I remember whenever I used to hear the word “motivation”, it would strike me as something I needed to work on, strive for or that it was something that I needed to search for or build up. Most of the time, when people hear that word, they think it means to put in hard work or even just have the energy to tackle the laundry piled up in the hamper… at least, that is how it looked for me. 

Motivation is something I felt I always lacked. That others had more of than me. “Maybe I’m just lazy.” or “Maybe I just don’t have the ability to do the things I desire to do.” Motivation looked like a sport that I wasn’t skilled enough to play. It felt like homework and all the things I dislike doing. 

But what is motivation? Am I just drowning in thoughts of motivation being impossible to have? Am I fooling myself that I don’t actually have the motivation to do things like work out, eat healthier, finish school, clean my car, etc.? How do other people have something that I don’t? Why is it so hard for me to have the motivation to do these things, things that I actually want to accomplish? What is stopping me? 

Well let me tell you, it is certainly not correct to believe that I don’t have motivation within myself. Such thinking is very untrue. Motivation is a feeling that we get when we are in a clearer state of mind and not tripping up against our self-doubt. We as humans have desires in life, every single one of us does, and what feeds those desires is the thinking that we put into action to benefit them. If we feed the thoughts of self-doubt, well, we will certainly not feel motivated to move closer to our desires or goals. Motivation is a part of us as humans and is always available, even when we feel like it’s not. 

The mind is tricky, and thoughts are extremely powerful. When we don’t know that our thoughts create our feelings, it’s easy to believe that we might lack certain qualities that we want to have. But what’s real is that motivation is within every single one of us. If we are tending to the lazy thoughts and thoughts that are doubting our ability to shine, we won’t shine! If we are tending to the empowering thoughts, we are more likely to move closer to where we want to be in life. 

What’s so interesting to me is that I’ve known this for years, but didn’t start to see this as true for myself until I realized that I was perfectly capable of going back to school. For so many years, I told myself I just couldn’t do it. I don’t have the energy or time to complete school, and I’d probably just set myself up for failure. Then I became a mom, working a full-time job, and had too many responsibilities in life to even think about signing back up for school. Did I want to finish school? Absolutely. Did I think I was capable of it? Nope. 

Then one day, I was on the phone with my sister, who is 7 years older than me, raising two children, working full time, and just graduated with her MBA. She was telling me how happy she was to finally be done with school and can finally relax. I remember thinking to myself, wow, she’s a superhero. She finished school and worked so hard for this while busting her butt being a wife, mom, and employee. How does she do it? Then like a slap in the face, I had this huge feeling of empowerment come over me and the thought of, you can too, just do it. It felt scary because it felt real but it made it a “good scary” feeling; a feeling of change in the right direction. I wasn’t prepared to feel it, but I felt it and for the first time ever and believed it was true. 

I didn’t have to go search for it, build myself up or push myself to have that feeling. I simply just had to believe in myself. Yes, I know, that sounds so cliché… but it’s so true. The more we believe in ourselves, the closer we get to achieving what we want. The more motivation uncovers and fills up our energy. The only thing that gets in the way is our mental roadblocks. It’s literally like putting a wall between you and the goal you are wanting to achieve. Motivation is just the path to get there, and when we have a clear path, it’s a much easier and smoother ride. Taking the light away from the doubtful thinking and shining it over on the yes I can thinking, brings a whole different perspective of life. And it’s just that simple to do. 

Did I doubt myself some? Of course, I did. Doubtful thoughts still pop into my mind like a stranger barging in a door. But I simply look at them just as that…like a stranger…who doesn’t belong. We learned when we were little to not engage with strangers to stay safe. Well, when I begin viewing my doubtful thoughts through that perspective, they don’t stick around as much. They begin feeling unwelcome and move along. Then I can easily remember that motivation is who I am before my thinking, and that I really can do anything I put my mind to. Self-awareness is key and when we get out of our own way, motivation is there to lead the way.