Years ago, I was really into reading self-help books and listening to motivational speakers. If you think I’m getting ready to defame this industry, you’re wrong. I still carry with me many of the tenets I learned in these books and from the various speakers. I will say this though…everything has its place in time.
There came a point where this stuff fell flat for me. It just ceased to work. I chased that high I had for so many years but it seemed to keep getting away from me.
I eventually realized that for me (and maybe for you too) self-help books and motivational speaking did three things:
- Dealt primarily with the conscious mind (thoughts we are aware of)
- Condemned unproductive behaviors
- Resulted in feelings of guilt if I failed to stay on course
So, something that was inherently good became the source of bitterness, resentment, and shame. And this was because I believed my failure meant I was…A FAILURE.
What I’m about to say next should not come as a surprise to those who have been keeping up with the blog. The end of this road coincided with the biggest most earth shattering break-through I’ve experienced to date…accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Once this happened and I began to deal with the root of my issues, the light bulb went off. All along, I was trying desperately to alter my behavior, but the challenge was that my behaviors were symptoms of larger, deeper issues.
I think it’s only fair that I say motivational speaking in and of itself is not bad. If you tune into the right speaker, their message may even change your life, but if you have junk swirling around deep within that you’ve not dealt with, it can do more harm than good.
And now I’m going to let you in on a secret…motivation alone is not sustainable because it’s nothing without action. Better yet, it’s nothing without consistent action.
You can have all the motivation in the world and be completely ineffective and fruitless. On it’s best day, motivation is no match for the resistance we have within. This is where dealing with my crap has been the most useful in the pursuit of my lofty goals. When that negative inner voice rises up to tell me what I am and what I am not, I am able to counteract those statements with truth. This dialogue sounds something like this,
Negative Voice: “How are you going to coach other people to be their best selves when you don’t even know how to have a relationship with your mother?”
My Truth Statement: “You have a point, I haven’t quite mastered my relationship with my mom but it’s the healthiest it’s ever been and I continue to work at it. Which is why I am able to help others to realistically address the issues in their lives and learn to embrace a new normal.”
See, prior to me doing the work and going through my journey of healing, I would have been completely defeated by that type of statement. And so any motivation I had would have been deflated.
Here are three things you can do today to become more productive:
- Get to the root of what has you stuck and address it
- Develop meaningful truth statements
- Take action CONSISTENTLY