I had barely started when the chatter kicked in. First just a quiet whisper, but it quickly grew into an unexpected motivational crisis. It reminded me that I didn’t want to be here – I didn’t feel like doing this. My mind raced to the list of important priorities waiting for me. I began to rationalize my thoughts as my motivation crashed. It wouldn’t really hurt if I shorten my efforts just a bit, would it? My eyes glanced at the timer on the elliptical machine. Sigh. I was only a quarter of the way into my time.
No one would know if I stopped short. No one would know if I called it quits and went home. I’d already taken and posted an enthusiastic gym-selfie when I arrived with my motivation still intact. To the world, I’d already been successful. Truth be told, internally, I was struggling to push through a massive wall of self-chatter.
Every ounce of me wanted to quit, I bargained with myself – finally deciding not to entertain quitting until the clock said I had five minutes left. For the next several minutes, I stared quitting in the face. I was reminded how easy it can be to give up based on what we feel or what we tell ourselves. In the end, the choice is ours. Do we quit or keep going? In those long minutes on the elliptical, I realized several things about quitting that I thought you might find helpful too. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t stop at 5 minutes. I finished my full workout.
3 Tips to Fuel Your Motivation:
Self-chatter is an extremely powerful force.
Self-chatter can push an athlete to finish an iron man competition, or it can cause someone to shrink on the couch and never realize their potential. How you talk to yourself matters! I would never tell a friend to quite with just 5 minutes left, so why would I allow me to tell myself that? It was only when I challenged my thoughts that I could push through them. What self-talk do you need to replace? If this is something you struggle with, I recommend the book “Crash the Chatterbox” by Steven Furtick.
Always remember your ‘why.’
When you set out towards a goal or you are trying to establish a new habit, ask yourself why? Write your why down. Tuck it close to your heart and keep it as a weapon for your internal chatter. My ‘why’ caused me to challenge my thoughts yesterday. I want to be healthy for my family and so that I have energy to pursue my goals. What is your ‘why’ in an area you struggle with? Michael Hyatt once said “When you’ve lost your why, you’ve lost your way.” Remember your why and stay the course.
It’s not about them, it’s about you.
No one would have noticed if I cut short my gym workout, but I would have known. Stretching ourselves, reaching towards our goals isn’t about what other people will notice, think, or say. Just because people don’t comment on your progress doesn’t mean you haven’t made any. Choose to continue to take the next step because it brings you closer to your goal, your dream, or your purpose. Encouragement from others is always appreciated, but don’t let that be the source of your motivation. Feedback is great, but don’t let it be your fuel. Find strength through your faith, dig deep, and learn how to push yourself when you feel like quitting.
I’m taking what my experience at the gym taught me yesterday and applying it to other areas. This morning I spent time asking myself why in other areas that are important to me such as writing. Why do I write? I write because life is hard. We all struggle sometimes. I’ve had my share and I know you have too. We all have value. Friend, you are priceless. If I can share from my journey, and encourage you on yours, then all of my time spent writing is well worth it!
Are you struggling with wanting to stop short in an area of your life? Do you feel like you’ve already dropped the ball? Or, are you hoping this year will be different? Whichever of these fit you, I hope that my Saturday gym experience leaves you empowered to talk yourself out of quitting when the journey gets hard. Press on friend! You’ve got this!
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A few other posts you might enjoy:
- The 3 Powerful Sentences You Need to Break Old Tapes
- How a Pop Quiz Can Change Your Perspective on Self-Talk
- Why We Procrastinate and What to do About It
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