There are two kinds of motivation:
Being Towards Motivated will make you feel as though you are being moved or pulled towards a goal. It gives you that ‘I can’t wait to get there’ kind of feeling. It’s a positive feeling you may have about an event or it could be a picture that you have in your mind of how things will be when you have achieved your goal.
Being Away-From Motivated is the feeling that you want to get away from something that you either fear, worry about or don’t like: such as stopping smoking or losing weight purely due to health concerns.
Both have their uses, but which is better for helping you to achieve your goals?
Anger, irritation, fear, or frustration with your current situation can be a great motivator to get you going, providing an initial instigator to motivate you to make some changes to your current situation but it’s not sufficient motivation for sustainable change.
For that, you need an element of Towards Motivation as well – a vision of where you want to get to. If it’s strong enough, this could be sufficient on its own to motivate you to take action, even if your current situation is ok. Most people need an element of both.
How the two kinds of motivation work
Imagine someone is really annoying you, so much so that you just have to get away from them – which way are you going to go?
The answer is – it doesn’t matter. Any direction will do, as long as you get away from them. ‘Away’ is not a direction! Away-From Motivation is undirected.
Even If you do have a Towards Motivation goal, if your Away-From motivation is stronger than your Towards Motivation, it may be taking you further away from where you want to end up.
Once you get far enough away from the person that was annoying you, what happens to your motivation to continue moving? It disappears!
If Away-From Motivation is all you have, it runs out once you get far enough away from the person/situation/thing you want to get away from. An exclusively Away-From Motivated person will stay where they are until the next person/situation/thing that they dislike comes along and makes them want to move again.
This is why people whose motivation to reduce their weight comes only from not liking what they see in the mirror often say they can’t lose that last half-stone. As they approach their target weight, what they see in the mirror doesn’t look so bad, and their motivation runs out before they reach their target.
As well as being undirected, Away-From Motivation is also inconsistent. It won’t get you all the way to your goal. In addition to this, it is also stressful. People can be outwardly very successful, but because all of their drive comes from Away-From Motivation, they are constantly stressed. This is because their motivation is driven through anger, irritation, fear or frustration.
If you only have Away-From Motivation, then to keep yourself motivated you have to keep thinking about unpleasant things, which is not a desirable way to live.
Let’s contrast this with Towards Motivation – where you know what you’re aiming at, you have a vision of how you want it to be and you really want to get there. If you get knocked off course, as inevitably happens sometimes, you just correct your course so that you’re pointing at the goal again, and keep going. Towards Motivation is directional.
As you get closer to your goal, your motivation, if anything, gets stronger. You’re almost there! It’s nearly within your grasp! Are you going to stop now? Of course not! Towards Motivation is consistent.
Finally, it’s not stressful. Even if your current surroundings are unpleasant, your underlying mood is still positive, because you’re focused on your inspiring vision. Your motivation to make it happen will get you through any challenges or obstacles that you encounter.
Is there any place for Away-From Motivation in successful goal achievement?
Yes. Some Away-From Motivation can be useful to get you started, especially if you don’t yet have a fully realised and compelling vision of where you want to get to.
Additionally, a little bit of Away-From Motivation can be useful for quality control. As you progress towards your goal, it’s worth doing the occasional ‘minesweep’ to look for any potential obstacles or problems, and eliminate or route round them before they happen.
Overall, though, to get sustained progress and actually achieve your goal you would want your motivation ratio to be at least 70/30 Towards/Away-From. This should make sure you actually keep going until you get there, and don’t stress yourself out along the way.
If you would also like undertake some hypnotherapy to help you to make the changes that you want to make, so that you can live the life that you want to live please contact me.