motivation Archives - Life Coach Library

Master Motivation in 6 Simple Steps

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

The most outstanding characteristic of successful people is the ability to set goals and take action to achieve them. Everyone can do both. Where many fall short is not in setting goals but taking the disciplined and sustained action needed for success.

Why??? Could it be people often go about tapping into the kind of deep motivation that will fuel the process from start to finish completely wrong? They muster up enthusiasm, will-power and determination and intensely focus on the “outside” stuff that must be controlled to produce desired outcomes.

While this may work for some people all the time, and all people some of the time, most people cannot sustain this and go the distance, and they repeatedly come up short. It’s like swimming upstream or running against the wind. So much energy is exerted yet eventually their enthusiasm peters-out and they are simply tired. What’s worse – not only is goal not met, but feelings of failure creep in to wreak havoc and leave them even less motivated than before.

Here are 6 strategies to boost motivation and jump start success today!

1. Create a crystal-clear vision: You must know what you really, really, really want and why you want it, or you cannot achieve it. First, think of a goal and imagine you already have it. Take a few moments to really let yourself experience what it will be like when you get there. Try to involve all 5 senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell). When you have a crystal-clear vision of what you want, you can begin to lean into that goal as if it has already been achieved and act the part.

For example: You want change careers and become a teacher.

  • See yourself walking through crowded hallways to a classroom; visualize how your classroom will be set up;
  • Hear the chatter of students quieting down as the bell rings. Hear yourself ask a probing question and engaging students in discussion.
  • Feel the dust of dry erase marker on the whiteboard; the stack of papers you are collecting for review. Feel the sense of satisfaction you have when you see progress.
  • Smell the fresh make-up and mix of perfumes from blossoming high school girls or the construction paper and glue for elementary students’ activities.
  • Taste the coffee you’ll sip in your classroom while planning (I do not recommend imagining the awful cafeteria lunches that hopefully you’ll never have to eat 😊)

2. Know why you want it. Go at least 3 deep in asking yourself why. The answers can be extrinsic (money, schedule) or intrinsic (pride, satisfaction):

  • Why do you want to teach? There’s a shortage of teachers and I like helping people.
  • Why do you like helping others? I’m good at finding what makes people tick and it feels good to help them.
  • What feels good about it? Deep connection with others it what makes me feel alive.

When you uncover your reason behind your reason, you are uncovering gold! Within the deeper reason is what your true motivation and passion are and identify a true purpose.

Ever notice how most people perform better under pressure? It’s because deadlines (or whatever is causing that pressure) give them a sense of purpose. That’s why people go on diets before big events, clean their house best before company arrives, save more money when they have something specific they want to buy. Acting deliberate and with a sense of purpose will keep you fired up, especially when the unexpected comes up.

3. Write your own eulogy: Yes, you read that correctly. As morbid as that sounds, many a great motivational speaker and writer suggest doing this. I have done it myself and must agree. None of us are here forever and beginning with the end in mind will help you to truly define what who you want to be and what you want to do.

Imagine those last few minutes where you are looking back on your life like you are watching a movie about yourself. What kind of person were you? What did you accomplish? What did you not accomplish that you wish you did? What is the one thing you will be most remembered for?

Using this insight, work backward. Make a plan that you can start today that will, over time, get your life aligned with to how you want the story to read. What is the smallest first step (see #4) you can take right now? What get’s in the way of you taking it? Are you afraid?

Everyone has some fear. You’re not human if you don’t. but fear shouldn’t run your life. Instead, run to what you fear, it’s never as bad as you imagine and on the other side of that fear is what you really want. Just the act of doing something you’re afraid of is empowering and creates confidence which is where success lives.

General George S. Patton is often quoted in saying “Fear kills more often than death!” You only die once, but fear kills you every time you give in to it!

4. Do one thing daily that is out of your comfort zone. If you want to lose 20 pounds but feel stuck, don’t lie to yourself in thinking if you can’t stick to the perfect diet and exercise routine, it’s not worth trying! Pass on one snack that you usually have or do just 5 minutes more exercise than your daily average.

Focusing on everything needed to reach the end goal is often overwhelming and leads to greater procrastination. Even the smallest step is a step and doing something small today will get you much closer to goal than thinking about big steps for weeks, months, or years without action. Give yourself credit for even the small victories, as feeling successful will create more energy and motivation to do more things that lead to success.

Don’t be a perfectionist. To some, perfectionism seems virtuous, but it can be self-sabotaging in so many ways. Perfectionists are almost never satisfied and

usually rob themselves of feeling joy with their accomplishments. Don’t let this be you.

Lastly, how you act is who you become. Doing one thing daily that is in line with your goal is how you become the person you want to be and achieve your goals.

5. Never be the smartest or most ambitious person you know. Surround yourself with winners:

People who are optimistic and positive thinkers are not only the most pleasant to be around, they are typically more creative, inspiring, and successful. When you’re looking for ideas and influences to keep you moving forward, you must draw on something bigger than yourself. Open yourself up to new ideas through other people who have what you want to achieve. Even if you don’t use their ideas, they may inspire your own creative genius. Have a friend or mentor or a life-coach who will help you come up with winning strategies and keep you honest and accountable. You must do it yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone.

If you’re surrounded by pessimists and cynics, you’re in a toxic environment and nothing extraordinary comes from toxicity. If you can’t lose them completely, keep a strong network of positive thinkers to help you stay on track.

6. Live in the NOW. It’s the only place real happiness can exist.

Yesterday is gone. Realistically, your memories of it are probably either full of guilt or nostalgia.

Tomorrow isn’t here. If you’re living in tomorrow, you’re either worrying about things you can’t control, or you could be confusing hope with discontent.

If you’re not happy NOW, you won’t be “when…” Hoping for something better means something is missing now and truth is when happiness depends on something outside of NOW, it only lasts for 20 minutes and then you’ll focus on the next think you need to be happy.

If you’re not happy now, try a gratitude list. No matter what life is handing you, if you’re sitting upright and reading this you likely have something to be grateful for. Read: Gratitude for Happiness.

Final thoughts:

These are just a handful of ways you can take control of your inner voice and get the motivation juices flowing. There are countless others, the key is finding what works for you. Wanting to achieve a goal is fruitless if youre not willing to make a change that includes action.

These strategies are ones I’ve learned over 30 years of passionately pursuing personal growth. In that time, I have read dozens of self-help books that have inspired core-level changes in my thinking. It’s not possible to credit every book and author that may have influenced this post but I’d like to shout out big thanks to Dr. Joe Vitali, Steve Covey, Steve Chandler, Tom Hoobyar, Susan Sanders and Tom Dotz, whose written works truly are the motivation behind this post.

If you’re still not sure if coaching is right for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Self-Talk! Lose the negative and bring in the positive!

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

It’s true we all experience negativity in our lives. One day you’re in a great mood until you talk to that one friend or family member that always manages to bring you down. They may have been well intentioned, but they were just so negative it was an energy-suck. You may have even been that person a time or two, possibly thinking you were being helpful or cautious.

The average human has about 48 thoughts per minute. Only 6-8 of them are conscious and the other 40 or so are running in the background, in our subconscious. That means that almost 80% of your reaction to the world is literally on auto-pilot.

What’s even more alarming is that psychologists say on average 70% of unconscious thoughts are negative or limiting. YIKES! If you’ve ever wondered why you’re just not that happy or feeling stuck, read on….

Here are a few of the most common automatic negative thoughts (ANTS):

1. All or nothing thinking: Everything is black or white. Think of the words always and never. “I always mess things up “ “I never get what I want”. “I never do anything right”, “Nothing is ever good enough” “It’ll never work out”

2. Catastrophic thinking: Fixating on the worst-case scenario. “If I fail, I’ll never recover, and life will be ruined.”

3. Emotional Reasoning and/or Mind Reading: You are so sure of an outcome you actually create it. “I know she won’t go out with so I won’t even talk to her” or “I know he’s mad at me so I just ignored him”.

4. Should-ing on oneself: Feeling guilty or trying to live up to others values. “I should lose weight” “I should have studied more”. While seemingly harmless, should-ing on oneself is based in guilt or shame and keeps us stuck in a cycle of fear. It is not the same as “I want to lose weight” or “Now I’m going to study more seriously”.

5. Labeling: I’m “lazy, stupid, a terrible cook, cheap”.

6. Blaming others: Chronically being the victim; “I would have been ok if you didn’t…” “I am trying but everyone else is…” “This place is just so…”

These are just some of the biggies, but there are countless more. Any inner-talk that is telling you why you can’t do something is a limiting belief or ANT. Not ALL negative thoughts are bad. Some of them keep us safe. The key is to understand which ones are working for you and which ones are not.

The good news is, that once you understand your limiting beliefs, you don’t have to allow this negativity to rule your life! We all have a choice to either run on auto-pilot or consciously choose to boost positive thinking. The question is, do you have a true desire and willingness to look inside to improve yourself?

Have you noticed how much more energizing it is to be around positive people than negative? Negative people leave you feeling tired and depleted. Positive thinking not only feels better emotionally, it creates endorphins in the brain that make you feel better physically and open you up for bigger possibilities and creativity. Building confidence and self-esteem.

You can turn the negative thoughts that no longer serve you into positive ones that do! And, changing the way you think will change your life! Here is a practical approach to practice:

1. Awareness is the stepping stone: You can’t change anything until you know what it is you want to change. Practice thought awareness. One way to start is to pay attention to your body’s cues. How do you breathe when you have certain thoughts? What thoughts make you feel anxious? Laugh? If you want something badly, and the first thoughts you have feel depressing or give you a feeling of angst PAY ATTENTION. They are likely limiting beliefs and probably distorted lies! Listen to the “inner-voice” that is telling you why something isn’t possible. Try and figure out who is telling you that your idea isn’t good. Is it you? A friend or family member? Maybe a teacher or boss?

Try journaling. Writing down your thoughts without judgement is a great way to go deeper into them. Often when we uncover one thought we become aware of two or three more that are running behind it. Try this until you feel sure you have gotten to the “core” of the belief. This may be going back years in your life. Our childhood experiences dramatically shape our world view. What served us as children may not necessarily work for us as adults.

2. Is it really true? Does it always (or never) happen this way? Really? If it was true in the past, is it really still relevant? Who or what situations have defied this lie?

3. Consciously choose a better thought. You do have a choice. Decide on a moment-to-moment basis that you are going to stay aligned with happy and cheerful thoughts. This works better when you state them positively. Don’t tell yourself what you’re not going to do (for example: “I will not overeat”). Even if the intention is positive,

it is still a “negative” thought. State this in a positive manner, like “I only eat until I am satisfied”. Believe it or not, thinking positively will create pleasure hormones in your brain which will make you feel happier.

4. Fill up with positive, motivational and inspirational messages and people. There are a bunch of ways to do this: daily affirmations; videos; pod casts; blogs; my personal favorite is guided meditations. Focus on positive thoughts and your mind will begin to recognize and eject the negative ones easily. Surround yourself with positive people and you will naturally become more upbeat.

5. Make a conscious effort to notice how much better positive feels. There is a real domino effect that is going to take place either way. If you stay negative, you will continue to feel more and more negative. When you begin to think positively, you will create more positive situations in your life which will leave you feeling and thinking more positive again.

6. With practice, most people begin to have awareness of the underlying core issues that drive limiting beliefs. It is common to realize our negative and limiting thoughts are rooted in something deeper than the surface. Don’t be afraid of it, it is only a thought. If it feels overwhelming or you just want to connect with someone who is highly charged and positive, life-coaches are trained and experienced at helping people uncover the root causes of limiting beliefs and overcoming them.

7. If you can, minimize negative or toxic relationships – None of us need people in our lives who chronically make us feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes we can step away from them, but other times we can’t. Do your best to detach both physically and emotionally whenever possible. If you can’t remove yourself from negativity you still don’t have to let it drag you down. Try to focus on something that brings you joy.

8. Be true to yourself. We can’t make everyone happy all the time and sometimes we just have to say no. It can be hard, but it is better to say no than to lose yourself and end up resentful.

These are just a few practical suggestions that can help you lose the negative self-talk and replace it with positive thoughts. It is time to say good-bye to limiting beliefs and say hello to empowering thoughts that will enable you to feel truly happy and achieve your dreams! If you have a personal favorite strategy you’d like please share it below or email me directly at wcope@lifecoachlibrary.com.

By Wendy J. Cope – Recovery & Positive-Change Coach

About the author:

I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery I felt really “stuck” and needed to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound.

I felt inspired to become a Positive-Change Coach and later to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients. Hence, I created Life Coach Library. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their businesses is what Life Coach Library is all about.

Education:

I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and Reiki master. I completed my coach certification at Coach Training Alliance and I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning .

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