What do you want to change in your life?
It’s a simple question, but there’s so much behind it.
Honestly, no one is ever 100% happy with everything in their life. Maybe you want to lose weight, change or advance in your career, make more money, get out of debt, manage the money you do have better, improve your relationships, organize the time in your day, organize or declutter your home, be a better parent…. Regardless of what your goal is, you can dream about what it would be like, hope for a change, and wish it would happen all you want, but unless you find your motivating factor behind why you want to change (and then take action on it) nothing will ever happen.
Motivation is very internal and very personal. The motivation your friend may have found to make a positive change in their life likely will not work for you, regardless of how close and similar you are to each other. Each motivating factor is unique, and it can be very strong once you discover what your motivation is. If you try and work off of someone else’s reason, you likely will spend a lot of time working on a goal that you aren’t really passionate about, and not wind up happy (or successful) in the end.
A long time ago, I came across four questions that were recommended to ask yourself anytime you want to make a change on something. These four questions really got me thinking about what is driving my desire to change, and what fears are holding me back! The answers help me uncover my real motivation, and if I keep this reason in mind while I’m working to change something, I’m much more likely to achieve the goal I’ve set for myself.
- 1. How would I feel if I did _____?
- 2. How would I feel if I didn’t _____?
- 3. How wouldn’t I feel if I did _____?
- 4. How wouldn’t I feel if I didn’t _____?
Now initially looking at those questions, numbers three and four may seem repetitive of one and two, but asking them in a negative way forces you to think about the situation differently. Let’s look at this using weight loss as an example:
- 1. How would I feel if I did? If I was able to lose weight, I would feel fantastic! I would have the confidence to do all sorts of physical activities that I was too scared to try before. I would be able to fit easily into my clothes. I’d have more energy, and I’d sleep better too!
- 2. How would I feel if I didn’t? If I didn’t lose weight, I would feel like a failure – again. I would get discouraged by another unsuccessful attempt and start to think that maybe this is just how I was meant to live and how I was meant to be.
- 3. How wouldn’t I feel if I did? If I lost weight, I wouldn’t feel sluggish every day. I wouldn’t be embarrassed about my appearance. I wouldn’t hate the fact that I was letting my weight keep me from living life to the fullest. I would no longer be afraid to show off my body in a swim suit at the beach!
- 4. How wouldn’t I feel if I didn’t? If I didn’t lose weight, I wouldn’t feel secure in my health. I’d worry that I wouldn’t be around long enough for my children or grandchildren. I’d worry that I’d be a burden on my spouse.
Look carefully at the example above. Asking the questions backwards allows you to dig deeper into the real fear and pain behind why you are considering a change. Many times, the hope of a bright future that you haven’t yet experienced isn’t as strong of a motivating factor as the real fear and pain you currently are exposed to every day. If you can get past the “miserably comfortable” state of existence you are in, and you can tap into and allow yourself to face those uncomfortable and new feelings, you will be able to locate a strong motivating reason and be more successful in your endeavor to make a lasting and permanent change.
Change takes work. It’s not easy and it’s not comfortable – otherwise everyone would have everything they wanted in life! It’s only with the right motivation that you will put forth the effort needed to make it happen.
Give this a try. Pick something in your life you have been wanting to change (or need to change) and sit down with a pen and paper to ask yourself these questions and record your answers. Be very honest with yourself. You will likely tap into the best motivation you could ever ask for, which will get you started towards a much improved and happier future!
All the best,
P.S. Looking to lead a more balanced life? Check out my free guide on Overcoming Overwhelm. It’ll help you get started today!