10 February 2007

Fear and motivation – a double act.

Most of what I write about focuses on the world of small business. It is what I do and what I am passionate about. Interestingly enough, most of my clients are large corporations that have small business clients they just struggle to communicate effectively with them but that is another issue for another blog. What I would like to talk about here is change and my perspective on one of the greatest challenges that most of us face, regardless of what our chosen occupation or business may be.

There are often parts of our lives that make us unhappy or frustrated. We know we need to change what we are doing to change our state but often we are not really that prepared to make the hard decisions necessary to bring about this change. There is a wonderful saying that seems to keep going around in my head these days – “if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep getting what you always got”. How true is this?

If you life is wonderful, full and passionate, my advice is don’t change a thing (clearly why would you?). But if there are parts of your life that are not working, making little fluffy changes won’t make any real or lasting impact on your life. Sure it may help a little but it is unlikely to be signficant or long lasting.

Unfortunately we have wonderful brains that play tricks on us to protect us from hurt and pain. We delude ourselves and come up with a million and one resons not to make changes but the reality is that if we are not happy with certain aspect of our lives or ourselves, we have to make major changes to make it right. Often those changes are challenging to us and those around us. Change is often accompanied by fear.

To me it is a matter of motivation. How much do we want to change our life? Are we prepared to do what it takes? If we want them more than the resistance to change that we can normally hide behind we will make the changes accordingly.

Based on this I think the best way to implement dramatic change into our lives is to really work on our motivation. Think about the end result of what we will ahieve. The joy, the passion, the energy and excitement that may be missing because we have not been motivated to change. Motivation drives change and just has fear stops it. We simply need to ensure that we have more motivation than fear and then making life long changes become much easier.

Giving up smoking is a great example. Most smokers stuggle with giving up. It’s hard to quit, will we be able to stop and if we can’t will people think less of us? So the cycle of stop/start begins and many people play with this all of their lives. But sit in front of a Doctor and have them tell you that you have lung cancer and you will be dead in a year and see how quickly a smoke stops. Clearly too late but the point is clear.

Often fear and motivation will work together. In the example above the fear of dying has probably given the smoke the right motivation so whilst fear can hold us back it can sometimes also help us to change. Again, it is just a matter of motivation being bigger than fear.

So, the best way to find the right motivation is to visualise, look into the future, think your current situation through to the end and final outcome. Is something magical going to happen that will change your life tomorrow? I’m guessing the answer to this is no – so it is up to you to change.

In closing, my advice here is simple enough. If you want something bad enough to make major changes in your life you will make them. Don’t start on the changes start on your motivation. Breath what you want, smell it, taste and see it. Once you have the right motivation behind you the change will become easy.
Good luck in making the changes you need in your life and remember, if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.

Cheers

AG

One thought on “Fear and motivation – a double act.”

  1. Nydia says:

    Keep up the good work.

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Andrew Griffiths is Australia's #1 small business author with 12 best selling books now sold in over 60 countries. He's a writing and publishing expert, an international speaker and leading business advisor with over 20 years' experience. Andrew presents around the world and is considered an expert in entrepreneurship and an authority on building a profile. He is a thought leader through writing, publishing and speaking and is featured regularly in mainstream global media.

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