Raise your hand if you have tried time and time again to change a behavior, only to lose the motivation and drive to continue? Perhaps it was the latest healthy eating fad, the latest and greatest workout, the latest magical meditation, all meant to help you finally ‘lose the weight’. Regardless, you set out with the best of intentions only to drop the ball days or even weeks later.
It is frustrating, isn’t it?
I recently had a client that was challenged by working, two jobs, believing he was 60 pounds overweight and in a constant state of overdrive.
In listing all the obstacles that were keeping him from making progress towards losing weight and improving his overall health, he determined that he was ‘lazy’ and ‘unmotivated’
Further discussion led to the realization that after a long day at work, exhausted and mentally drained, he was longing to do anything but think about healthy eating and exercise. Feeling guilty about not doing what he ‘should’ do, he did not do what he wanted to do either. This self- imposed punishment was beginning to take its’ toll on his quality of life. Just going through the motions, his lack of life satisfaction was impacting every area of his life.
Yes, it was as unfortunate as it sounds.
But, this was a huge wake-up call for him.
You see, he was denying himself the very things that brought him pleasure in his work, his social life, and the great outdoors.
Even so, he could not bring himself to direct his attention to what he really wanted. Through further discussion, deeper insight, and self-reflection, he realized that he was neither lazy nor unmotivated, just scared.
He knew exactly what career inspired him. I heard the enthusiasm in his voice as soon as he began to share it with me. Even though we were on the phone, I could sense him sitting up straighter, leaning forward as he spoke.
He had assumed that his career choice would require further education, a formal education, and he was not prepared to return to school.
As it turned out, there are countless individuals in his chosen profession without formal education he believed was necessary. He merely needed to pursue his education through experience and on-the-job training.
His enthusiasm grew as he decided to begin researching how others got their start.
He then had an unexpected epiphany, a reason to take action towards losing the excess weight. His new career would require a level of strength, and energy that would make getting back in shape a job requirement.
His newfound motivation was increasing as we spoke.
He now was ready to brainstorm the steps he was ready to take now to put things in motion.
He knew it would take time, but he was ready to begin NOW.
Most important, he was ready to face his fear of lacking the necessary training and education, ready to get out of his comfort zone, and ready to make changes.
Looking back now, he sees that his fear of failure, his fear of rejection, his fear of the challenge before him was keeping him stuck and quite simply, keeping him from actually ‘living’ his life with any kind of joy and satisfaction. As Henry Ford once said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”
As our coaching partnership continued, he centered his focus on improving his health, while gaining the necessary knowledge, experience, and guidance he needed to further pursue this new career.
He was not the first, nor the last client to mistake his lack of drive and action on being lazy and unmotivated. He was not only willing, but now excited to stretch himself, to get out of his own way, and make a life he looked forward to every day.
Unfortunately, many people never get this gift of insight into what is really holding them back. They mistakenly believe, as my client did, that there is something special about people who live the ‘dream’.
That is why I would like to encourage you to take a moment to ask yourself what it is you really want out of your life. What is the disconnect between what you say you want and the actions you are not taking to make that life happen? What are you afraid of and why? What action, no matter how simple, how small, are you ready to take in the direction of the life you desire?
Be BOLD. Be BRAVE. BeGIN.