Tag Archives: Motivation

2 Comments

When most of us make important decisions, we look to and ask what others have done. We usually feel confident when we know that people have already done what it is that we are in question about. And when we do what has been recommended by those we look up to and respect, we usually feel that what we’ve done is right and acceptable. Our measure of success is often governed by our sense of being in proper alignment with what our culture has suggested is the right thing to do. But even in doing the suggested right thing we sometimes feel a gnawing inside suggesting that something might be “off” but we can’t quite put our finger on it. Most of us will just chalk it up to an assumption that we just didn’t have enough information about the decision we needed to make and move on confident that things will work out the way we prefer because we’ve done what was suggested by those who have more experience than us.

However, a small portion of us will choose a different route. We listen to our gut and do what we feel will be best regardless of what others may think or have done. We don’t trust others because we feel that they can’t know our personal situation and all the mitigating factors. We think, “They haven’t walked in my shoes. So, how can they possibly know what I’ve experienced?” In this light we feel that it’s necessary to dope things out ourselves. We may then feel comfortable with our own choices but then may wonder whether we are ignorant of some other factors that we might be missing that someone else might see. Then we say to ourselves, “What will be, will be, and I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it” trusting that we will be able to handle what’s needed if something is different than expected.

We are generally taught both approaches by our parents and elders in varying degrees. However, they usually attune us mostly toward the approach that they most use themselves either through direct and conscious instruction or through the example of their own, mostly unconscious, actions while watching them as we grow.

However, both approaches may be used by the same person depending on the circumstances involved. If we’re dealing with something that we’ve had experience with, we may be more likely to trust that experience. If we’re not, we may be more likely to ask for assistance from someone who has had more experience than we in the decisions being made. Alternating this way is the most mature and balanced option to be adopted. But there are people who almost exclusively use one approach but not the other. This will tend to indicate that there may be some personal issues that need to be worked out. Each of the approaches have their own etiology and need to be handled differently. Let’s look at the first approach.

I call this approach the Outie. I call it such because, like the belly button, our center of “gravity” is outside of ourselves. Like when we are children, we are drawn outside of ourselves to receive the love, affection, and the support of our parents. This is our unconscious attempt to regain the wholeness or lack of detachment we had while in the womb. I say unconscious because in the womb there is no sense of detachment or disconnect from what we become aware of needing once we are born out of the inner landscape of our complete world inside the womb. Once we are born though, that detachment becomes more and more apparent as we are unable to replace the completeness we felt in the womb. We soon learn to become aware of being divided into self and not-self. Then, the outside world is born to us.

As we focus as an Outie would, we seek counsel, permission and information from our parents, elders, superiors, and anyone of authority in whatever venue we are needing to make decisions about. Sensing that the outer world determines how our life will go, we consistently search outside of ourselves for the cues and values that will allow us to align with the part of that world that can and should provide us with what we need or want. Growing up, the standards for our thought take on more of a scientific perspective as we look for evidence or “proof” that what we’re doing or deciding “earns” our objectives. We rationalize our actions, we come to believe (a choice) that the outer world determines what our actions should be. Our next step in reasoning arrives at determining whether we deserve what we need or want. We now remember childhood responses coming from our parents telling us how well we were, or weren’t, aligned with what they wanted or expected of us. If what we did was desirable by them, we may feel entitled. If it wasn’t, we may feel undeserving. If entitled, we now assume that others will also be obligated to provide what we need or want provided we did what was required. If undeserving, we instead learn to manipulate others into providing it.

Being primarily an Outie provides us a perceived benefit in terms of how we view our accountability for our actions. Being externally directed by our actions gives us permission to be free of blame for anything that we do. After all, if others tell us what is right, and then we do it, how can we be responsible for our actions? This is often one of the unconscious underlying motivations as to why people immerse themselves into religions or cult groups. Follow the leader and you’re blame free and forgiven.

So, being an Outie means primarily taking our directives for how we think, what we do and what we’re responsible for from external sources and from those whom we believe have authority over us or those to whom we’ve given our authority. Now, let’s take a look at the alternate approach of being an Innie.

All of us start off as an Outie but as we get further into responding to the outside world, something inside starts to rebel against yielding our power over to others for our choices and thinking. The “terrible twos” are a prime example. Remember that point at which we began having a gnawing feeling inside suggesting that something might be “off” but can’t quite put our finger on it? This is the point where things start to change. Somehow, the physical world starts to lose some of its “persuasion” over us and our feelings and intuition begin to regain the dominance and influence they had in the womb. Our spirit or inner sense of ourselves grows stronger where we are less likely to follow others or do what we are told. This is not to be confused with the Outie reaction of rebelling against authority. Rebellion still operates under the belief that the outside world controls our circumstances and is still taking cues from the outside world by simply taking an opposing or resistant viewpoint. As an Innie we may still have the urge to recreate the conditions we felt in the womb. We feel that we would rather do it ourselves rather than leaving it in the hands of others by acceding to what we believe they want from us.

Being primarily an Innie puts a whole different spin on things and marks the beginnings of becoming accountable whether we’re conscious of it or not. Granted, following our own path may provide us the self-directiveness that we would prefer, however, not taking into account others in our environment and what they may feel or say about what we say or do may have its own consequences. Let’s look at the motivations.

Being an Innie leans us more into trusting our own judgment and experience rather than soliciting the advice or suggestions of others. We feel this to be an advantage as it gives us is a much stronger sense of our own ability to direct the world as we’d like it to be. We determine how our life will go. We take steps to put things in motion. It’s under our control.

As we progress in this approach our experience becomes the validation for our choices. This allows us to judge our value based on our own experience and not depend on the recommendations or responses of others to determine whether we’re a “good” person or not in the eyes of our peer groups and elders. In a sense, we become our own bosses. We ignore what might contradict our personal common sense and reasoning. We become the person that Outies come to for advice. To excess, we become a non-violent anarchist ignoring anything that runs contrary to our feelings or that appears to be "politically correct." In the extreme we might even become violent or narcissistic.

Being an Innie has its advantages. After the world has responded to our choice, we can plainly see our successes and failures without the need to share the credit or blame with anyone. It’s all on us. We know that those credits and successes are solely the result of our own efforts and choices. We have a clear understanding of our own worth relative to our values and, only if we’re listening, the values of others. This creates and then reinforces the trust we have in our own intuition and gut feeling. For the Innie, trusting ourselves and following our hearts are the most important contributing factors in how we see and handle our involvement with life.

Innies are more likely to be introverts. Those who are Outies, extroverts. Introverts are more influenced by their own feelings and thought processes where extroverts are usually more influenced by the perceived feelings and assessments coming from others. Innies like to spend more time alone and might even avoid others. Outies generally often fear being alone and more often seek others for companionship, reflection and self-validation. The motives for both Innies and Outies may be conscious or not.

Being solely an Innie or solely an Outie will each weight us toward differing problems with our elders, children and peer groups. Innies in excess will often be seen as snobbish, anti-social, narcissistic, and evasive. Outies in excess will often be seen as meddlesome, wishy-washy, solicitous, and manipulative. Most people will avoid either of those types unless they are “commiserating” in their common excesses while supporting each other’s insecurities through rationalization and projection. Misery loves company even if it’s unconscious.

Being in any great extent toward either approach is not particularly healthy. However, we may behave toward one extreme or the other only in specific areas of life. For example, in technical issues we could be highly effective, proficient, and confident in that we have consciously developed experience and skills in such areas as art, business and trade where human responses are not as involved in how we perceive our own performance. Yet, in the area of people skills, we may not have as strong a sense of self or confidence due to our emotional history and upbringing leading us toward being weighted toward one approach or the other. The reverse may also be true.

Living in the world with others and being able to survive generally leads toward needing to have skills that balance our inner and outer experiences in our interactions with the world. The healthiest individual will have well rounded and integrated Innie and Outie approaches. Each one should seamlessly flow into the other when the landscape shifts from personal to public and vice versa. This will ensure that our personal integrity and social standing will maintain a clean and open interchange. The result will be an honest bi-perspective blanketing of self-reliance and confidence in almost all the different areas in our lives. Some of us will be able to embody this balance early on if we’ve received enough encouragement from our caregivers for acknowledging and supporting our own inner feelings and intuition in our upbringing. Some of us will end up struggling throughout most of our lives to come to that point. Others may never reach it. This balance is the primary mark of emotional maturity and personal accountability. We must all strive to become conscious of our patterns and balance them with the world we live in. If we are successful, we can truly be in the world but not of it.

Much more on this subject can be found at: www.EmotionalTroubleshooter.com

 

self-doubt-7With every endeavor on untried ground there rises within us some measure of doubt as to whether we will be up to the task, accomplish what we desire or how we will appear to others as we conclude our efforts. But what is doubt? Where does it come from? Is it something that we’re born with or is it something that is learned and acquired? My belief is that it is learned and acquired.

When a baby begins to walk, talk or eat, these activities occur naturally, without effort or concern. Why? The thought processes that qualify or judge what we are doing have not been formed yet. Ask yourself this question. Have there been activities like painting, cooking, sculpting, reading or running that you have become so involved in doing that time, environmental circumstances and your concern with other issues never came to mind? It’s like you’ve been out of phase with the world, taken out of the loop, out of touch. What’s truly interesting is that after such an experience you end up feeling recharged, refreshed and more grounded and centered than you were before you started. Why? It’s because the mind and it’s judgments didn’t interfere with what you were doing.

Our judgment of the world comes from the workings of the mind. This is something that we were taught whether by our parents or from the feedback we get from others assessing our activities. These judgments come unhindered and are quietly incorporated into our beliefs about ourselves and who we are and then slowly and easily submerge into our subconscious. As children we become so attuned to what pleases our parents and family that we ultimately either transfer their authority and opinions to other significant people in our lives such as relationships, friends, enemies, neighbors and more or attract others to us who embody those same standards. As humans, we seek to create familiar circumstances over and over in our lives so we can feel security in the continuity of things. As children, and often as adults, we’re trained to take to heart what other say and feel about who we are and how we perform. As a result we go through a constant process criticismof comparing what we want to do with our perceived opinions, needs and requirements of others. Then, as we consider doing things that others may disapprove of or believe that we are incapable of, our mind very slowly begins to rationalize the validity of their opinions and judgments to the point that our own internal conversation begins to convince us that what we’ve chosen to do is unreachable or self-defeating.

Our doubt comes from two places: personal experiences that didn’t measure up to our expectations and learned internal dialogues that echo our parents and the opinions of others over our own. The first view necessitates the garnering of courage just to try again what we’ve attempted but from, perhaps, a different approach. This scenario is usually manageable and easy to overcome since this type of limitation is completely under our own control. However, if our doubt was initiated by training from others, it’s a bit more difficult to overcome, especially, since we had no control over the forming of what we now believe about ourselves before we even knew that we had a choice in such matters. Children almost always carry on their parents’ assessment of them throughout their lives, if not consciously, most certainly unconsciously. If their parents taught them to not believe in followtherulestheir abilities but to trust others over their own judgment instead, doubt will be a predominating influence in everything they do. What makes this so difficult beyond the fact that it has been incorporated into our belief system is that we also have no control over the doubt reinforcing feedback we receive from others. Because it’s ingrained in us, we tend accept those limitations at face value never questioning their validity.

If our investment in the opinions of others about whom we are and what we’re capable of is strong, doubt will be the primary limiting factor in every activity we consider doing throughout our lives. It acts like a hidden virus coming from a small seed, growing and overpowering our lives. Our self-worth will be sabotaged at every turn and we will feel powerless and insignificant at our core rationalizing that our perceived ineffectiveness comes from the world and the obstructions provided by others. In that light we never realize that our limitations came to us through our own early training. To extricate ourselves from this perspective we must first come to the understanding that doubt is a product of our own minds and training and that we must learn to trust our own feelings rather than the opinions of our parents and others in spite of our fear of their possible negative judgments and assessments. This is the hardest scenario for us to overcome.

If our faith in the judgments of others over our own is not as strong, our doubt may creep in intermittently depending on the circumstance triggered. There may be some situations where in we feel confident and others that we don’t. We must sort out which are which and work on the ones that are the most limiting through asking questions of ourselves as to where our doubt about them is coming from. Once the source is recognized, we can consciously take steps to intentionally create new experiences within the same issues thereby reprogramming our attitude and trust after Pic-The Thinkersuccessful completion creating a new assessment of ourselves and removing any potential for doubt. Restoring confidence can only come from personal experience regardless of whether it is spontaneous or planned. No amount of coaching or positive affirmations can substitute for the personal inner work that must be done. How we feel about ourselves is our own choice. Even as a child this is true but subject to much more difficulty since, as a child, we don’t know yet that we have a choice.

Doubt is odorless, tasteless and invisible. It is probably the most lethal opponent to our ambition and self-confidence. It is a viral agent capable of sabotaging every effort an infected person is able to muster. But it can be eliminated with care, patience and keen observation of how we feel when we choose to invest in any endeavor.  If you doubt its potency, simply consider what microscopic entity saved our hides in the movie War of the Worlds. It was odorless, tasteless and invisible to the naked eye. Yet, it annihilated an entire invading force…and they never knew what hit them.

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 lottell no one 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 BalloonPinPoppay 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 aszip your lip 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 Peak performanceto 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.

1 Comment

Pic- 7 Deadly AssnsThese seven dynamic types of personal interchange comprise the factors that surreptitiously “work” toward assassinating the implementation of our motivation. They are: exhaustion, hopelessness, toxic shame, perfectionism, procrastination, altruism and “reality.” They are all the result of post-verbal training. However, before we delineate these causes it would be prudent to review what we know in order to have a clear and simple understanding of what motivation is, especially, ...continue reading