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The Problem with Motivating Yourself – Thomas Marc – Medium

For those of us finding our way in life, the journey can sometimes be lonely. Unsure of where to go next or what move to make, one may feel lost. Coupled with seeing peers advance in careers of their own, that confusion can lead to aggravation.

“Why cant I figure it out?”

I know that’s a question I often dwell too long on. It’s one that demands an immediate answer, but unfortunately requires an investment of time and nurturing.

Whatever our plans are for life, they’re going to take a little while to get there. And that’s sort of depressing.

It’s the same reason why many quit their fitness goals so early in the process: They don’t see immediate results.

We do our best to motivate ourselves to run the marathon, but the truth is we are naturally sprinters, and so realizing the finish line is much further ahead, we tire out.

True motivation comes in the form of endurance and patience. Trusting yourself to pace it, and slowly but surely, you’ll get there.

To be honest, it’s easy to talk about this advice, but following it is a whole other challenge.

Trust me, I know. Just because I write it doesn’t mean I equally feel the struggle.

Motivating yourself is hard. Motivational jargon is easy. But the actual application, is the wall we consistently run into.

Why do we run into this wall? If anything we should be the ones conquering our own paths!

But being an army of one is a tough battle.

With only yourself to game plan, it’s easy to fall back into complacency. So much running through your head gets hectic, and sometimes all you want to do is sit back and relax. It’s so tempting too…but its also dangerous. Start to slack off and before you know it you will find yourself lost, asking yourself how you fell off.

I’ve been there, and jumping back into the race is much harder than just maintaining your pace.

So what’s the solution?

Well, it starts with accountability.

We need to hold ourselves accountable; to our goals, ambitions, dreams, we need to be in control of our actions. We need to decide to decide, and command ourselves to follow through. But what happens if that accountability is lacking?

What happens when you give up on you?

Perhaps transfer some accountability to someone else…

I’m not necessarily talking about bringing in people to help you. I’m simply suggesting that you talk with someone. Share your thoughts and ambitions. Ask for their opinion. You’ll be surprised how much you figure out by just simply speaking. By proclaiming your goals to someone else, you speak them into existence.

Now that you told someone what you aspire to do, it’s a little bit harder to give up on yourself, because it’s not just you now, but the little bits that you shared with someone.

This perspective of including others is an interesting take in combating lack of self-drive. With my own personal goals, I’ve found it helpful to strategize with friends and family. Even if it’s just them listening, the simple act of talking it out forces me to think through and make connections. Moreover, I would hate the feeling of telling someone I’d do something, only to report back empty handed. It’s a loser-ish feeling. And that loser-ish feeling is that self-drive that we struggle with generating.

If we can’t feel bad when we fail ourselves, then bring someone in. Being accountable to someone else is a good way to learn how to follow through, and eventually that skill can be scaled to driving ourselves forward. Making progress allows us to understand that we can get things done, and that we really do possess the power to control where we go and what we do.

I urge all of you, if you’re feeling stuck in life, talk it out with a friend. Sometimes all you have to do is hear how your thoughts sound.

Express your ambitions, and you might find yourself beholden to them. If you can’t seem to stay motivated, just remember:

You told someone you would. Don’t lie to yourself.


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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !

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