Do you lack the right type of motivation?

Life coaching Sydney northern beachesHave you ever wondered what motivates and moves people to complete a task or make changes in their lives? Why do some people have the right type of motivation and others never seem to achieve their goals?

Tony Robbins once wrote the following:

All human behaviour revolves around the urge to gain pleasure or avoid pain. You pull away from a lighted match in order to avoid the pain of burning your hand. You sit and watch a beautiful sunset because you get pleasure from the glorious celestial show as day glides into night.

In the above quotation, Robbins is referring to pulling away from something or moving towards it. This has also been called a “pain or pleasure” motivation. In other words, are you motivated by what you want (pleasure) or what you want to avoid (pain)?

If you’re still confused then think of a horse that may act in a certain way to achieve its goal -either to get the crunchy carrot or avoid the painful stick – the way we’re motivated (pain or pleasure, carrot or stick) affects many aspects of our lives.

What motivates you – pain or pleasure?

The language patterns of Neuro-Linguistic Programming help us understand that there are times when our ambitions inspire us, and we strongly desire to move towards our objective (gaining pleasure). On other occasions, we feel more driven to move away from a difficult situation rather than towards a particular goal (avoiding pain).

At some level, if the reward (or potential pleasure) is big enough or the consequences (or potential pain) are adverse enough, everyone is motivated to move either toward or away from goals. There is, however, an important difference between these two types of motivation (pain or pleasure), as follows.

People who move towards a goal, focus on the possibilities and visions of the future. People who move away from what they don’t want are motivated by threats of negative consequences. The key is balance, with the most useful orientation being able to do both. This means that you acknowledge the potential possibilities whilst also dealing with the likely problems while they’re still small and manageable.

Here are two examples of these opposing motivation strategies.

Example 1
“I want a house with a view of the ocean with large rooms and cool breezes,” vs “I want a house that doesn’t feel cramped or hot.”

Example 2
“I want to lose weight and feel more comfortable in my clothes” vs “I don’t want to be fat”,

In the first example, both people want a comfortable house but the first is motivated TOWARDS a home with large rooms and cool breezes whilst the other is motivated AWAY from houses that feel cramped and hot.

In the second example, both people want to lose weight but the first is motivated TOWARDS becoming slimmer whilst the other is motivated AWAY from being fat.

Neither of these orientations is right or wrong; it’s merely the way different people orientate themselves. However, the benefit of moving towards what you want is a mental focus on the positive outcome, which keeps you in a positive frame of mind. On the other hand, a mental focus on a negative outcome puts you into a negative frame of mind.

If you’re still not convinced, then ask yourself how often you heard people say, “I don’t want …?”, for example, “I don’t want to fail in my exams” or “I don’t want to feel embarrassed” or “I don’t want to lose.” These statements all indicate that someone is trying to get AWAY from something.

Conversely, how often have you heard people say, “I want to …. ?, for example, “I want to pass my exams with flying colours” or “I want to win the competition” or “I want to be fitter” or “I want to get a promotion”. These statements all indicate that someone is trying to go TOWARDS something.

The key is to be aware of what is motivating you and experiment with moving towards and away from specific goals. This way, you’ll be able to determine which type of motivation has a more positive outcome on your mindset and which helps you achieve your goals and live a more fulfilling life.

Why are so many people motivated by avoiding pain?

Many people are driven by motivations powered by avoiding pain and trying to get away from something. Avoiding pain, stress or anxiety is a powerful motivating force and many of us spend our lives with this as our focus.

We’re always looking for ways to avoid pain, whether it’s physical pain or emotional pain, we’re hardwired to avoid it. In fact, we’re more motivated to avoid pain and move away from something than we are to move towards something and seek pleasure.

Every day, you’re making key decisions that empower you to move TOWARDS pleasure or AWAY from pain. So if you associate an action with more pain than pleasure, you’ll automatically avoid taking that action.

Let’s take weight loss as an example. There are two ways to look at losing weight. The first is that it’s going to make you look better, feel fitter and improve your overall health. The second way is that you’re going to be hungry, and grumpy and end up giving up anyway.

If you associate more pain than pleasure with losing weight, then you’ll be driven by the second mindset and not bother to lose weight. However, if you associate more pleasure than pain with losing weight then you’ll be driven by the first mindset and quickly start creating a plan to achieve your goal.

In the first instance, you might even override your initial thoughts about avoiding pain and start a diet immediately, hoping that you’ll finally lose weight this time. The problem is that your subconscious is working on the principle of avoiding pain. So it actively sabotages you because it’s driven by your motivating mindset – to avoid the inevitable pain.

Why are motivations so important anyway?

Motivation helps you make the most of yourself, achieve your goals and live a happy and fulfilled life. Without motivation, you won’t achieve anything, because why even have a goal if you’re not motivated to achieve it?

We also know that you need the right type of motivation that powers you to move TOWARDS your goals and not AWAY from them. If you’re driven by a TOWARDS mentality, then you’ll easily find the motivation to clarify your goals, set life priorities, power through setbacks and persevere in the face of adversity.

With an AWAY mindset, you’re unlikely to have any achievable goals, tending to wander through life from one job to the next. You have no great aspirations and your motivation to avoid pain doesn’t help you find your purpose in life. You might live a contented life, but without a purpose and a goal, are you really happy?

Most people, however, have one foot in either camp, sometimes moving TOWARDS their goals in a search for pleasure and sometimes moving AWAY from a goal to avoid pain. The key is in harmonizing these two opposing mindsets and hypnotherapy can help you achieve this balance.

How can hypnosis help change your motivations?

The good news is that by using hypnotherapy we can balance the opposing motivations of moving AWAY from pain and TOWARDS pleasure. We do this by making new associations between your goals and motivations. So, if you want to lose weight but are motivated by moving AWAY from the pain of feeling hungry all the time, hypnosis can help you replace this negative mindset with a more positive association that drives you to move TOWARDS this goal rather than AWAY from it.

These outcomes are achievable because using hypnotherapy techniques, we can bypass your conscious mind and talk to your subconscious mind. This is where your motivations are held and where we can tip the balance towards the pleasure of losing weight rather than the pain you want to avoid. This gives you control of your motivations, because, after all, it can be vital that you avoid pain in some circumstances.

Hypnosis gives you the ability to control your motivations and achieve your goals. It’s the balance you need to lead a happy and fulfilled life on your terms.

So what goals have you been avoiding? Have you been trying to lose weight but lack commitment? Have you been trying to stop smoking but not putting much effort into it? Have you given up on your career path because it’s too challenging? Would you love to start your own business but worry about failing?

If you find yourself procrastinating and talking yourself out of achieving your goals, hypnotherapy can help! Let’s recharge your mindset and focus on moving TOWARDS your goals and not AWAY from them!

So, if you’d like to understand your motivations and clarify or fulfil your goals, contact Skye on 0402 006 985 for a free 15 min consultation.