You may find yourself wondering why I’ve taken this stance on something that many times changes people lives. Something you often look for and something people build careers around.
Let’s rewind a bit first.
When we talk about motivation we often leave out the reason why people search for it. The reason they pay others to help them move forward in life and the reason so many other capitalize on its allure.
People have a hard time changing their behaviors on their own. Period.
Personal behavior is sculpted by comfort and fear. The comfort of knowing that you don’t have to get your ass off the couch to get in shape because your work doesn’t require you to be physically fit and your significant other doesn’t mind either. The fear stems from the unknown or the thought of pain an failure.
Why in the world would you sign up for a new exercise class or martial arts program to get in shape? Its going to be painful and there is a really good chance that you’re going to get embarrassed or even worse, fail!
But then you see a video online. This video really speaks to you. The antagonist is someone relatable to you. Someone that makes you think “If they can do it, then I can too” and as you watch the video the music pulls you in along with the message.
You step back from the computer and make a choice to begin to do something. Get fit, learn a new language, play an instrument, whatever.
The fire for your new passion is hot and starts strong with a declaration.
“Monday, I start!”
But RIGHT THERE is the problem. Already you put it off so you can stay comfortable for the moment. You don’t have to do anything right now and you certainly don’t have to tell anyone about it because then they’ll know when you don’t follow through.
So far, it’s a plan that is destined to fail but you don’t know it yet.
Monday morning rolls around and your desire to tackle this new endeavor is on fire but after a few days the excuses and rationalization begin to win you over and make you feel better about putting it off for just a little bit more. What’s one more day right? BS!
This is where motivation fails us all because its an exterior force creating an false emotion. There is nothing coming from within.
So where do we start?
Here’s my advice and something I’ve used to help me personally and professionally.
Step 1. Look in the mirror. Literally. Stand in front of a mirror and stare at yourself. Out loud tell yourself the things you feel but allow your mind to suppress. “I don’t like when you…” “You’re overweight and must lose weight.” “You don’t treat others the way you expect others to treat you and you know it.” Stop lying to yourself.”
The fact is you need to be honest with yourself. If there is one person you need to be honest with first in life its yourself because if you can’t do that then everything you stand for is build on a bed of loose sand. Its going to crumble.
This conversation with yourself should be tough, honest and maybe even harsh but the point is to make you create an actual behavioral change from within. Not something that’s going to last a few days that was stirred up by some YouTube video.
Step 2. When you make this decision to make a change it must start then and there. Not tomorrow. Not Monday.
There needs to be commitment and the best way to do that is with a proverbial line in the sand that challenges you to cross it now because no one is going to push you over it but you.
Step 3. Tell someone. Or, heck, tell everyone. Put it on social media. Make a declaration to the world and put yourself in a position of accountability for once. This will help you to make a deliberate behavior change because of the external force of pressure and support.
If you’re reading this you might feel a little offended or overly sensitive. That means it struck a chord, hit a nerve that has been floating around your mind like a live wire for God knows how long. This means its time.
Take a few minutes and find yourself some privacy and a mirror and go have that conversation with yourself now. Then when you come back you’ll be ready for step two and the rest of this journey towards the things you desire and the new you.
Remember, nothing changes if you don’t but everything in life will level up when you make a choice to change your behaviors and become that person you wish you were in your mind.
Fearless, uncommon among the common, adventurous, understanding, patient, artistic, thoughtful, loving or athletic enough to turn the head of the Navy Seals.
It’s all up to you and what you decide right now.