Hi, how are you?
This week, we opened our new members group on a free trial basis so our customers could see what they would be getting as a full member. Have you joined it yet? Please go ahead and request to join, we’d love to have you!
Thinking about things we can do to help motivate the members in that group reminded me of something I read in my most recent Nutrition Course; that there are actually 2 types of motivation, and people respond differently to each one.
I used to think I was really weird – I’d see loads of success stories of people losing weight. I’d get that ‘if they can do it, I probably can too’ feeling for about 5 minutes, and then the feeling would wear off again.
Was I SO unmotivated that even seeing other people’s successes didn’t spur me on?!
Actually, no, I’m just one of those people that responds better to NEGATIVE motivation! And maybe you are too; read on to find out!
Success stories are a perfect example of positive motivation. They scream ‘look what can be achieved!’, ‘you can do this too!’ ‘look at the rewards you get when you succeed’ etc. So many people are moved by positive motivation – it gets them thinking about their own results and what they can achieve if they get started and keep going.
I love a success story; I love hearing about how people have changed their habits to create their new life and body. I love the pride in the story of what they’ve achieved! But it doesn’t keep me motivated to create my own results for very long. I guess maybe there’s a little self doubt in there saying, ‘just because they’ve done it, doesn’t mean it will work for me too’. And I know we have many customers who feel that way too.
What really DOES get me moving, is NEGATIVE motivation! This is ‘what don’t I want to happen?’, ‘what happens if I don’t succeed in this?’. It’s thinking about the reality – if I don’t make changes, I have to stay the way I am, and what does that mean? How do I feel about being stuck this way?
A great example of this is looking for my wedding dress. I’ve lost loads of weight over the last few years, and now have a lot more confidence in the way I look; it’s important to have a healthy respect for yourself in that way. But, like so many other women, I have a picture in my head of how I’d love to look on my wedding day, and I’m not quite there yet 🙂
I’ve tried looking at all these tiny, beautiful models in wedding dresses to motivate me, but it just doesn’t work!
What has been working, is looking at photos of myself as I am now in a wedding dress and thinking I DON’T want to look that way on the big day. I’m not picking myself apart when I look at the photos; that gets dangerously close to becoming unhealthy, I just know that I can look and feel healthier and in better shape than I do now. It makes me feel so determined to look better (to me) on the day, that it gets me moving to make more changes!
If your main weight loss reason is for your health, read stories about overweight/obese people who have contracted lifestyle-related disease. Listen to people you know when they talk about their illnesses and how it affects them each day. It makes you realise you don’t want that to happen to you, and it spurs you on to do something about it.
It might sound harsh using other people’s negative problems to motivate yourself, and I guess it is a little, but it doesn’t mean you need to be judging them. They are sharing their stories to let others know what can happen and raise awareness – so use that and make sure it doesn’t happen to you too. You can also use yourself as negative motivation, like I’m doing with my wedding dress. Find a photo of yourself that makes you feel like you don’t want to look that way any more and keep it nearby to look at when you feel your motivation waning.
Obviously we’re not talking about making yourself feel awful! Generally if someone responds better to negative motivation, they may get upset when they see themselves as they are now, but it doesn’t last long as the motivation to do something about it takes over. Don’t use yourself for negative motivation if your upset lasts longer or affects your day!
I used to think something was wrong with me when I wasn’t motivated for long by all these success stories I’d seen; but now I know I need to be looking at what I DON’T want rather than what I DO want.
If you feel the same, try some negative motivation and see if it helps.
We’d love to know which type of motivation you respond to more. Please let us know in the members group 🙂