Today’s message is that of empowerment. For all. Women AND men.
Some of you might know that I have a weird relationship with motivational quotes. I do not hate them, but I also do not love them. There are some that I totally do not relate to, find stupid, or just plain old disagree with. However, there are also some that I do not disagree with. That I can relate to. That I even consider wise. We are all different. What speaks to you might, or might not speak to me. And what has an impact on me might, or might not have the same effect on you.
But this post is not about motivational quotes.
This post is about you. Yes, YOU.
What if I was to tell you that all the motivation you need comes from within you? That you are your own motivation?
After last month’s edition of #MondayMotivation, I kept wondering about the success of motivational quotes. As stated above, I think there are some good ones and some bad ones. I have proper reasoning for it all, but the reasoning is very subjective. It bothered me that sometimes I would read something and really feel it, while other times I would lose all of my interest two words into a tagline.
The answer finally hit me this weekend.
I am the answer.
The reason why it works sometimes, but not all of the time.
Let me explain by going off topic a little bit.
Ten years ago I thought meditation and mindfulness was the dumbest thing. I thought those were airy terms used only by hippies and woke people. I never considered myself one of them, so naturally, the buzz words were not meant for me. It is not like I thought there was anything wrong with it, but I could do without. I did not need anything else in my life other than what I already had. I was religious. Well, I was going to church. Meditation somehow felt like something that was for non-believers. Mindfulness just sounded silly. So I continued on my merry way until I decided to get an exercise book on CBT-DBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy/ Dialectical-Behavior Therapy) because I was finally ready to admit to myself that I wanted to work on my mental health. Whatever I was doing was not working. Or at least not to the extent that I would be satisfied with.
The book came, and I started reading. It sounded like a bunch of things that would never work for me. It sounded ridiculous, even. I cannot recall it exactly, but there was something about sticking your face or hands into a bowl of ice water. Now, why would you want to do that? That is supposed to HELP? That would just make me angrier. That would make me FURIOUS. And were we not trying to avoid exactly that? But I kept on reading. I MADE myself read.
It was alright if the book turned out to be a bust. I prepared for it. I would toss it out, or maybe return it and go back to where I started. But I had to put in the work, first. I had to give it a try. A real try. Every night after work I would sit down and read a chapter, and then think of the answers to the questions at the end. No. I was NOT going to actually fill in the workbook. I was not in middle school again.
This is how Wikipedia defines Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: “CBT focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes) and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems.”
Psychology today defines Dialectical-Behavior Therapy as one that: “provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships.” The most important pillars are: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Mindfulness.
It was then that really I learned about mindfulness. It was a fancy word for something that I could easily do. It was actually something I was already doing. I just needed to fine-tune it. Throughout the years I found out that meditation is not as one-dimensional as I thought it was. All of a sudden, those were concepts that were a part of my life. A conscious choice.
A friend of mine is another great example of what I am trying to articulate.
“I told you that years ago” – I find myself saying and deflating onto a sofa.
“Yea, but now it clicked” – is the answer.
OK, you have been on a long enough journey already this morning. Let me circle back to the beginning.
Motivational quotes that do not always work. And you. YOU.
Do you know why sometimes things click, while other times they do not? It is because you were open. Or not. We can hear the same words today and feel nothing, but here them tomorrow and turn our lives around. Why? Because we are not ready today. We are not open to the possibility of turning our lives around. Not yet. Why? Well, that is a topic for another post.
So I finally know that among some silly, or irrelevant to me cliches there are also those that fit. They have the potential to click. It is just up to me to open the doors for them.
It is true – outside motivation IS needed, but I see the outside motivation as INSPIRATION for the motivation that is YOU.
What motivates you today?
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