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Motivation and Climbing Your Mountain

Motivation and Climbing Your Mountain

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy utilises metaphors to tell a story, so here’s one to think about: “Several very old monks set out to go up a mountain joined by a young man full of strength and enthusiasm. It wasn’t long before the young man’s motivation ran out. He gave up the climb and stopped. The monks, however, without any noticeable effort, simply kept on going until they reached the top. On their return the young man stopped one of them and asked ‘I saw you looking at to the top of the mountain like I did, how were you able to carry on and not give up?’ The monk replied: ‘I looked up to the mountain for direction only and then I concentrated on the smaller steps ahead.’ “

Did you know that if you increase the amount of the brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, then your motivation increases?

Successful individuals are generally those with the most motivation. One fundamental requirement to help with motivation is that clear and positive goals need to be set. ‘To be more motivated’ is not a sufficient goal in itself, as it’s far more useful to be specific about what we want, and at the same time avoid focusing on what we don’t want! E.g. instead of thinking about losing weight, it’s usually more rewarding to focus on positive outcomes such as feeling healthier, or fitting into your favourite clothes.

Apart from being clear about the goal itself, if the thought is also followed by a positive action, including also positive interaction, the release of serotonin is triggered. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and reward, which we get for mentally healthy behaviour, which makes us increasingly more ready for action.

“But, I just don’t feel like it”

It is a common misconception that motivation must precede the action. Motivation to flee danger is another story, as this is more a fight or flight fear based survival response, than a positive action. The build up of serotonin, which feeds motivation towards our goals, only comes when we take action. It is even more important to take action when you don’t feel like it than when you do, because the action is what kick starts the cycle towards achievement of those goals. I.e through serotonin release, motivation, more action, more enjoyment more success, more feeling up for it, more serotonin, and so on…

What can YOU do to help feeling motivated?

  • Make a deal to reward yourself for taking action. When I’ve finished, I’ll be due a coffee break.
  • Fake it until you make. If you act as if you were motivated for long enough, the feeling will follow.
  • Start small and build it up. Small steps get you feeling fitter for the big steps.
  • Do the toughest task first. Conversely, the big task may be clouding the entire day, so get it out of the way first.
  • Compare yourself with yourself, not with others. Be better then you were, but you don’t need to be better than everyone else on day one. Comparing yourself negatively with others is a motivational killer for many.
  • Be mindful of your successes. Write them down, and don’t dwell on the failures.
  • Have fun. Dance around with the hoover!
  • Failure is Feedback. What can you learn from it?
  • Know why you are doing something. If there’s no good enough reason, then you could decide it’s not worth doing, ad that’s OK.
  • Break it down. Break down your task or project into small steps.
  • Make use of your creativity. Visualise being successful, a key tool in Hypnotherapy.
  • Find out what makes you happy. Then do it as much as you can. A hint here is to include as much positive interaction, positive thinking and activity in your day as you can
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