177. Understanding what is motivating you (chasing vs avoiding)

Motivation. It is something we all want more of. However, every day we take little actions and make little choices that are coming from motivation. A motivation to avoid something or a motivation to move towards something. And why does it matter what is motivating us?



In this episode:

  • Motivation vs lack of motivation
  • How to know when you are operating from AWAY motviation
  • Spotting the victim mindset or scarcity mindset
  • How to know when you are operating from TOWARDS motivation
  • Motivation and abundance mindset





Mentioned in this episode:

The group coaching call, Feb 2 2023

The Making Change Challenge, sign up here for the four lessons and worksheets

Send me a message on Instagram

Share your thoughts with the Facebook group 

The Enneagram and Motherhood series

Making motherhood harder than it needs to be (Mom Martyr)

The not-enough mindset (scarcity and abundance)



Full Transcript (unedited)

Hey friends, welcome back is Shawna, your nerdy girlfriend and counsellor from simple on purpose.ca. So you might have figured out that this podcast is a biweekly podcast. But last week, I dropped a bonus episode about not knowing what you want in life. And I talked about six reasons why dreaming or thinking of your life on purpose might actually be hard. I wanted to share that episode early so that you could have time to sign up for the group coaching call on February 2, if that’s something you’re interested in, I’ll link info on that in the show notes. And essentially, that call is a time where you can bring the work you want to do with intentional living this year. And I’ll answer any of your questions and also bring people on live for coaching. In the past, I’ve run group programs, I used to run the life on purpose Academy, back in 2020, and then ran a couple group programs in 2021, I took a little bit of a break. And now I’m thinking of unique and different ways to bring that group coaching aspect back into things. Because in my own experience of being part of group programs is just listening to other people just hearing their questions answered, you get so much value, even though it might not be the exact same issue. Just the themes are relevant, and the approaches can be applied in so many different ways. So I find a lot of value in those. Also, I just really love hanging out with you guys. I love that community aspect. I’m always looking for ways to encourage community amongst you, listeners and blog readers. So I’ll link that in the show notes. If you’re interested. I wanted to follow that up with one more episode of ideas and approaches to help you be really mindful about the future that you’re creating. So I wanted to share on the topic of motivation, because motivation is kind of like how do you feel with that word? How does your body feel? Motivation is something we’re always trying to get. Because we know how we act when we feel motivated. When we feel motivated, we get things done. So our approach to getting things done is to find motivation, manufacture motivation, harness motivation. But as the wonderful Mel Robbins has taught us, you won’t always feel like it. And if you listen to how you feel when it comes to what you want, you will not get it, because you won’t always feel like it. So I’m going to share today a portion of some training that I’ve done on two types of motivation that is towards motivation and away motivation. And this is from the making change challenge that I released this time three years ago. And it is a series of four audio lessons and worksheets that I walk you through. It’s a free challenge. So I’ll link that in the show notes if that’s something you’re interested in signing up for and using. So we’re gonna listen to this brief training on motivation. And I really want you to pay attention as you’re listening to understanding what is motivating you right now. What is motivating how you show up and the things you chase in your life. Knowing this can help you know where you’re ready to make a shift. All right, here it is.

Hey, friends, I’m glad you’re back for Lesson four of the making change challenge. So this is the final lesson. And in this challenge, we have covered Getting Started how a fixed mindset can hold you back. And then we’ve talked about taking the next step and knowing where you actually have the ability to change things. What are you actually in control of changing the last lesson we talked about breaking down your goals and habits into doable chunks. And now I want to talk about the feeling that you are in action, you are making change things are happening. And you might feel really ready from all of this information to take action. You’re looking at your life in a new way you’re looking at yourself in a new way. And whenever we feel motivated, it is a fantastic feeling. But often are motivated feelings don’t come at the most convenient time like Is anyone else a genius in the shower. I usually have this quiet moment where I solve my problems or have this like a ha moment. And I have to run out of the shower dripping wet and just like start typing into my computer to unload it from my brain. And as we’ve covered in the first lessons, our actions are prompted by our feelings. And when we feel motivated, then we take action in line with these feelings. When we don’t feel motivated. We take action in line with this lack of motivation which usually means no action or ineffective action. unless we are willing to use willpower to override this but we all know how far willpower gets us not very far. And then remember that our thoughts produce our feelings. So the thoughts we think are actually what truly motivate us or demotivate us. But how often do we stop and investigate our thoughts to see if we are being motivated in really healthy and life giving ways? Maybe this is the first time that you We’re considering the possibility that you can be motivated in an unhealthy way. So, I want to let you know about these two main types of motivation which motivation is actually that internal dialogue we have that is prompting us to act. So the two types of motivation are away and towards, also called avoidant and approach and sometimes even called negative and positive, the avoidant or away motivation is when you are motivated by the desire to avoid to move away from pain or conflict or discomfort, you are taking action as a way to avoid, prevent or repair, conflict and discomfort. It can take a lot of forms, and it can also be very subtle to over the years, I have experienced this type of motivation a lot in my parenting, where I am motivated by the anxiety of things going wrong, or the desire to just make the noise stop or to just get a break. My actions had constantly been an effort to fix the chaos or to prevent the chaos. And if you are familiar with the Enneagram, and I’ll link it in the lesson plan. This is very common to the type nine which I am. The thing is I’m not usually very much fun when I’m in this mode. And often I’ll look to my husband Connor to talk me down and step in. Because I don’t want to be motivated by anxiety, it doesn’t feel good. I want to be motivated by enjoyment and presence. That’s the way I want to parent. When we are operating from away motivation. It doesn’t feel good. It feels like putting out fires or hustling it feels exhausting. And we often burn out from it. This is because we are operating from the stress response part of our brain, the part of our brain, the amygdala that sends as possible danger, and it wants us to fight flight or freeze. It is taking over operation and releasing stress hormones to prompt us into action. To know if you are operating in the away motivation. Pay attention to how you feel when you are in action. Is there a victim mentality? Do you feel stressed? Do you feel like everyone is getting in your way or like nobody is supporting you? This is because we are operating with the mindset that says we have to do these things or we should carry out these tasks. And it takes away our ownership and control of the situation. It puts us in the victim mode, negative self talk, listen to yourself talk. Are you shaming yourself or berating yourself, your inner dialogue can be really detrimental to you ever making lasting change when you are using guilt, shame or fear to motivate you. And the hard part here is that those are powerful motivators. And sometimes they are even necessary or useful. Like when we have actually wronged someone and want to fix it. Or when there is like real actual danger, we should address that. But when we misuse them, then they are a trap of perpetual crappy feelings, poor self image, and they keep us in a state of being reactive to our life instead of being proactive with our life. And the third marker is the scarcity mindset. If you sit back and watch your thoughts, do you have a scarcity mindset? And to recap, if you haven’t heard this before, the scarcity mindset says that there isn’t enough time there isn’t enough friends, there is enough energy there isn’t enough. I am not enough, I don’t have enough, I don’t know enough, etc, etc. and I’ll link in the lesson notes, a podcast episode that explains this with more detail. On the flip side, there is towards motivation. This is the motivation that allows you to move closer to the things you value, enjoy and desire. You are moving towards the positive things you crave. This is why I always encourage women to outline their values and their vision, because they need to know where they want to go and how they want to show up in order to use the positive motivation that will move us towards this. And if you want help with that I’ll link the life on purpose workbook. Or the free worksheets you can use either one to help you with this towards motivation is empowering. Because it is tied to thoughts like I get to do this, I want to do this, you aren’t in victim mode, the opposite in fact, you have autonomy and freewill over this. This is one reason why this type of motivation can actually be tricky for us to develop, because it means tapping into our own dreams, our own grid our own resolve our own effort. And another reason that this can be tough to develop is that it comes from a different part of our brain. If we have relied on stressful situations to prompt us into action, then we will need to learn new ways to get motivated from our prefrontal cortex of calm and logical part of our brain. The reason why this part of our brain helps us with towards motivation is because we are being worked on motivating ourselves with our values by showing up as our true selves towards the life that we crave. And this requires problem solving creative planning, long term visioning which is all part of the prefrontal cortex is job. So how to know if you are working from a place of towards motivation. First, you feel empowered. You are operating from a place of have to ensure you are operating from a place of one two and get to it’s more energizing instead of exhausting and experience that I had with this was parenting with a chip on my shoulder because I felt like a victim of it all. And I’ll link the blog post Montmartre in the lesson notes. If you want to read a little bit more about that. The thing is, I wasn’t owning the things I wanted to do, because I was so busy grumbling about all of the things that I told myself I had to do. But as I started to find ways to parent from my values, and enjoy the process, I felt more empowered in parenting from a place of fun and presence. And yeah, I still grumble sometimes, but it’s a lot less. And I look to me choosing to be the mom, I want to be to really lead the majority of my day, a mindset of grace and growth. When we are tapping into motivation of what moves us towards positive outcomes, we feel more satisfied with our work. Even if it’s hard, we feel energized by getting it done, we feel proud about it. And it doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It can be very hard to keep redirecting yourself on this intentional path of showing up and working on these things you really want. It will require giving yourself Grace giving others grace, keeping an open mind and a growth mindset. But encouragement to you, the more you do it, the more it will become a habit. And finally, an abundance mindset where you are operating from a place of scarcity and not enoughness in the away motivation. Here we are operating from an abundance mindset. We aren’t hurting our resources or trying to hustle faster, because we trust that there is enough of what we will need. We can show up and feel like we have enough enough time enough love enough patience enough support, we will develop eyes to see it all around us. And we will practice this mindset. Overall, when we are using the towards motivation, we are more likely to be resilient with our change, we are more likely to stick to change. Because every step moves us closer to the life we want. And that energy it draws us in. It’s like pulling up to your vacation destination like you’re just so excited to get there, we are more likely to problem solve as we go instead of throwing in the towel. And studies show that we are more likely to report a higher sense of well being in our lives. But let’s talk about the situations where we are actually motivated to make changes. And that is waiting until things are so bad. Often we make changes from the basis of things needing to change, because they’ve gotten so bad and intolerable. And we are almost forced to address them. I had this experience with my health this last year. I had debilitating heartburn for months. And the medication wasn’t helping I was in constant discomfort. I was waiting for a specialist appointment. It wasn’t happening. So I started reading about it listening to podcasts about it. And I decided to just try this thing of going off gluten, and things got better. But along the way, it felt hard like I was depriving myself, but it made the pain stop. So I stuck with it. And as I went along over the months, I noticed that other symptoms like migraines and join tanks were being resolved. And eventually my thyroid condition, which if you haven’t heard, I have Graves disease that turned to hypothyroid. It made an improvement after years of being on the decline. So suddenly, I felt towards motivation to stick with this new regime. Because I actually did have this long term vision to improve my thyroid. And now this was something that was moving me closer to that. So even though I started it from a place of desperation, now I felt energized by it. I felt agency over my health I do I feel empowered by this choice, and I want to stick with it. I can also say that this was true for us in making changes in our marriage. And if you listen to the podcast episode with Connor about life on purpose, I’ll make sure to link it in the lesson. He actually said the same thing. It really surprised me. Things had gotten so bad, it seemed like our only option was to make a change. And our efforts from this place. Yeah, they felt desperate, but it got the ball rolling and we got to a better place. But now we try to be proactive with it and watch things and catch them before they get there. Because now we are in a place of towards motivation. So often we are using our way motivation, things have gotten so bad that we just want to make the pain stop, we just want the noise to stop. We just want the conflict to resolve. And that’s okay, if we are making changes that get us out of the pit and keep moving forward. But also, when we are in the seasons of using away motivation, we can stop and think about what is happening. We can look for new ways to lean in deeper to our own vision and values and start using towards the motivation to motivate us rather than the need to just make the pain go away. Because what happens is that when we use away motivation to take action, we take coping actions and we run the risk of setting up habits and mindsets and relationships that were a way to cope. But if we are using towards motivations or actions look very different. They are proactive and they are more beneficial to us in the long run. When we use towards motivation we are setting up habits and mindsets and relationships that are empowered and rooted in our own good I’ll use a vision. So what is true for me might also be true for you. And I want to offer you a new way of looking at this. We don’t just want to cope, we want to move forward. So what I want you to take away from all of this is to pay attention. Always what I say the first step, recognize the way that you are motivating yourself. Is it empowering you or exhausting you recognize the times that you are using away motivation and consider how you would act differently if you tapped into using your towards motivation. So the worksheets are there, they will help you with this. It’s been a pleasure to be part of this making change challenge with you. Keep in touch. If intentional living is something you want to be working on, you need to understand your motivation for what you want and how you get it. If you’re hoping to attend that live coaching call, I encourage you to spend some time thinking about what you’re currently chasing in your life. What are you being motivated by get to know what is happening for you right

now? What drives you? Is this thing that’s driving you this type of motivation? Is it leaving you feeling energized or exhausted? And we ask this question so that we can further than ask, What do you want to be motivated by? And how are we going to get that? How are we going to manufacture that? So if this brought up questions for you, if you want some more support on this again, sign up for that live coaching call February 2 9:30am. Pacific Standard Time, yes, it will be recorded and the replay will be available for a limited time. If you have questions about any of this, feel free to reach out to me. I’m on Instagram at simple on purpose.ca. And if you’re in the Facebook group, feel free to put a note in there a post in there about anything you heard any questions you had. All right friends, have a great week.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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