curve on a graph:

In this example, where poverty is used as the fear, you can see that the further away you get, the more likelihood there is that you will be plummeted straight back in to it. This is caused by the way that you focus your mind. Within your unconscious you are reinforcing the very thing that you are trying to get away from; which in this case is poverty. The unconscious mind does not process negatives, so when you keep repeating ‘I don’t want to be poor’ your unconscious mind is actually translating that in to ‘I want to be poor’, thus pulling you back towards the very thing you are focussing on.

This concept is usually best described in the example of the following statement, ‘Don’t think of a blue elephant’. I know that right at this moment you have visualised a picture of a blue elephant, although I explicitly told you not to. The way the mind works means that you have to think about what you don’t want in order to not do it. What a nuisance.

This is probably the biggest reason why people fail to achieve the goals that they set. They are always focussing on what they want to get away from, so they take success in the short-term only to eventually get dragged straight back to square one.

There is a better way though, and you may have worked this one out already. Switch your target to a point that you are working towards rather than moving away from, this way you will be focussing on what you want. Interestingly, the nearer you get to your goal, the more your motivation will increase. That’s more like it, isn’t it?

Let’s use another example.

Instead of being motivated by getting away from poverty, you are actually motivated by the idea of having enough money to be able to have all that you want, and enough to help other people. Then the more this becomes a reality the more secure you will be in that life, and the more supportive your unconscious mind will be. The graph looks much more like a traditionally successful diagonal line that keeps on going.

However, you can hit problem with this approach to. When you achieve your dreams, where does your motivation go then? This is why it’s important to put measures on your goals so that you know when you have hit them. As you achieve them, you then need to set higher ambitions to keep you motivated and moving towards even higher dreams.

The second model is a much more stable way to achieving continued success, but once again there is a drawback. If your dreams are too far away from your current reality, then the pull from your fears could be too strong, and overpower your desire to reach your goal. So, I recommend a mix between the two. Allow yourself to be motivated initially by getting away from an undesirable state, but when you have moved so far away that it’s become insignificant you can then switch your focus to your dreams and become motivated towards them.

This gives you a much quicker result to achieving greater success, as it speeds up the rate of progression.

In order for you to balance this blend of motivational focus, it is necessary to back it up with the appropriate targets and goals. A coaching programme will ensure that you are concentrating on achieving the most relevant targets at the most optimal time. Motivation is the energy of your dreams; you wouldn’t put diesel in your unleaded tank, so don’t put the wrong motivation in to your dreams either.

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