January 30, 2023 by Dymphna

T-Bomb: Motivation – the gentle way

Truth Bomb Tuesday: Motivation doesn’t need to be so hard.

You can only get so far with hating yourself.

And look, hating yourself does work.

You can get results. You can train your inner monologue to yell at yourself every time the alarm goes off, “Get up you worthless worm. Why don’t you make something of your life for once.”

And that might get you up and going.

Or you might say, “You’ve got no talent and no intelligence. That’s why you need to study. Put the TV remote down and hit the books, you dumb piece of garbage.”

Again. That might get you up and going.

But how much mileage can you really get out of that strategy?

Because that kind of treatment breeds resentment. You’re going to start hating that part of yourself. And that creates inner-conflict. And inner conflict creates drama that can show up in weird places and weird ways.

But when people think about self-discipline they immediately imagine we’re talking about being very strict and harsh with yourself.

But that’s only because we’re still trying to develop new models of discipline. We’re still weighed down with the baggage of the old school-master type of discipline. A mean man with a big stick ready to give you a belting.

It’s a discipline rooted in fear.

But I think we are, and we need to, move to a new model of discipline. One rooted in love.

Because discipline has nothing to do with fear and pain. Discipline is just the consistent ability to do the hard things success requires.

And what that means is that when we are trying to motivate ourselves into doing something hard – like getting up an hour earlier or something – it is possible that that can come from a place of love.

Imagine a motherly figure (not that there’s any reason it needs to be feminine) saying, “hey, I want to wake you up early to show you the best hours of the day and give you the opportunity to hit the day in a fresh and empowered way.”

We’re still motivating ourselves towards doing something hard, but we’re focusing on the positives – on the beautiful things our efforts will create.

I believe this is just as effective as motivating yourself through fear and self-judgement.

With! With the added bonus that we’re developing a kinder, more loving relationship with ourselves.

But – and this is the big but – it’s harder. Because to motivate through love we need to do that work and have that conversation with ourselves. We need to identify what our efforts will enable. We need to connect those efforts with our higher aspirations for ourselves. We need to frame it a way that we connect with.

It’s just so much easier to yell at ourselves and call ourselves stupid.

Motivation through love is more work.

But it’s work that is so worth doing.

You can still get results. You can still get things done.

But you get to enjoy life too.