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Inner Motivation

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

I’m really good at doing what people tell me to do. Like, give me an assignment and I can get it done! The harder part comes when you give me more freedom. Like I have to call all the shots??

I actually got feedback from one of my internship supervisors that related to this. I walked into the one on one thinking I was going to get perfect marks. And he surprised me!

But in a good way, he told me, “You’re really great at coming to us and asking what you can do to help. I would love it if instead of coming to us and asking what you could do, you instead came to us with an idea or even something that you had already done. Fulfill a need and take that initiative! You are a part of this internship for a reason and we trust you.”

That was probably the best constructive feedback I have ever gotten and I really took it in stride. I started looking for ways I could help and contribute instead of just asking. Flash-forward two years later and I was walking into another one on one with a different supervisor.

She talked to me about how she really admired the initiative that I had taken and how I was always providing new ideas. She talked about how I noticed needs that others hadn’t noticed and tried to find ways to help fulfill those needs.

Guys…I was so excited! Here was proof that I had actually improved myself and changed one of my habits!

Sure, it took me two years. I didn’t always have it figured out and I did have to ask a lot of questions, but I had taken a weakness of mine and made it into a strength. It’s still something I have to work on, but it’s becoming a little bit more natural.

Why do I bring this up? Well…today I realized something about myself. I still have that same tendency to just do what people tell me and let the responsibility fall on others. Not in work, but in my workouts.

I’ve recently started a program called Transform:20 with Shaun T and it’s been kicking my butt! But in a good exercise way :)

It’s a 20 minute program, which sounds wimpy, but guys. It’s legit. You don’t get breaks. You go the entire time! Then there are also one minute blocks (called transformers) where you count to see how many you can get done.

You record those so each day you are trying to beat your number. It’s been really good!

Especially for someone who takes a little bit to get ready in the morning.

Anyways, today’s work out was different. Usually Shaun is “in your face” motivating you and sometimes being more like a sports coach in that motivation (aka yelling).

So you go through all the emotions and honestly, focusing on him helps me ignore my own thoughts or my body complaining. But today he told us that he was going to be more silent.

He talked about how he wanted us to start our own soundtrack. Our own motivational soundtrack. I didn’t think much of it at the beginning, but once the burn started, it got a lot harder!

People always say your body is stronger than your brain and your thoughts. Today I learned that is so true. My brain tried to convince me that it was too hard. I could just take a breather and not do the full workout.

Then Shaun would interrupt and ask, “What are you telling yourself? How are you keeping yourself motivated?”

I felt pretty embarrassed to be honest. So I just started chanting in my head, “I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.” (Along with some heavy breathing in-between)

Then we got further into the workout and I had to change my tune again. Luckily Shaun didn’t keep completely silent and helped motivate me when I was slipping.

My chant changed to, “I can do hard things. I can do hard things.” He talked about how he wouldn’t always be on our TV screens motivating us, we have to learn to motivate ourselves.

Guys…it was a serious aha moment for me. I’ve been relying on other people to motivate me for my workouts, but what do I do when no one is around?

Granted, these people are on the TV, so you could say I’ve been motivating myself, but I’ve been in my brain. Without these people cheering me on, I don’t think I would have had as much success.

So many times I think that we rely on others to help us figure things out, but we can’t always rely on others. Life is hard and sometimes we are going to have to rely on our own inner strength. That comes as we do hard things, but also as we are more positive to ourselves.

I got through the workout, but it definitely taught me that I need to work on my thoughts. Not just in my workouts, but throughout the day.

I can think of many times when I’ve caught myself beating myself up mentally or not being positive. But your thoughts drive your actions and I want to be able to do hard things. I don’t want my brain to stop myself from achieving hard things.

It’s definitely going to be a process and it will honestly take me more than 2 years! I’m excited to keep working on motivating myself to be better.

It’s great to have other people cheering me on, but I don’t want to have to rely on them. I want to be able to do hard things!

You can do hard things! Let’s work on keeping our thoughts positive this week and motivate ourselves instead of putting ourselves down.

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