The Motivation Myth and What You Really Need

Motivation is in you

I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation lately.

Motivation is in short supply at my house right now. The idea of packing and moving is downright overwhelming. Especially when summer breezes want me to come outside to play. But I’m also keenly aware that when the moving truck pulls up, I’ll be out of time.

If I’m honest there’s a pattern here. Although I want to paint and write, to reach more people just getting started feels daunting. So my dreams and goals wait on the back burner more often than I’d like and one day, I’ll be out of time.

These days many of us look for motivation from speakers like Anthony Robbins or in personal development books. We post affirmations on our mirrors and create playlists with inspiring lyrics.

We do this because that motivations helps us feel powerful and positive. When we feel inspired we actually do something about dreams and goals. The problem with these strategies is that motivation exists outside of ourselves.

We want our minds to move our bodies.

Unfortunately, the experts tell us that even the impact of the most powerful motivational speaker wears off in about 3 days. I don’t know many people who can their dreams and goals in 3 days (or pack a house to move). When the power runs down, we go looking for the next external motivator… or procrastinate… or wonder what’s wrong with us…or quit.

Sound familiar?

What if your body could change your mind?

In other words, what if you could motivate yourself? No batteries required?

Like Dorothy, it seems you’ve had the power all along.

In a recent experiment, social psychologist Amy Cuddy assembled two groups of people. One group was instructed to assume a high-power pose and another a low-power pose for just two minutes.

The high-power pose consisted of standing tall  with hands on hips or holding the arms out (open, wide, and taking up space).

Give it a try right now. I’ll wait.

The low-power pose meant  folding the arms inward and slouching (closed, confined, and taking up less space).

Experiment but come back to the power pose. After all, you want to feel powerful and motivated!

“Two minutes led to hormonal changes that configure your brain to basically be either assertive, confident, and comfortable, or really stress-reactive and feeling kind of shut down. — Amy Cuddy”

Put another way, your body and mind working together create the power you need.

Your mind and body working together can create all the motivation you need. Click To Tweet

With less stress.

In just two minutes.

Your posture influences your brain to generate what it needs to feel motivated and relaxed! How cool is that?

If creative thinking  is important to you, then you should also know that this posture helps you think more abstractly. Take more risks. Be more productive.

The way I see it, we have two choices.

  1. Look for the next thing to come along to get us motivated ( and hope we find it fast!)
  2. Stand tall, generate our own power and act.

Want to know more? Here’s Amy Cuddy’s  TED talk.

After you’ve watched let us know in the comments how YOU stay motivated.

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