What's your motivation?

Here’s a fear I think most of us share: that we only change because we feel bad. Maybe even that the only things powerful enough to motivate us through the challenges of change are pain, fear, and suffering.

This puts us in quite a bind. Our desire to change is about wanting to be happy, to move towards the life that we desire, to be the people we want to be. And yet, to get there, we hook ourselves in to pain, fear, and suffering. Yikes. No wonder things feel so hard!

When we get right down to it, the belief underlying this kind of thinking about change is a painful one: this is going to be difficult, so I need to push myself through it. Ouch. Just thinking about that makes me tense up my shoulders and belly.

So I’d like to suggest an alternative. What if we tried thinking this is going to be difficult, so I need to take really good care of myself and make sure I feel safe along the way?

This might not be a cakewalk either, because for many of us (and by “many of us,” I mean “me”), it requires a paradigm shift. It asks us to stop thinking of ourselves as being bad and needing to be bullied, and instead calls on us to see ourselves as good, as vulnerable yet worthy of our own care. That’s a lot to ask.

But it also has a lot to offer, including a way out of the horrible-feeling cycle of pushing and disciplining and self-mastery and into a trusting relationship with ourselves.

What do you think? Will you give it a try?

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