As creatures of habit, most people avoid change in any way. But the events of the last few years have meant that all of us have had to change many aspects of our day to day lives and while some have thrived during this time, others have found it difficult just to survive from one day to the next.
Obviously there will be certain individuals that have found themselves in horific situations and I really hope they find the strength to turn things around.
For others a few simple changes have disrupted their comfortable routine and this blog post is directed at them…
I have a number of conversations on a weekly basis with clients and athletes about the importance of resilience. Whether it’s a business opportunity, or an athletic pursuit, there will be numerous times on your journey when you will feel like quitting, when things simply feel too tough to carry on.
That’s the nature of any pursuit that requires us to initiate change, it’s challenging for all of us to adjust our habits and behaviours and typically we just want to take the easy route and fall back into our old comfortable ways. But do most people revert back to their comfort zone a bit too easily?
I believe that it’s common for people to give up at around 40% of their capacity. Most people hate stepping outside of their comfort zone and will give up on any challenge a long time before it really begins to challenge them.
These people have probably struggled the most in the last few years.
We enjoy watching others struggle, but find ways to avoid it ourselves. This is why television programmes like SAS Who Dares Wins, or even the challenges on reality programmes like I’m A Celebrity, Get Me out Of Here, become so engaging, because most people wouldn’t ever dream of carrying a 40kg log up a mountain or eating a camel’s testicles! Just the thought of it would make some people leave the room.
The people on these programmes have a much bigger motivation though. On the SAS programme these guys have decided they want to be soldiers, and not just any army soldiers, they want to be the best of the best. If they quit, they don’t just lose face with their instructors or the other members of their battalion, they lose their whole identity.
With the celebrities on “Get Me out of Here”, they haven’t eaten properly for a number of days, there are some angry people back at the camp and most significantly they want to win a game show for their own ego and career progression!
Of course they’re going to eat a camel’s testicles if it means they get their own daytime TV show or the opportunity to front an advertising campaign for hundreds of thousands of pounds when they leave the jungle.
What is going to motivate you when you feel like throwing in the towel?
What’s going to keep you coming back when you know it would be easy to give in? What’s going to stop you reaching for the snack drawer when you’ve had a tough day at the office? What’s going to be the driver to keep you going to the gym when you just want to lounge on the sofa?
For me, my motivation now is simple. It used to be about aesthetics, bulging biceps and six pack abs and whilst that all looks good, it’s not a real driver when life becomes pretty tough.
What motivates me is being around to look after my little boys. My oldest boy, Thomas was born a few months before my 40th birthday. That’s quite late for most first time dads and so my motivation is to be my little boy’s hero for as long as I can. To win the dads race at his sports day, to be a great inspiration to him through his young years, to guide him through great adventures as he becomes a teenager and to be around as the fittest, healthiest and most inspiring father as I see the man that he becomes.
When my alarm goes in the morning, I think of this before I hit the snooze button. When it gets tough at the gym, this drives me on. When I face challenges in life I only need to ask myself what Thomas’ hero would do in this situation. When I feel like quitting its amazing how much further I can push myself with this thought.
What is going to keep you going when it all gets a bit too much?
I challenge you to take a few moments to answer the following question:
WHEN I FEEL LIKE QUITTING I WILL REMIND MYSELF:
It’s a simple exercise – but I think you’ll discover a deeper motivation for WHY you do what you do and what truly motivates you…