Inspiration beats Motivation!
Written by Pamela Carvell, February 2018.
How often do you feel that you just can’t motivate yourself to do something? You want to do it, it’s on your ‘To Do’ list and you know you will feel better and get a great sense of satisfaction if you do. So, what is stopping you? Why does telling yourself to do it simply not work? You may have even written yourself a great list of goals at the start of the year, and cleverly mapped out all the actions you need to take. But, you still can’t motivate yourself. You are telling yourself ‘I must do it!’ or ‘I need to do it!’ or ‘I have to do it!’ or ‘I’ve got to do it!’ or even ‘I want to do it!’.
Why is this happening?
Well, in my experience, it’s because you are trying to motivate yourself, when what you really need is to inspire yourself. In NLP terms there is a huge difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is something you are trying to ‘do’ to yourself or ‘give’ yourself, whereas inspiration comes from within you, and as such is far more powerful.
To do anything, you have to want to do it. That may be because of the negative repercussions if you don’t, for example you go to work on time because you don’t want to lose your job, you pay your utility bills on time because you don’t want them cut off! In such cases we can clearly see in our minds the repercussions, and they are things that we don’t want to happen. Our survival is very much geared to ensuring that we do those things that avoid us suffering in some way. These are things that we need little motivation to do. The challenge comes with those things in our lives where we are trying to realise our dreams, create a happier, healthier, wealthier future for ourselves and make some very significant changes to our lives and the way we lead them. It is with such challenges that inspiration is needed.
Inspiration is about seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting & smelling so powerfully in your mind the lifestyle or dreams that you want to achieve, that the thoughts of it fill you with excitement (and possibly some apprehension) from head to toe. And as long as you hold onto that vision and those feelings, and keep running that movie in your mind, you will feel the inspiration to take the right actions to make your dreams and goals reality.
Good Goals vs Poor Goals
This is part of the reason why goals should be expressed in a positive way i.e. something you want to move towards, rather than in a negative way i.e. something you are moving away from. As an example, a ‘poor’ goal is ‘to lose weight’. How are you going to visualise that? As a lump of fat the size of the weight you want to lose?? How will that inspire you? And how will that help you when you are next faced with your favourite high-calorie treat? A ‘good’ goal is ‘to become a size 12’ or ‘to fit into those jeans I bought last summer’. With both of these goals you can create a very powerful visualisation of how you will look and feel when you have achieved them.
Similarly, a ‘poor’ goal is giving up alcohol, sugar, crisps, sweets, fizzy drinks etc, because your thoughts focus on the very thing that you are trying to give up! And, believe it or not ‘starting my own business’ is a poor goal too, but for slightly different reasons. It is relatively simple to start a business: you have an idea, you register a company name and url, you set up a website or Facebook Page, get some business cards printed and get yourself some stock (if your business is about products). Visualising yourself ‘starting your own business’ is precisely what it says! Typically, what most people really want is ‘to set up and run my own business so that I can pay the mortgage, buy a nice car, take my family on holiday, have no financial worries and feel a great sense of achievement’. Do you see the difference? With the second one you can visualise the lifestyle you want and be totally inspired by your desire to achieve it.
Similarly, if you want to fit into those jeans, if you keep thinking about how fab you will look and feel in them, and what people will say to you, (never mind what you will be saying to yourself!) you can be totally inspired by that image.
It’s the same with any personal or business goal. If you keep seeing the positive outcome in your mind, keep thinking about it and keep wanting it more and more, it will increasingly dominate your thoughts. It will eventually become deeply engrained in your subconscious mind. So, when you’re faced with temptation of some kind, your subconscious mind will see that it won’t help you achieve your long-term goal, and will inspire you to make the right choice.
So, in simple terms, if you want to achieve something, keep thinking about the positive outcome as much as you can. Imagine what it will feel like, look like & even sound like. Keep running the movie in your mind and make all the images as large and as bright as you can, and the sounds as crisp and loud as you can, and the details as vivid as you can. Imagine yourself in the image or movie, and imagine how truly wonderful it will feel. Never tire of running this movie, especially as you fall asleep at night. And then notice how relatively easy it becomes to make the right decisions and choices in your daily life. This is driven by your subconscious mind, identifying the right opportunities to make your dream a reality, and rejecting those that won’t. It is this type of imagery and inspiration that drives most successful sportspeople and athletes. Often from an early age they have dreamed of winning that gold medal, playing in the cup final or being the world’s best, and it is that kind of imagery that has kept them focussed, dedicated and inspired. And it is easy for you to do the same too!
Written by Pamela Carvell, February 2018.
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