Surprisingly enough, it turns out that "know thyself", that classic Latin epithet, is one of the most useful suggestions out there. One way that it has really turned around my life is in the ability to slow down and examine what is happening internally whenever I am in a space I'd rather not be.
Take motivation, for example. Say I'm feeling lethargic and resistant to the idea of doing something I fully know I need to take care of relatively soon. But when I try to take care of it, the resistance just rises and there is just a little flutter of fear.
Fear? That's ridiculous. Its just a little task.
But no, it doesn't matter. In the past, I would have either quashed the feeling or given into it and done nothing. Now, I have a different approach that has far more promise.
I see that lethargy, that resistance, and I pause for a moment. What's happening here?
First, I name it. Ok, looks like there's some resistance here, like I don't want to take care of it. Taking note of my own tension and a desire to go do something, anything else, I note to myself: perhaps some anxiety and possibly fear.
Ok, so that's what's happening. It's there, so now what?
I take a look at what it's saying. Yes, those things have their own running commentary. I can't do this because I've never done it before, I don't know how to. I'll screw it up, so what's the point? It'll probably be embarrassing when I do too.
Here's where I can note again, preferably with some humor and compassion. No wonder I didn't want to do this, there's all this just sitting here. Stuff I don't even want to listen to. Because of course logically that's all not that big of a deal.
And here comes the next crucial step. Now that I've taken the time to listen and hear it, I find a way to address those concerns. I don't know how to do this: ok let's make a specific plan about how I can find out how to. I'll screw it up: yes, that's a possibility, but there's a first time for everything, It won't be the end of the world. It'll probably be embarrassing when I do too: it's my first time! So what? And everyone I respect would fully understand that.
And now I feel better about it. I know what to do and I know what I'm dealing with better. And with that, here comes the motivation and the ability to deal with everyday life with far greater aplomb.
So I leave you with a quote from an unlikely source:
"Shine a light in the darkness, and you just might find a friend. Focus on the darkness and that is all you may ever see."
- Legend of Korra
And if you'd like to learn more on how to work with the self and unlock your own motivation, check out my free 3 day course.
New to the Blog?