It all started with a romper. Despite being a grown woman, I love me a good romper. Jumpsuits are just as good, and I have a handful of these onesie gems in my dresser drawers waiting for me summer after summer. It was April, the weather was warm, and warm weather means romper season. So, this one particular afternoon, I ran up the stairs to my dresser, flung open the drawers, found my favourite romper and began to pull it up over my thighs to get it on… Except it wouldn't move past my thighs. I pulled the romper off and stood there in the middle of my bedroom examining it. Was I putting it on wrong? All looked good with the romper, so I tried again. And still, it wasn't budging over my thighs. I then realized in shame that after enjoying a month-long honeymoon, celebrating a bit too hard during the holidays and eating my way through Europe, I had gained enough weight that my rompers wouldn't fit. These types of realizations always start that way, don't they? You have no idea that you've gained any weight until your favourite outfit won't fit. This girl needed to get into the gym and out of the kitchen. But, like everyone else who has gained some extra weight, I seriously struggled with motivation. I had a really hard time forcing myself to get to that gym, climb on that treadmill and sweat off that gelato. A few weeks of this struggle went by, until I heard some great advice (I can't remember from whom) to do an exercise in shifting my belief about myself.

How to Motivate Yourself to Achieve Anything You Want

See, we are what we believe we are. If one part of us believes we're lazy people, our psyche works to prove it to ourselves. Same goes for almost anything. This is what the human behaviour community calls “self actualization”.

  • If you believe you're a morning person, you'll subconsciously prove it to yourself by being cheerful and energetic when you wake up
  • If you believe you're a kind person, you'll prove it to yourself through kind actions
  • If you believe you're smart, you'll prove it to yourself by demonstrating your intelligence and taking on projects and challenges that require a high level of intelligence.

When it comes to knowing how to motivate yourself, you probably intuitively knew this all along, but one thing you may have misunderstood is the fact that our beliefs come first. We don't believe things about ourselves because we demonstrate those behaviors or traits. We demonstrate those behaviors or traits because we believe them about ourselves. There are studies that prove that this is the case. Research has shown that people who were told they had a great sleep the night before, even if they slept terribly, were more energetic and reported feeling more well rested. Why do you think the placebo effect is a thing? Anyway. How does this relate back to my story? Well, I was struggling to get the motivation to go to the gym because I've always believed that I'm not somebody who enjoys exercise. I've always put myself into the “runs only when being chased” category. So, armed with this new information, I took a look at my beliefs about who I am as a person, and flipped them. I started telling myself that I was the type of person who loved to be active. I began to tell myself that I'm a strong, fit person who hates missing her gym time. At first, I knew I was just trying to change my behavior by changing my thoughts. But the more I told myself this, the more it became true. Soon, if I felt like skipping the gym, my brain would automatically snap at the devil on my shoulder, saying “you're the type of person who hates skipping the gym”. And so, I'd go. And the funny thing is? I actually love the gym now. I am grumpy and anxious if I have to miss a day. A huge bonus is that I've lost the 15 pounds I've put on over the past year. How does this apply to you? Well…

It's challenge time, baby!

Today's challenge: Pinpoint a goal that you have that you struggle finding the motivation for. Maybe it's weight loss like me, or growing your business, pitching clients, going to networking events – whatever it is, identify that goal and then create a mantra around a belief you need to instill in yourself to get it done. Let's say it's going to meetups and networking events to find your ideal freelancing clients. You have a hard time mustering up the motivation to go to the events. Flip that belief that you hate networking on it's face and start telling yourself: “I love getting to know people in the industry. I'm the type of person who has a huge network and loves to talk shop at events. I thrive on social interaction”. Keep telling yourself this every time you start dragging your heels about going to an event. After you've mastered your mindset in this area, rinse and repeat for other areas of your life you need motivation on.

6 thoughts on “How to Motivate Yourself to Achieve Anything: Become The Type of Person Who Doesn't Give Up

  1. Naomi Dinsmore says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Great article to get anyone motivated! What I think could also be a good addition is this…
    Once you have your mantra, next create another special list that you can keep in your purse, stuck on the fridge…whatever. And this list should be bulletpoints for all the reasons why your mantra will benefit you and your business/weight loss etc. For example…
    Attending industry events will…
    – help me to grow my brand
    – help me to grow my client base
    – help build my business confidence
    – help me to interact with my competition/other business owners
    It’s always nice to embed the ‘ways’ into your subconscious as well as the ‘whats’
    Thanks. Great piece… and as it goes, I’m not the biggest fan of networking events! So I’ll give this a try.

  2. Mohinish Nirwal says:

    Hi, you lost weight and didn’t post a pic 🙂
    Let me lose some and I’ll beat the hell out of it :).

  3. Aaron Billings says:

    Hi everyone. This is really interesting that these affirmations are working for Sarah.
    I have been studying affirmations for a few months now. And may have found some very important information about the use and safety (!) of affirmations.
    I was super serious about shaping my own life through manifesting, so I made a list of all of the affirmations that I could think of that would fill the gap between who I am and who I wanted to be.
    I actually was looking online for a professional hypnotist to speak and record these affirmations so that I could hear my affirmations, backed by meditative music, all night long every night.
    And when Laura Spicer (well renowned voice trainer and hypnotist – http://laura-spicer.com/) saw some of my affirmations, she was very concerned for my well being.
    You see, affirmations are sometimes so powerful that they seem capable of killing a person. One notable story that Dr. Joe Dispenza (featured neuro scientist in What the Bleep Do We Know) tells of a man who was diagnosed with a deadly disease and told that he only had a few months to live.
    The man then died months later, exactly as the doctor has predicted. But when the man’s body was being examined to find his cause of death, none could be found (I understand). The man seemed to have believed himself to death.
    So what’s the take-away?
    (1) Affirmations that involve denying one’s own true physical situation (like “I am not fat” or “I do not have cancer”) has been shown to immediately create biochemcial stress.
    This biochemical stress accumulates over time. When a person begins suffering from any chronic disease, it seems that this ONLY happens when the body has become full of biochemcial stress.
    So the implication is that you basically fuel disease and a lack of health if you “lie” to your subconscious mind about your current situation You can study the Healing Code book by Dr. Alex Loyd for more info.
    (2) Attempting to change your physical body through belief or affirmations may have disastrous effects. If a man can kill himself through belief then what is the limitation of the potential negative effects of using manifesting on our own bodies? Debateably, there is no limitation at all.
    And trying to change something in the body without causing any additional problems is probably like trying to carefully walk 1,000 miles down a road that has every inch covered with mousetraps, without setting off any mousetraps. Does the medical industry and the even most experienced doctors completely understand the human body? If they did, then we probably wouldn’t even need case studies – we would just know all the answers.
    (3) Believing things regarding your own attitude and your views about yourself (like how Sarah believes that she loves going to the gym) may be the only type of safe affirmations. In fact, every time you state any belief, you are already reaffirming that reality.
    Examples of this type of recommended affirmations:
    “I have limitless gratitude today”
    “I love my job”
    “I love to work out and exercise”
    “I adore and care so much for my spouse”
    Examples of affirmations that may be counter-productive or even dangerous (!) [I am assuming here that none of these statements are actually true]:
    “I have a million dollars”
    “I am super fit”
    “I am super strong”
    “I have tan skin”
    (4) A really great, safe place to start with manifesting may be to simply stop reaffirming the negativity in your life. To describe any negativity in an uncertain and non-affirming way.
    “I feel really sick today” can be replaced with “I seem to not be feeling well today”.
    “I have cancer and I am going to die soon” can instead become “It seems that I have been diagnosed with cancer. But I feel calm, happy, and even confident because I firmly believe that everything will somehow work out for the best.”
    “I hate my job” can be replaced with “I love my job even though getting a different, better job may be very advantageous for me.”
    Good luck to you all in your manifesting. And in all the amazing and meaningful things that you choose to do with your lives.

  4. Liv Faye says:

    Thanks for the simple and effective advice Sarah. I need to tell myself that I’m the kind of person that hates procrastinating! That I love using my time in a productive way instead of wasting it online or doing nothing. I found doing this has actually made me snap from moments of procrastination, but I haven’t practiced it as much as I should. Thanks for the reminder!

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