Last week, the focus was on looking at what we want and asking why we want it. The goal was to create a strong enough why, the reason for action, which again, is really all motivation is. Acknowledging that motivation often becomes more complicated, I want to start looking at the many ways that our motivation can get blocked, leaving us stuck and not moving towards our goals.
Let's keep it simple - if you cannot get yourself motivated enough to do the things you need to do, in order to have the life you want there must be reasons why and I suggest that it is simply because there is something in it for you if you don't take action. Truth does set us free, but the truth about ourselves can be painful to acknowledge. Let's look at this more carefully...
First of all, in order to have what we want, we have to give up something. Here is where we get stuck. We have to give up something we have attached value to and we end up have opposing desires! So what could some of the things be that we might have to give up? Well, it could be a very long list but here are some examples:
- free time. In order to accomplish what we want to, we may have to give up some of our free time. Given that many people feel they have too little of this as it is, the thought of losing more is painful. The result? Our motivation starts to dissipate.
- time allocated to other things. We may not be required to give up free time, but time we spend doing something we like or something we feel we need to do.
- safety. Going for our dreams will require us to take risks and if we value safety and security, we will have a strong opposing desire.
- money. Achieving our dreams may require us to invest money on tools, supplies, education, marketing materials such as business cards and a website. We value money and if we are afraid to invest it in something that may not pay off, we end up stuck.
- your self image. Perhaps you are afraid that you will fail and you would rather not have to deal with this. Instead, you protect yourself - you don't move forward but then again, you won't look foolish either.
- self pity. Ouch. Yes we can become so addicted to our 'poor me' image and so comfortable with our excuses that we don't really want to step out to experience ourselves as strong and capable.
- passivity. If you are a person that doesn't feel comfortable taking responsibility and being in charge of things then taking charge of your life and being responsible for making your dreams come true isn't something that you will relish doing. It can be easy to drift into a passive life where decisions are made by others and we just go with the flow. Perhaps staying passive means you choose not to make decisions that might upset certain people in your life. Not everyone will stand up and cheer when you decide to claim your life and avoiding this unpleasantness keeps many people blocked.
- being an expert. Perhaps you are comfortable right where you are because you are good at what you currently do. You have invested time and energy in being able to do certain things very well. In order to step out into something new, you will have to go through a time when you are a newbie. If we are not comfortable being a beginner, you will hesitate to move forward. If you compare yourself to others, people who do what you want to do and who do it well, you can become discouraged and defeated before you even get a chance at achieving mastery.
- your current knowledge level. This is linked to the previous one. In order to grow we need to learn and many people strongly resist learning new things. To give up your current knowledge level and to acquire new knowledge, you will have to commit to learning new skills and techniques. Many people feel uncomfortable when they have to learn new things and this could become a significant block to moving forward.
- your current level of effort. To achieve our dreams requires effort and honestly, most of us are just not too keen on working really hard. Perhaps you feel you work hard already at your day job, raising your kids, managing a home. You know that you will have to work even harder if you decide to go after your desires and maybe the idea of this is so unpleasant you find you can't get motivated to do what you need to do.
Do any of these apply to you and your current situation in life? I suggest you take some time this week to really ask yourself some difficult questions. Look at your list of desires. What have you identified as something you really would like to have in your life? Now ask yourself, what might be in it for you if you didn't go for it...write your thought down if it helps. I'm writing a blog post, not a book, so obviously there are things that might be blocking you that are not on the short list above. Try to identify what your particular blocks might be. And don't get discouraged! Just because you have allowed certain things to stop you from moving forward in the past, you can change.
Next week I will start giving you some ideas on how you can break free from these blocks...remember, this isn't rocket science, all you probably need is a few lightbulb moments. Once truth is exposed we can start getting a handle on how to create a new truth for ourselves! So please, I repeat, don't get discouraged. Recognizing all the things we have placed value on, that have been blocking us from having the life we want, can be an overwhelming revelation. Allow me to encourage you - yes this is painful but then so is staying stuck and freedom is just around the corner. Once you know what your blocks are, you can start create strategies to overcome them. See you next week!