Mind,  Motivation

Step 1: Motivation. Step 2: Climb

Talking about addressing our emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing without discussing Motivation would be a big miss. It’s like saying how food is cooked without mentioning any source of heat. Or explaining how a bowling ball hits a strike without saying anything about it being pushed by someone or something. Or how about this illustration:

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, By ekostsov


Imagine being stuck in a deep dark hole. There’s no ladder in sight and it seems like there’s no way out. But there is a way out. It so happens that certain actions result in a rung of a ladder to appear. With each action, another step is formed, enabling you to not only climb out but maybe even climb to new heights.

For some, the dark hole is depression. For others, it’s financial debt, an abusive relationship, addiction, dead-end job, or lacking a relationship with God. Whatever dark hole you find yourself in–whatever situation or circumstance–we can all agree that climbing your way up through positive actions can’t happen without some level of motivation.

Having motivation to take positive actions is the first and most important step. It’s the first rung of the ladder.

If you’re reading this because you could use some motivation, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. You clearly have a growth mindset and desire to climb. You are more on your way up than someone who’s acquiesced–not bothering to even want to take action, let alone get motivated to do so.

So how do you find the motivation to take positive action steps to climb up your ladder?

It all begins with an honest reflection on the following:

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, By contrastwerkstatt

1. What dark hole do you find yourself in? This question doesn’t necessarily have a quick and easy answer. Take full stock of what it is. Do a little research and maybe talk to a close (sincere) friend or family member who might be able to see things you’re reluctant to realize yourself. You really can’t address any situation without fully accepting and understanding it.

2. Why do you want to get out of your dark hole? Ok, why?…. But why? Keep asking why. And when you have an answer, ask why again and again until you’ve exhausted all the reasons and gotten to the heart of your motivation. Plus, if you take the time to journal your answers to the whys, you can always go back and read them when your motivation is at a low point. Literally, at the very bottom of your whys, you might discover things like “Life is short, I deserve better than this” or “I want to be there (100%) for the people I love and care about”.

3. What obstacles prevent you from finding your way out? Sometimes the reasons why are compelling enough for you to be motivated to take actions. However, if you’re stepping on hot coal (definitely motivation), but oh, your feet are too tired to step out, you might have to go even further and ask yourself what exactly is keeping you from taking positive actions even when the reasons you should are strong and compelling.

Usually, these things that are still standing in the way have to do with fears, false assumptions, and/or low self-esteem.

For example:

  • Fears on what will happen: If I take positive action steps…What are people going to think of me? I might lose all my friends. I might end up completely and utterly hopeless after none of it works out, etc. If these are some of your fears, let’s tackle them right now. People’s opinion should not keep you from doing what’s best for yourself, the friends who really matter are not going to abandon you but support you. Besides, doing nothing at all is what will make you feel hopeless anyway. So, you have nothing to lose.
  • False assumptions on what actions mean: If I take positive action steps…It’s going to mean that I’m (fill in the blank)–weak, have a problem, can’t figure it out on my own, etc. If you think not taking needed action steps means the opposite of these things, it doesn’t. Rather, taking them requires strength, it means you have solutions, and that you can and will figure it out–which you don’t have to do on your own by the way.
  • Low self-esteem on your ability to take said action(s): If I take positive action steps…wait, can I. If you’re asking yourself if you’re even capable or strong enough, then low self-esteem may be among the things standing in the way of getting out of your dark hole. PositLive has a whole section entirely devoted to self-esteem because it is that important. For now, know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Those negative thoughts about yourself are put there to stop you from ever climbing up. Don’t let the enemy win by believing them.

4. What are you going to do now? Reflect on what dark hole you find yourself in, the reasons or inspirations for getting out of it, and possible obstacles standing in the way. Next, consider your positive action steps. What are YOU going to do to start constructing your ladder up and out to the life you want emotionally, physically, and spiritually?

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