We can so easily psyche ourselves out of doing things because we don’t want to feel the discomfort, pain or even inconvenience or doing what needs to be done.
In NLP terms, people are either ‘towards’ or ‘away’.
Towards people are motivated by the idea of what the effort will bring them.
Ready to manifest their dreams even when others think them delusional.
It’s not about getting lost in the dream but keeping that vision (or a Sankalpa in yogic terms) to help keep you motivated.
Away people are more driven by what they don’t want.
Sometimes, it may feel as if, even thought they know things could be better, it takes things (a job, relationship, living situation, illness etc) becoming intolerable before they take action.
Imagining the pain in the dentist’s chair (and to the bank account) instead of thinking of the benefits of a mouth full of as healthy as possible teeth and gums means you’re likely to put off that dentist visit.
But if you lose a tooth, suddenly you’re there.
Hating your job but spending all your energy on getting through your days (or nights) at work until something happens to spur you into action.
Wanting to stop feeling so terrible (maybe temporarily unable to even think about what you WANT) so getting in touch with a therapist
If you know what you want out of life, that goal can be very motivating even when the day to day feels like a grind.
And when we DON’T want what we have, that can be motivational, too.
We’re all different and understanding more about our styles means we can better support ourselves.
And something that can work for you whether you’re ‘towards’ or ‘away’ motivated is a tolerations list.
What are you currently tolerating in your life?
These low level niggles that are seemingly innocuous but which, over time, impact our sense of confidence as well as using up energy.
Write down everything that, when you think about it, drains you.
It may be just a couple of small things (changing that lightbulb to one that works?) or it may go pages long.
I’ve never had as long a tolerations list as I have right now.
I’m howling at myself for thinking that I’d be unpacked within a week after I moved for the third time in five months back in August.
This is my first ever house and while I had loads of work done to it before I moved in, there’s loads I still want to sort.
My tolerations list even has subsections.
I have things divided by the room (or similar) and then subdivided into Quick Wins, Takes Time and Takes Money.
I did as much as I could manage last year but by the time my parents arrived in October, I still had some boxes to deal with.
They went under their bed and in high cupboards, ready for Future Me to handle.
My parents moved into their own place just over a week ago and I still haven’t delved into those boxes (although I have sorted my delightful new therapy space).
I’m busy with work day to day as well as working on three new projects that are really energising (towards motivation) and another new project which simply has to be done (away motivation – this isn’t yet bad enough for me to take the next teeny tiny action in the direction I’m moving into. You might even be able to guess what it is).
Still taking some time each day to work through my tolerations lists helps me feel less drained and overwhelmed and better able to properly relax.
I find the lists helpful as I can choose whatever suits my mood.
Each page is very low tech (A4 with biro mind map) and then, when I’m scheduling my week ahead, I can plan some of the bits I’ll sort while allowing enough flexibility for my mood and energy levels.
If you imagine walking into your home, what immediately drains your energy as you think, Ahh yes, need to sort that…?
If you want to give this a go, list EVERYTHING, from walking towards your home (the external tolerations) to the front door, hallway, and mentally (or physically!) visit each room and simply list – with curiosity and compassion.
This isn’t about judging ourselves for what we think we ‘should’ have done or ‘should’ find easier.
There’s little more draining than those ‘shoulds’.
This may be one short exercise or it might be something to add to as you ponder other areas of your life – family, friends, work, transport, long held dreams, unresolved issues etc etc.
And, as ever, my focus is on self care and supporting you in helping yourself so you’ll find lots of blogs, videos and other self care tools to help you become your own self care coach throughout this site
What can you do TODAY to free up some of that energy for more interesting things?
If you’re local enough to Castlebar and Westport, I’m doing another two workshops as part of Mayo Libraries’ Healthy Ireland at Your Library initiative.
Wherever you’re based, if you’d like to free up more energy, feel free to email me your #1 toleration and what you’re going to do (and when by – accountability is key) to deal with it – firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll respond personally to as many emails as possible.
I read all of them and even by messaging me, you’re making that stronger commitment to yourself to take that action.