What we have here are the two most common forms of motivation. The first is ‘away from’ or negative motivation, the other is ‘towards’ or positive motivation. Negative motivation occurs where we either experience, or imagine, the worst case scenario for ourselves. With this experience or these thoughts inhabiting our minds, we feel strongly that we would do anything to change this situation for the better by moving away from where we find ourselves. Away from motivation can be triggered by the slightest change in perspective and can become effective overnight. It is the mental process that makes the person who has been three stone overweight for years, suddenly decide it is time to take action to lose some of the excess pounds. It is the same shift in mental attitude that can make a life-long couch potato suddenly go out and do something active.
Negative motivation is triggered at the precise point when the current situation is no longer tolerable and something must be done to move away from it right now. The motivation is strongest at this trigger point and can be sustained if translated immediately into action and results. The quicker the action taken and the results obtained, the more potent and long-lasting the motivation will be.
An important factor here is to resist the temptation to focus too much on how you arrived at your current situation as this can lead to restrictive thought patterns. Finding yourself in a situation that you feel desperate to move away from simply means that you have reached the right time to make things better, so embrace any uncomfortable feelings as part of the process of change and channel them into positive and creative thought processes to make things different from now on.
Positive motivation is a more controlled phenomenon. This is when we consciously create something positive in our mind around how we see ourselves in the future. We imagine where we want to get to, physically and mentally, very vividly, and we strive towards this image with great enthusiasm, making the changes to our lives that guarantee success. By creating a clear objective for the future we cultivate the motivation to take action to rapidly move towards our specific aims.
Both types of motivation are very powerful as inspiration to take action. Negative motivation usually finds us. It hits us when we have really had enough of how things are and feel we must do something about our current or anticipated negative situation. It is a strong call to action but can be limiting because, as soon as you have changed what you did not like, you may be inclined to halt your progress here.
Positive motivation is something we can act upon at any time simply by considering what would be more desirable and what we could do to improve on our current situation. Positive motivation has the edge on negative motivation when it comes to achieving results because of the natural feelings of progress that aiming towards your goals will bring you. Away from motivation can lead to a sense of relief when you make changes to your life and reach a better place. The powerful feelings of satisfaction and achievement that go with creating a positive future to move towards are much longer lasting than a short-lived sense of relief.
The strongest motivation can be evoked by a combination of away from and towards factors. Firstly, an away from trigger catches you suddenly and you feel you really must do something to change it. Before you make any knee-jerk reactions, sit down and think about what you want to work towards as well as what you want to move away from. Creating your fitness future in your mind and on paper satisfies all the criteria for successful change and is the most effective step you can take at this point. If your immediate reaction to an away from trigger is to throw out offending food or pack yourself off to the gym, there is a danger that your changes could be short lived. If you use the negative trigger as a call to plan what you are working towards, you will increase the likelihood that the action you take in your new plan is specifically geared to the most effective ways of achieving your goals. From this point onwards, everything you do is directed towards the success you have created in your mind and this in turn leads to sustainable motivation.
Take a moment now to think about what elements of your fitness you might like to move away from, and what you might like to move towards. What does ideal fitness look like to you? Can you picture clearly what you would like to move towards? There is no need to be disheartened by noting down elements of your life that you are trying to get away from. This is simply a process of being honest about where you are currently. Sometimes it appears preferable to hide from the truth of the situation but this only creates obstacles on the road to success. Once you have honestly assessed and acknowledged the facts of the matter, you will be liberated to be creative with what you would prefer.
Spend most time on generating the full details of where you want to get to with your goals. Your motivation will be greater, fuller and longer lasting if you can create a crystal clear image of what you want and when you want it. Set yourself a complete challenge and detail everything that will be good about making this image a reality, and you will not stop until you have it.
Crystal is a fitness and health blogger who occasionally refers to Diet Book by Walter Wood, and find it very interesting.