When you think about reaching your goal, what is your motivation to get there? Is it the excitement from the future possibilities? Or is it fear of not making it? Or desperation to avoid the shame of your goal not coming to fruition?
In this episode, we’re talking about the different types of motivation you can use to compel yourself to take action on your goals. Specifically, we will be going into how you’ve probably been using anti-inspirational motivation and why you should look for a more-sustainable motivation instead.
Ego driven motivation VS Higher Self Motivation
A quote from a book by David J. Liberman called You Can Read Anyone explains the difference between Ego, Higher Self (that he calls “soul”), and Body in a concise way. It goes, “The soul seeks to do what is right, the ego wants to be right, and the body wants to escape from it all.”
I think of the “body” as your subconscious mind, or what traits you have in your DNA from evolution. It’s the reaction parts of you: like pulling your hand away from a hot oven, or your sense when someone is watching you, etc. These are traits that you have to help keep you safe from physical harm, but unfortunately, many people take these same traits into their potential and future. Your body is driven to do what it thinks is best for you and falls in line with the part of you that you give attention to more: either your ego or higher self. It’s like your subconscious has a fork in the road in terms of how it decides to act, and if you don’t train your brain or manage your mind, odds are, your body takes the “ego” path.
This doesn’t mean you’re egotistical, like arrogant.
More like, if you’ve had a lot of practice telling yourself you’re not smart enough to do something, your ego wants to be right. If you give more attention to the ego than your higher self (a.k.a. the future version of you that embodies and exemplifies the qualities about yourself that you respect), then your ego will find reasons to be right.
Merriam-Webster defines ego as “[viewing] the self, especially as contrasted with another self or the world.”
Someone telling themselves they aren’t smart enough to start their own business isn’t someone that you’d call egotistical in the colloquial sense. But, it is their ego that drives them to make that statement a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You can tell your motivation is driven by your ego when it depends on someone or something outside of you to stay sustained. Like, if you have a goal to get promoted at work, and your motivation is the accolades you’ll get from your boss/peers when you get it. This is an example of an ego-based motivation. It depends on how other people will act when you accomplish your goal.
Ego-based motivation is not sustainable; it will fizzle out if there isn’t enough fuel (like new things, compliments, etc.) to keep it going.
Reaching for positive results lifts, Anti- Inspirational Motivation adds weight.
When you’re inspired, you become lifted, like your life is more expansive. Inspiration is an emotion with a much higher vibration. You can see this on the Hawkins Scale (or the Scale of Consciousness). While Inspiration itself isn’t on the scale, you can see where it would be.
I like to think of being inspired, illuminated, enlightened, etc., like shedding off anything that doesn’t serve you to make room for something that does. For example, you do this because you see a better option or a better possibility in the future. You expand your vision for what’s possible for you, and probably even feel your chest open, too. When you’re like this, you’re open to new ideas, and you’re actively looking for creative ways to get to where you want to go. Your motivation and drive are MUCH more effortless than if you were to try and force it.
But let’s talk about the some of opposite.
Fear is an emotion that makes you contract. It restricts your sight for future possibilities and is very “low vibe”. Even in a physical sense, when your body is experiencing fear, your shoulders cave in. You’re restricted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet, so many use fear of losing something or fear of something going wrong as the motivation to keep them going.
This fear-based motivation isn’t sustainable either. Fear pulls you down to keep you “safe,” to keep you in what you know, what you’ve done before because it’s more comfortable. Even if it’s something you hate, it’s more comfortable because it’s something familiar.
Like opting NOT to speak up at a Monday morning work meeting about something that bothers you because you know that if you stay quiet, things won’t change. So, you stay comfortably uncomfortable for fear of things getting worse. Or another example would be your motivation to get a promotion at work is because you’re fearful that your company will make cuts, and you don’t want to lose your job.
This type of fear-based motivation doesn’t keep you going for long because it’s hard to carry. It’s like adding more weight to your shoulders. You have to look over your shoulder for the “other shoe to drop“. Eventually, all that extra weight on your shoulders will wear you down, and if you force yourself to keep going despite being worn down, you’ll hit burnout.
Negative thoughts/beliefs + negative emotions X negatively fueled action ≠ positive result.
So, if you’re wondering what to do instead, let’s get into it.
Measure your success by your satisfaction first, THEN the results.
When it comes to your goals, who they affect, and your motivation, you are the common denominator. You have to enjoy what you’re doing, or at least feel good about it, or you’ll lose the motivation to keep going. This happens regardless of if your results exceed your goals or not.
Like, if you’re miserable in the way that you make money, it doesn’t matter if you have millions of dollars from it; your motivation to keep going will eventually fizzle.
Your results may also take some time to happen, especially if it requires you to do something you’ve never done. Your motivation between now and then needs to keep you lifted even when the result is nowhere in sight.
The Big Picture
It’s all too easy to prioritize things like stability, being liked, and material things when you feel the pressures of everyday pile up. However, your higher self, ego, and body are at odds; your higher self needs you to prioritize goals and the parts of you that may take time and will take your attention and priority.
When you’re looking for motivation, make sure you’re not using Anti- Inspirational Motivation. If you focus on true motivation, the burnout will stay at bay!
Recommended Resouces to go with what you learned today
- How to Start Connecting to Your Higher Self — Episode 63 of the Monica Chats podcast
- The Inspiration Desert – How to Find Inspiration Daily — Episode 56 of the Monica Chats podcast
- Secrets to Living Your Purpose Today — Episode 63 of the Monica Chats podcast
- 3 Reasons Why Your Core Values Are the Secret to Self Confidence — Episode 32 of the Monica Chats podcast
- What If/Should Whiplash: Letting go of Fear and Shame — Episode 33 of the Monica Chats podcast