The Motivation Trap

The concept of motivation can be an excuse with which to self-sabotage ourselves without realizing it.

The motivation trap

Lack of motivation when it comes to achieving your goals is one of the most frequent obstacles that those who come to consultation complain about. They argue that it is impossible for them to perform certain tasks because they are not willing enough or because they do not feel capable of doing it.

Lack of motivation as an excuse

Normally, these people have previously tried to perform mental exercises such as thinking positive or visualizing what they would like to achieve, obtaining very poor results or simply not obtaining anything, with the consequent frustration after verifying that their expectations have not been met.

And it is that by the mere fact that we think about something, no matter how much we insist, it will not happen. The formula most likely to give us the results we expect is the one whose essential variable is action.

Believing that to do something or to achieve certain goals we must be motivated is based on a wrong and limiting belief. If we think this way, we are delegating our potential achievements to highly volatile factors.

The importance of habits

Maybe one day I wake up with great motivation and another day I won’t appear or expect it. This, like having the desire to do something, depends on many factors, some of our own and others outside of us. I may feel a little headache or my boss is angry and this makes me discouraged for the rest of the day and decides not to go to the gym, or start studying, or go for a walk …

On the other hand, if we observe how our mind works, we will realize that the more times we repeat an activity, the better we will do it. If we practice a little daily with a musical instrument, it is likely that after a few months we will know how to get a melody and in a few years we will be able to play several songs. If we write a little every day, it is more likely that we will progressively get better texts, that we become more and more enthusiastic. If we go to the gym a few times a week for a few months, we may feel better and have stronger muscles.

In all these examples, what happens is that by taking small steps, we have built habits that will later help us achieve more ambitious goals. What if we think that to go to the gym before we must have good muscles, that will seem like an absurd premise?

The key is in the word mentioned above: habits. It is about creating routines in our life that become pillars, stable foundations, that help us, with greater probability, to achieve what we would like to achieve.

We must start from the smallest so that later, almost as a natural consequence, this advance becomes larger achievements. We cannot run a marathon having simply trained a week in our life. We must start from small, affordable goals, and behave as if they were part of our repertoire. A small advance each day creates bigger advances and, as a consequence, the much desired motivation arises in our minds. Without looking for it, without mental exercises, showing ourselves that we are capable of doing it.

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We must strive without forcing ourselves. Striving means making a little force every day, without exhausting ourselves, without getting frustrated. Forcing ourselves would mean doing more than we can. It would be wanting to achieve the goal without the process, which would lead us to generate false hopes that would lead us back to the starting box, definitely moving away our motivation. And here lies the paradox. If we insist that what we are trying to achieve arise spontaneously, the less likely it will come to us. However, when we focus on the process, on changing little things, unlocking occurs.

The change in our behavior leads us to a change in our perception, in the way we feel.

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