I have to bite my tongue really, really hard when someone stares and says, “I don’t know how you could do what you do. Getting up in the morning and working out…”
Do you have friends like that? The loving ones who only think the best of you, which unfortunately can also mean assuming that you’re a super-Thor-type who billows off to the gym every morning with a cloak of crimson justice and a hammer of iron discipline.
Not to spoiler or anything, but it’s actually the opposite:
I have to trick myself into doing the epic stuff.
“What if I just did that one scapular stretch right now… ” and next thing you know, it’s the Shawarma drill and my shoulders are feeling so good that they almost dance off to the gym by themselves.
Having used this “What if” game to successfully trick myself into getting my workouts done — not to mention self-care and foamrolling between clients and lifts — , I can say that it works pretty well.
But not everyone is a trickster, either.
What does that mean for you?
1) Look at the two types of self-motivator and figure out which one fits you best.
2) Apply those techniques to any area of your life. (It doesn’t have to be lifting, I promise!)
Thrives with external motivation: go ahead and put on your favorite music, outfit, podcast; anything that feels like a gentle “push” from someone or something to provide the momentum to get you going.
Does well with self-empowering equipment: gadgets, clothing, kind words from friends.
Passes on that energy to others: “Believe in you who believes in me!” (Just don’t get killed, bro.)
Doesn’t usually understand their own motivation: things just happen when they need to.
Gets easily bogged down with overthinking or overpreparation. If it takes the whole morning to pick out a workout playlist, then what’s the point of doing pushups?
Can get meta real fast if the overthinking happens, which is why they need to Do The Thing first and ask questions later — because by then, those questions will be more self-evaluative, thoughtful, and analytical about the task itself, as opposed to asking a blanket, “What’s the point?”
Let me know in the comments what you think, and how you take care of your own self-motivation.
Are you a hero or a trickster?