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  • Writer's pictureBecky Upchurch

You can do it!!!

“I really want to start an exercise habit…but I’m just not motivated to get out of bed in the morning.”

“If I had the motivation, I would totally write that book I’ve always wanted to.”

“I’d love to finally finish that big house project…but I can’t seem to find my motivation.”

“I know I should feel motivated because I really WANT this opportunity…but I just can’t seem to get excited.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you?! I’m willing to bet that at some point, one (or maybe all) of these has gone through your mind…or at least something similar! You see, the idea that we have to find the motivation to chase our goals is one of THE most common misunderstandings I see people have. Because the truth is, motivation isn’t something you either have or you don’t; motivation is something that you CREATE.

Except in very few cases (and let’s be real, most of us are the rule, not the exception), we don’t just spring out of bed feeling naturally motivated the day after we set a goal. More often than not, taking those steps forward feels like a struggle….especially if it’s a goal you’ve had for a while and failed to achieve, if it’s something that feels overwhelming, or if the initial excitement over something has begun to wane. And guess what? That’s FINE! It DOESN’T mean the thing you want isn’t meant for you or that you can’t have it. In fact, it doesn’t even mean you don’t have the ability to go after it.

So what DOES it mean? It means that you have a motivation problem…just not the one you think! You see, you think you are simply LACKING in motivation, but the truth is, you’re just not CREATING any. Because the truth is, motivation isn’t something that exists automatically on its own; it is something we have to CREATE for ourselves by taking action toward what we want. So rather than waiting to take action UNTIL we feel motivated, we must start with action so that motivation will begin. It may sound crazy, but think about the fitness example. You’re exhausted, unmotivated, and not wanting to get out of bed. But then once you decide to take action and just do it, you feel the rush of endorphins and the satisfaction of having done it. That sense of accomplishment then perpetuates a desire to do it again the next day. Then you start to notice that the more consistently you take action toward your goal, the more motivated you are to keep going. Motivation FOLLOWS action.

Now we can’t talk about motivation or what motivates us without also addressing false motivators. These are the things we think we want but that really aren’t based on anything having to do with us. Let’s look at weight loss, which is a SUPER common goal set by women, particularly at the start of a new year.

I know a woman who is CONSTANTLY trying to lose weight. It seems like every few weeks she’s on a new diet, trying some new fitness endeavor, cleanse, or fast, or simply just talking about how much she needs to lose weight or how nothing is working. Yet when she talks about WHY she wants to lose weight she doesn’t seem to have much to say. “I’m sick of being fat.” Okay. “I can’t believe I weigh more than her; I need to lose weight.” Okay. Nothing there tells me what the TRUE motivation is. So it COULD be that she has a personal, meaningful reason for wanting to lose weight…but it could also be that she just thinks it’s what she “should” do because those are the messages she grew up with.

Now I’m not saying she should or shouldn’t want to lose weight, as I believe that is a personal choice, and everyone’s journey is their own. But what I WILL say is that if she’s only doing it because she thinks she should and is therefore just going through the motions with no REAL reason? Then I’m not at all surprised by her lack of results! You see, while I believe our reasons don’t necessarily need to be earth-shattering (although some may disagree), I DO think that we have to have reasons that are connected to US. Otherwise, we are dealing with false motivators…things that APPEAR to be motivation but don’t REALLY have that impact.

For example, losing weight because the other women in your book club are thinner than you may seem like motivation…but it can actually have the opposite impact, particularly if it is coupled with shame. In most cases, it is going to be far less motivating than wanting to lose weight because you love to run and think it may help you to do so faster, for longer distances, and with fewer injuries. See how the first is a false motivation created outside of yourself while the second is connected to something that holds some kind of passion, meaning, or purpose?

So now you know HOW to create motivation and the kind of false motivation you want to avoid. But even when you understand these things, it can be difficult to do it alone. If you’re unsure where to start or what you need, I’d love to help you figure it out and chat about how I might support you. Click here to schedule a free Clarity Call:

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