Mastering Motivation

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Dear Dr. Darcy:

I am a little stuck in life lately.  I have dreams, but I don’t take the steps necessary to make them a reality.  I feel like I lack motivation or maybe I’m just lazy. I’ve been in the same job for 2 years and it was only supposed to be a temp job but it got easy to just stay.   This temp job takes up most of my time and so I’m not pursuing my dream job which is to be a dancer.  Do you think therapy would help?

ANSWER

You aren’t lazy.  No one’s lazy.  When people have goals that they aren’t meeting, it’s usually because they lack good enough reasons to take the action necessary to reach their goals.

The reasons you have for reaching a goal are the driving force behind taking the action necessary to reach a goal.  It’s what fuels you to take consistent steps in the direction of your goal.  If you lack reasons, you’ll lack motivation to follow through, because let’s face it:  Taking action becomes arduous over time.  But great reasons can push someone through the pain in the ass process of taking action.

I like to think of reasons as coming in two forms:  Carrots and Sticks.  Carrots are reasons that involve gaining pleasure.  For example, if your goal was to lose weight, a carrotreason might sound like, “I want to feel what it’s like to walk in a room knowing that all eyes are on me because I look so good.”  Sticks are reasons that involve avoiding pain, and an example might sound like, “I never want to feel self-conscious when I walk into a room again!” I suggest you make yourself a list of 20 compelling reasons why you must reach your goal.  Make 10 reasons carrot reasons and make 10 stick reasons.  The next time you find yourself feeling unmotivated to take action pull out the list and tap into the passion of those reasons for fuel.

In terms of whether or not therapy would be beneficial, I’ll say this (and it’s a first for me):  Get yourself a kick ass coach.  You need someone who can help you take action, and good coaches do just that.  One of my go-to coaches is named Billy Sparkle (linked to here). Check him out and see if he can’t help you close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Writer’s Stats: Female, lesbian.