I've noticed that there are two things that often push people to take action. Those two things are motivation and self-belief.
I find both of them to be fascinating as individual concepts as well as a pair. They are two completely different things, but yet they can work together so well. We'll get into what I mean by that in today's article.
WHAT IS MOTIVATION?
According to some dictionary definitions, motivation comes from some sort of desire.
According to me, motivation is fluff. Motivation is the guy on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook talking about the low point in his life, and how he started with $15 in his bank account, and is now a self-made millionaire. And because he did all of this, YOU can do it too. Motivation is what we feel after we watch an awesome video on social media. It's what we feel after we listen to an awesome speech. It's what we feel when we're moved in a powerful way. Motivation is a fleeting desire to do something you may not normally do.
WHAT IS SELF-BELIEF?
Self-belief is a trust in one's own abilities. It's something that comes from experience and action. Self-belief is more permanent because it comes from the known, rather than the unknown. It comes from the tangible, rather than the abstract.
I know I know, you want me to get to my point. I am. I just wanted to make sure I went over motivation and self-belief briefly, that way we're all on the same page.
In fitness, we know that there are those that do and those that don't. Those that do, see results. They reach their goals and then some. They achieve great things. Those that don't, see no fruit because there was no labor. They don't reach their goals and they don't achieve anything. We've been led to believe that the doers are the ones that are motivated. They are seemingly in a constant state of motivation, always ready to attack anything in front of them with the most energy and enthusiasm.
In my years of coaching in the fitness industry, I've discovered that not to be the case. The doers aren't in a constant state of motivation and drive. They are everyday people just like you and me that have a bunch of other crap to do too. But that doesn't mean they were never motivated.
You see, motivation is a very useful tool when used properly. As I mentioned before, motivation is fleeting. It is temporary and never constant. However, motivation can be used while its at its peak in order to create action that turns into habit.
The doers utilize this tactic all the time, and that's what makes them doers. When doers feel a sense of motivation, they take action over and over and over. Before they know it, that action has turned into a habit, and they no longer need motivation to keep them going. They are now relying on self-belief which is more permanent, because they know that can complete the task, simply because they've done it several times before.
Take working out for example. Training and pushing your body to uncomfortable limits is something that seems like it requires a ton of motivation all the time. But that's not the case. Sure, if you've never worked out before, you may need to motivate yourself with some incentive like a goal or desired result from your work. Once that motivation has set a fire within you, you are far more likely to go to the gym and train. Before you know it, you've trained multiple times per week for the last 3 months. Eventually, that motivation will leave. That's just the way it is. BUT, that doesn't mean that you stop working out. Why? Well, it's simple. You now have 3 months of self-belief in your tool-belt because you've gone to the gym and pushed yourself when you had that motivation. You know you're capable, and you know what's to come. So, you're better prepared, and you can go forth and attack what's in front of you.
When I started working out, I hated it. I didn't like the burn I felt while lifting weights. I didn't like breathing so heavily I thought I'd never catch my breath again. I couldn't stand it. But I had a goal that was motivating me. Years later, I go to the gym and push myself even when I don't have a goal. Why? I enjoy it. I enjoy pushing myself and seeing what my body is capable of doing. I enjoy that burn and that fatigue that I get. I also know that I'm fully capable of pushing myself hard knowing I'll end up on top. I believe in myself. I created a habit that needs no motivation for execution.
Sometimes you need motivation. But if you rely on motivation to get you to do everything, you'll end up doing nothing. Find motivation, create a habit in action in order to build self-belief, and use that self-belief to continue moving forward.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life. If you’re interested in hiring Adam as your coach, fill out an application here.