The other morning a good friend called me and said, “You are so good at “Life Coaching” advice… and I need some”.
Always happy to help a friend I asked, “What seems to be the issue?”
Immediately she blurted, “I can’t get motivated. There are so many things I need to do, like work out, quit smoking, take a yoga class, and I need accountability. Or something. Because I know I need to do these things and I am not doing them”
So I ask, “Who is telling you that you need to do them? And let’s be honest, do you really want to quit smoking right now?”
Her answer, ‘NO!” My reply, “GREAT, because I didn’t think so. So….do you think it’s possible to stop beating yourself up for feeling the need to quit today?” Silence…then a little laughter.
Next question, “Do you want to be lazy?” Another giggle! She confessed: she loves yoga and how good she feels when it is a part of her life. My response, “Awesome! Now, stop telling yourself you NEED to yoga”.
Probably not the answer you would expect, right? So… why?
It’s actually quite simple.
Need = Pressure. Instead of motivating yourself with words of kindness, you are focusing on what you’re not doing, and unintentionally, you are focused on what you believe you are doing wrong. Rather than encouragement, you are telling yourself you aren’t enough. And the last time I checked, people are not inspired by force. We are motivated by love. Because we want something. It speaks to us. So we choose it.
My Advice: Within the next week, IF you want, check out 1 yoga class. If you like it, maybe you will take another one. But please, stop beating yourself up for not having a current practice and instead give yourself a namaste for taking a small step.
Now remember, this is one of my best friends. Not a stranger. Not a client. However, I’d give the same advice no matter what. At the end of our call, she felt like a veil had been lifted off he. Once realizing how hard she was being on herself, she took the rest of the day off as a “Me Day”, which is rare, and thanked me for listening and give great advice.
Think about it: Instead of telling yourself you “need” to work out, eat healthier, save money, etc try saying “I like myself exactly the way I am. Nothing needs to change”. Because guess what… knowing deep down you do want to change…I bet that won’t feel right. And guess what… you might start to think, “well wait a minute, I DO want something to change!” Then, instead of beating yourself up on the NEED to do something, you can shift your self talk and thinking to WANTING to do something. For you. Because is calls you, not as a punishment but rather a means to reach the reward of doing something because you want to! Set realistic goals. Set goals that drive you, not deprive you. Be kind to yourself! Be patient with your growth.
Cheers to the Journey!