When we have the urge to do something that will directly benefit how we feel about ourselves there are two ways in which our ability to motivate ourselves can be sabotaged. The first is simply negative programming carried over from our childhood catalyzing our self-doubt and the second is input from others when we tell them what we are planning to do. Repairing the first influence can be very difficult and time consuming and often involves a long process of replacing our harmful experiences with new and encouraging ones. The second way is a lot easier to compensate for if not openly overcome. The method is to minimize or eliminate the external inputs that may undercut our ability and confidence in creating and maintaining the motivational momentum that inspired us toward a new experience in the first place. Simply put, if we don’t tell anyone what we’re doing or planning to do, there is no possibility that their input or feedback will have a deflating effect on our motivation and momentum. Let me explain what happens when we tell others what we’re going to do while we’re looking for support.
When we tell others what we’re doing or intend to do two things occur. First, the energy we would have used for our project gets split and disbursed between the project itself and the process of making ourselves open to the input and influence of others. Many hands may often make light work but what if those hands have different intentions that take our project in a direction different from our intentions? Then our energy becomes dissipated diminishing our motivational momentum. Second, the feedback we receive from others about our project often resonates with the training we may have received in childhood that contributed toward doubting ourselves. Remember, our tendency toward the friends we choose, let alone confide in, almost always repeats our family connections and conditions due to our need for the security of recreating a familiar emotional environment. The word familiar itself is testimony to the strength and focus of that recreation. Most of the time, the discouragement we receive is given to us unconsciously. But sometimes it’s borne of jealousy and takes on a more sinister focus and direction. We usually don’t recognize the unconscious undermining but we do recognize the intentional undermining since we’ve been trained into learning how to become aware of malicious intentions and to spot intentional interference. We then might ask, “Why would we have or want either?” The answer is simple. Since we unconsciously base our friendships on the same standards, cautions and patterns that we grew up with, we repeat our family conditions and programming. And those family conditions often point only to the past cautions and “what ifs” that originally triggered our self-doubt. Let’s look at an example.
Suppose as a younger person we’re gifted with the ability and talent of an artist and a passion for it to match. Our dream may coalesce into a desire for schooling in Rome or Paris to study art in the home environment of the masters. After dreaming and pondering this for a while we realize we must tell our parents if there is to be any possibility for this to occur. As young as we are we have little or no other options. However, we all know what we’re going to hear. “Who’s going to pay for the school? You don’t even know the language. What if you can’t sell your art after you graduate? How will you support yourself?” These comments and many more are geared to present a need for caution as our parents do tend to worry. But what so often happens is the passion, the desire and motivation which arose in us during our dreaming and pondering process ends up getting squashed in the light of our parents’ personal experience, practicalities, fears and concerns for our welfare. There is nothing wrong with our parents sharing their concern for our safety and welfare with us. They usually only speak from their heart and with our best interests in mind. But our parents and the majority of our culture have been trained to look at the hurdles that must be overcome rather than learning to apply the passion that might fuel them toward what can be done.
As children and adolescents there really is no other way for us but to tell our parents and the people we care about what we want to do. This is done mostly out of a need to gain their permission. But as we get older and as we pick friends who reflect our family’s characteristics, how can we not expect to have the same type of focus, fears and advice we received as children? Unconsciously we are often still asking them for their permission as we did of our parents as children. Even as adults and due to the similarities our friends often focus on the cautions and fears that our parents conveyed to us. Expecting the same response we got from our parents, the best thing we can do to preserve our dreams and their momentum is to not tell them of our dreams and plans…at least until we become a lot stronger in our Self-Trust and confidence to power our own actions.
Not telling our friends and acquaintances of our plans or dreams, especially when we have low Self-Trust and are suggestible by others, is a primary way of conserving and building our energy and emotional strength. When we reclaim the power of our own Self-Trust we can then divulge to others what we plan to do, especially when we’ve matured toward running on our own steam. This is one of the first and simplest ways we have in altering the defeating programming we may have received as children. The best way to maximize our Self-Trust is to minimize the influence of others on us while we’re building it.