Motivation is a funny thing isn’t it? 🤷♀️Sometimes we have it, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we think we have it but actually don’t. Sometimes we think people motivate us but they actually just make us feel less worthy or not good enough (sound familiar?)
It’s difficult to find motivation if we don’t understand the psychology of it...
INTRINSIC - motivation that comes from within ourselves (our WHY). EXTRINSIC - motivation we seek from somewhere or someone else.
When you are EXTRINSICALLY motivated you will float in and out of feeling ‘motivated’ and when it ends (which it will) you’ll be left feeling the same as before. However, if you are INTRINSICALLY motivated you will never give up because you have a powerful driving force coming from within. A fire in your belly that won’t let you quit.
Strive to build that intrinsic motivation by finding your WHY.
WHY did you start? What was your driving force back then and what is it now?
I am intrinsically motivated (in every aspect of my life) because I love what I do and am truly passionate about it. That gives me a driving force every single day to continue what I do even when it gets tough and I want to quit. I love my life and am proud of everything I have achieved so far and I want you to feel the same about your life. It takes time but you can learn to become intrinsically motivated too and achieve whatever you want. The first thing you need to do though is find you WHY.
I want you to sit down and think really hard about why you are doing whatever you're doing. And I'm not just talking about fitness here it could be anything; your business/career/relationship etc. Why are you doing what you're doing?
If we take the example of someone's fitness journey. I always ask my clients what their main goal is. Usually it will be 'weight loss' related (I put this in inverted commas because I think the term 'weight' is redundant and what women tend to actually mean is fat loss - but that's a whole other blog!) Saying you want to ‘lose weight’ is the most generic ‘goal’ yet I hear it everyday. So when they tell me they want to lose weight/fat and tone up I ask them why.
- Why do you want to weigh less?
- Why do you want to lose body fat?
- What will happen once you do?
- What is your motivation to do this?
A lot of the time women will answer with 'I'm going on holiday' or 'I'm getting married' or 'I have a party coming up'. So this is when I really start to question them and get them to dig deep. Of course wanting to lose weight to look good is an achievable goal but I always encourage my clients to look at the bigger picture. When they tell me they want to lose weight to fit into a bikini/dress/certain outfit a lot of the time what they really mean (which they may not even realise) is they are worried what other people will think of them in that certain outfit. As humans we are apprehensive to being judged. It's not a nice feeling. So we try to avoid it where possible by fitting into society standards. Right? So really the issue here is not weight loss but in actual fact a lack self-love and body confidence. Losing weight will not change how you feel about yourself. Dropping a dress size will not suddenly make you feel fulfilled and happy. Becoming a smaller person will not improve your life or your job or our relationships. But changing your mindset will.
So an example of a strong why may be, you want to be able to run around with your children without getting so out of breathe. Or feel confident within yourself because you have low self-esteem. Dig deep and get specific! Your ‘why’ gets you through those early morning gym sessions when you’d rather stay snuggled in bed. It gets you through those evenings when all you want to do is order takeaway and be a slug. It gets you through ALL those tough times when your mind starts to play tricks on you and self doubt starts to creep in. If your ‘why’ isn’t strong enough then it’s all too easy to give up...don’t make it easy.
If we are only extrinsically motivated that means our why is for someone or something else. "Motivation is like a fire within. If someone else tries to light that fire underneath you, it will burn briefly". You have to be your own driving force. You have to be your own motivation, your own reason why you will not give up. If you are doing it for someone else then you will give up because you will get sick of never being enough. You are already enough.