I believe we are all motivated by something or another. It is said we each have a natural tendency to be motivated in one of two ways: either towards something pleasurable for us or away from something that’s painful.
I’ve noticed that if I have someone visiting me I’m motivated to getting the house in order.
If I have a meeting to attend I’m motivated to getting done whatever I need to prepare for that meeting. I may run out of time. The quality may not always be what it should. But I have a good stab at getting things done.
If I’m criticised by someone about something I’ve not done I feel shamed into action.
On the positive side, if I’m faced with a project that’s exciting, challenging and uplifting in just the right measure for me, and I decide I want to do a great job or reach a certain level of attainment, I’m also motivated to take action – and I often produce good results in this instance.
I have to feel I can achieve, and achieve fairly easily. If I feel in any way overwhelmed I’ll be demotivated.
So I suppose the question is how can you turn that which is painful for you into something that appears more pleasurable?
1. Can you change the image you have in your head of that thing you don’t want to do? For instance if the image is of pushing a boulder up a hill, could you change the image so that it becomes a pebble being kicked along the ground? Does this change the way you feel about what it is you’re tackling? If so how?
2. Can you focus on how you’ll feel once you’ve done what you’re dreading? If you keep the end in mind all the time and focus on that feeling of satisfaction this can be a big motivator
3. Can you outline to yourself the benefits (pros) of doing what you don’t want to do? Could you devise a pros and cons grid, where the pros are positively encouraging you to act, and the cons are spurring you into action to avoid the discomfort of not doing?
4. Can you break down the project or task into smaller activities that you schedule in to complete over time? We don’t always have to do everything in one go – and if we attempt to do so, it can at times feel quite overwhelming.
5. Could you imagine the worst-case scenario for yourself if you don’t complete your project or task, and allow this to push you into action?
6. Could you in some way hold yourself accountable by sharing your objectives with others whom you trust? Can you do a deal with someone: I’ll stop smoking if you stop drinking?
7. Can you think of 3 instances where you felt completely demotivated to do something but did it anyway and felt great afterwards? What did you do to get yourself to move in the direction of your project or task? Can you replicate that for this current activity?
8. Could you give yourself a challenging time limit that’ll spur you on? Can you make it a race against time? Setting challenging but realistic time limits can help to increase not only your focus but also your overall speed.
9. Could you reduce the amount of time you spend on the project you don’t want to tackle (even if you spend just five minutes in the first instance you will have done something – even if it’s just to think about the project for five minutes)?
10. Could you delegate the project/task (or part of it)? This could free you up to do the stuff you’re best at. Does it make sense for you to do it? Are you the best person for the job? Be honest! If it’s going to take you a week to do something you dislike that someone else could do in a day and enjoy, maybe it’s time to delegate.
Carmen Gilfillan is the founder of Stimulus Development & Training. Stimulus is dedicated to helping people raise their game, fulfil their potential and and live their best lives. We do this through Life & Wellness Coaching, Energy Therapy consultations and training in the areas of personal, professional and spiritual growth. Check out our website at
http://www.stimulus.uk.com”>http://www.stimulus.uk.com to book a coaching or Energy Therapy consultation.