A Lack of Motivation – Part 2

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Neuro Semantics, NLP, Personal Development

This week we’ll touch on what is for me, TWO of the most common mental road blocks that sap our motivation. It is interesting to note that these “most common road blocks” are mental ones as most of our challenges reside in our minds; how we evaluate and then perceive reality out there. Talent by itself is overrated, it is mental and emotional strength, maturity and awareness that are crucial in helping actualize our highest and best and stay motivated.

(Yes, I did promise you “three” of the most common mental road blocks in the last blog but decided to give you TWO to keep this blog short and sweet. The third one will come in a future blog as it is “big enough” to stand on its own.)     


So if you are ready, here are the TWO most common roadblocks that creep up and sap us of motivation:


1) The over reliance on willpower.   


The Webster’s dictionary defines willpower as self control: the trait of resolutely controlling ones behavior. Many think that this alone is a strong source for keeping one motivated and resolute to a “struggle” to attain an outcome. Others, on the other hand, think that willpower is simply a matter of making a choice and then being “strong” in that choice and magically “motivation” will appear and do the rest.



Most of the time willpower alone will fail, sooner or later. Why? Simply because willpower, which is ones dogged resolve to keep on carrying out a particular activity, is impotent without well thought out and evolving STRATEGIES, SKILLS and TECHNIQUES that produce impactful results which in turn serves as the emotional fuel that keeps us motivated.


This reminds me of a bloke I meet in the gym everyday. He is the epitome of “will power”: discipline in carrying out a set routine of exercise everyday, day in and day out, with the same kind of exercises, sets and duration. Nonetheless, the results he was experiencing was minimal. Why? He lacked the “know how” of developing the right exercise strategy, skills and techniques to meet his specific need, body type, lifestyle and outcome. Nor did he have the appropriate diet plan to assist him in gaining optimal results from his efforts. Thus when he did not attain any impactful results, his motivation began to wane and soon he was no loner a consistent presence in the gym. What was supposed to be an exciting quest for fitness became a chore! Willpower alone could not help him.


“Willpower is useful at times. I use willpower to get the garbage out on Friday mornings. But there’s a price to pay for relying on willpower. Using willpower is the opposite of using your imagination and of losing yourself in an activity. Willpower reduces any activity to the very low status of “chore.”

-Leslie Godwin


What’s the solution?


Develop mental and emotional flexibility.  


Keep in check and updating your strategies, skills and techniques in reference to the results you are currently getting. If you are no getting impactful results, change. To be able to do so, you’ll need mental and emotional flexibility as we are notorious creatures of habit. We love our comfort zone very much unawares that are the very element that will eventually suffocate will power! If you keep doing the same thing but expecting different result, you’ll soon run out of motivation even with the greatest amount of willpower at hand.  On the other hand, when you keep updating you strategies and skills while monitoring your results, you’ll evolve and grow.


“Will, without reason, is a blind man’s motion; will, against reason, is a madman’s motion.

-Benjamin Whichcote


This in turn will help you gain impactful results and impactful results in turn will keep you emotionally motivated; affirming your direction, your “expectation competency”, self belief, self efficacy and self confidence as well as keep you performing the desired activities that will actualize your outcome. What are “impactful results”? Results that significantly indicate to you that you are making progress!


Example, if you go fishing using the same bait and get no bites for a year, you would be crazy not to make a change. But if you do get 36 bites and still carry on doing the same thing for the second year, you’ll soon run our of motivation, no matter how strong willed you maybe. Why? You are simply not getting “impactful results”, unless you are not motivated by the catch of fish.



More then anything else, impactful result will feed your meanings, what you value about your outcome and spark in you the elusive “magic” of motivation while keeping you in the STRETCH ZONE. Developing mental and emotional flexibility is the ideal partner of willpower; it produces enthusiasm and excitement that will keep one motivated and open to adapting new and productive strategies, skills and techniques.


“You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.”

- Percy Cerutty


“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.”

- Carl Lewis


What do you do when impactful results are missing even with evolving strategies and techniques?


Go find a mentor, someone who has attained a similar outcome and start sharing notes, strategies and “know how”; seek his or her direction, wisdom and help. Remember, willpower itself, without this kind of mental and emotional flexibility, will not keep you sufficiently motivated!


2) You may have hired the wrong success coach: Yourself!


What does a bad coach do? He or she belittles you, discounts your efforts and keeps you feeling insignificant, insecure and unworthy of your outcome. They discourage you by recalling all the times you have “failed”, exhibited immaturity, felt fearful, lacked  strategic intelligence, etc.; acting like an accuser in a loud and belittling voice. Would such a coach keep you motivated?


 But what if this “coach” is you?


What if that “coach” is your negative inner evaluative voice?


If the above is true, it could simply mean that you are being your own worst success coach and this will never keep you motivated!  Why? Because when you keep belittling yourself, putting yourself down and demanding ruthless and sadistic perfection, you inner rebel will soon appear and stir up a rebellion that he will always win; derailing you from your outcome!


Motivation is fundamentally an intrinsic phenomenon, meaning that folks who succeed do so from the inside out, because of their meanings, values and beliefs that produce the desired performance and expectations. So when we become our worst coach, constantly contradicting and canceling ourselves out, we will self destruct from the inside out!


“The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.”   

- Ralph Charell


What’s the solution?


Create greater awareness of your constant inner chatter and self judgements. Don’t blame or punish yourself if you discover that this chatter is highly negative, it is simply an old outdated vestige of your past, old habits that you may have inherited from your upbringing, that just keeps playing on and on without any conscious awareness or interruption.



 Once you have created greater awareness of this chatter, simply learn to turn down its volume by ignoring it; much like folks who live near a train station who have developed the unconscious ability to “turn down” and eliminate the noise of the passing trains and live happily without ever being bothered or disturbed by its intrusion. This step itself will put an end to the days when that this chatter kept you negatively hypnotized, sabotaging your outcomes!


What is the secret behind ignoring these “old tapes”? It is simply this, when we withdraw attention to something, we withdraw energy from it and this in turn will cause it to loose its power to influence.


The next step is to create your own conscious positive SELF TALK that’s non judgmental, critical and condemning but encouraging and empowering! How can you do this? By simply starting to positively talk to yourself. Go ahead and try it now. Recall your efforts, achievements, talents and strengths and use it as evidence of your value, worth, self efficacy and unlimited possibilities! As you do so, play a movie in your head of one of your achievements and fully step into this experience and keep pacing your positive self talk.


” Self-suggestion makes you master of yourself.”

- Stone, W. Clement


You can develop two kinds of self talk. The first kind is INSTRUCTIONAL, by which you keep telling yourself how to carry out the task at hand, keeping you focused and “tight” in executing the proper technique and require skill and strategy. This is critical for activities that need precision and timing, etc.


The second kind of Self Talk is MOTIVATIONAL, which keeps affirming your self efficacy, self belief, and self confidence in being able to successfully carry out and complete a task! You can practice both kinds to keep you energized!


Go ahead and start now, yes, start talking to your self positively and almost instantly you’ll start to feel empowered and strong; and it works! Need evidence?


“A UK research at Bangor University and the University of Kent brought 18 healthy people into a lab and had them pedal on stationary bikes until they were exhausted.  All 18 pooped out after 10 minutes. Then the group was split into two, one was taught to practice self talk, including phases like “Don’t give up,” “I can do this,” “Push it!” and “Dig deep!” Riding just 2 weeks later, the self talk group improved by 20 percent over the control group, lasting for 12 minutes instead of 10.” (“Give Fear The Finger”, Men’s Health, September 2011. )


“Your self-talk is the channel of behavior change”

 - Gino Norris


As you keep practicing the above everyday, you’ll soon discover your inner cheerleader and COACH who’ll keep you motivated and energized! You can certainly make things FUN and extremely ENGAGING in this way!


Even when you are faced with a challenging task, simply say that, “I can do anything!” it surely beats “verbally abusing and beating” yourself from the inside out which will surely not keep you motivated!!!  (For more on creating compelling goals, do check out my blog “The blue hour”, 27th February 2011)



Motivation is an elusive animal for most folks I know. The secret however, to motivation and the cure to a “lack of motivation” lie in the information above. Yes, there are many other “common road blocks” to motivation which I will cover in the future but the golden nectar that produces motivation lies in the high quality meanings and value we give to our outcome, the prolusion we get from these meanings that pushes us to perform specific activities that actualizes the outcome and the expectations we have about our competency, autonomy and relatedness; our self efficacy.


“Man – a being in search of meaning.”



This dynamism is further reinforced by the mental and emotional flexibility to keep adapting new strategies, skills and techniques to produce impactful results that will take us beyond the threshold of pure will power. When this is coupled with a positive self talk from Coach YOU, staying motivated would never be a real problem.


“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

- Alan Kay                    `


I hope you’ll be inspired by this short clip and be awoken from the inside out! 



The Awesome Power of Self Talk



Be courageous enough to THINK DIFFERENTLY, to stretch beyond convention!


Think RADICALLY and stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!


Catch new blogs fortnightly at let us know what you think below.


Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company inMalaysia. He has more than 15 years experience in people development from the diverse fields of Sales, Marketing, Customer Engagement and Service, Business Management and Talent Development. He is a Certified & Licensed Neuro Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Trainer from the International Society of Neuro –Semantics,USA, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS,USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.