(This blog was originally posted on April 12, 2014)
|Image courtesy of Fotolia|
Some days vibrate with so much energy in the environment it is literally impossible to sit or stand still. We are enthusiastic about everything going on around us and can’t wait to get in on the action, ourselves. In our enthusiasm, we accept requests to take on new projects or tasks. Our mojo is so strong, we are confident that we can—we will—accomplish even Herculean feats, and we do just that. Indeed, as Sir Isaac Newton’s Law of Motion states, “An object in rest tends to stay in rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.” The same is true of human behavior, too. You have probably heard or know of the expression, “Ask a busy person” to do a task. This law applies here because someone who is already active, even frenetically busy, can somehow always find a way to do one more thing.
And then there are other days when it seems like nothing can motivate or inspire us to do anything, at all. We sit at our desk at work shuffling papers, organizing the filing cabinet, checking e-mail and re-reading the first paragraph of the document that’s been sitting on our desk since the morning. We take repeated treks to the break room to get another cup of Joe, hoping that a not-so-brisk walk down the hall and more coffee just might kick-start our energy enough to do something productive. It doesn’t.
The problem is, when you are rewarded in some way for not doing a behavior, the subconscious mind may create a new mental script to support this new known (source of pleasure or comfort) in your life. The reward may be inferred, such as your boss didn’t yell at you to get back to work; or maybe your employer just accepted your subpar-quality project without comment. If you already follow a subconscious mental script that is programmed for you to always do your best work, you may breathe a sigh of relief that you got away with it today but get back to working hard tomorrow. Conversely, if you generally have difficulty motivating yourself and did not suffer any negative consequences not working so hard today, you may conclude that this behavior is really okay. The more times you are able to avoid doing a task or project, or get away with producing an inadequate product, you will reinforce this behavior and ultimately create a new mental script that compels you to not do something. (For more information about this process and John Kappas, Ph.D.’s Theory of Mind, read my blog, WhyBeing Uncomfortable Feels Comfortable.
Following are some suggestions to help you get moving when you find yourself “stuck” in motivational inertia:
· “Chunk” it down. This Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique is very effective because it enables you to break down whatever you are working on into manageable tasks that can easily be accomplished.
· Use the Emotional Freedom Technique to break through the conscious blocks that are preventing you from settling down to or focusing on your work.
· Take a brisk walk around the block. Consistent with Newton’s Law of Motion, once you start moving your body, it is easier to keep it (and your mind) active. Ten or fifteen minutes’ of exercise is a great way to raise your energy so you can be and feel more alert when you get back to work. Not only are you likely to discover that you are better able to focus on your job but this productive time spent away from your desk has even inspired some new ideas as well as your motivation.
· Watch what you eat. When your blood-sugar level drops, you are vulnerable to experiencing physiological symptoms such as headache, nausea and weakness, as well as increased levels of anxiety and irritability. Furthermore, in his work with people who developed phobias, Dr. Kappas observed that low blood-sugar levels could trigger a phobic response and increase the person’s suggestibility. If you are already stressed out because you have a lot of work to catch up on, have a healthy snack or meal that includes some form of protein, which will help to mediate your mood. Also, avoid caffeine, which can exacerbate those symptoms and increase anxiety.
· Hypnotherapy! Hypnosis and therapeutic guided imagery are effective, natural and drug-free modalities with which to motivate you (or re-learn how it feels to be motivated to do what you want and need to get done.
I am currently offering a 10 percent discount on all hypnotherapy for weight-loss/weight-management sessions. This offer is good through April 30, 2017. It is not exchangeable for cash and may not be combined with any other offer. For more information and to set up an appointment, please contact me at (661) 433-9430 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also: save $250 toward a purchase of 24 sessions or more for personal training with Irvin Burton, CEO and Founder at Tiger Crane Martial Arts & Fitness. You can contact him at Irvin_Burton@yahoo.com or call (661) 993-8621.
I look forward to hearing from—and working with—you soon!
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.