Negative and positive motivation: finding what works for you

People often say ‘only surround yourself with people who make you feel good’ and ‘stay away from things that bring you down’. This type of thinking is positive motivation or positive inspiration. It makes you feel good, excited, maybe even motivated to go out there and change the world.. or whatever is you’re doing. And that’s great. If you find motivation through positivity, that’s awesome! But what if you don’t?

There’s something to be said about people who use negative feelings as a source of motivation. People who can take a negative feeling that they have and turn it into motivation to go and achieve their goals are powerful people. If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, or whole-heartedly disagree (and I’m sure there will be plenty of you who disagree) go and have a read of You’re not that great (but neither is anyone else by Elan Gale. It’ll change the way you look at negativity, trust me. I’m not talking about general negativity, not the kind of negativity that some people just throw out there about every single thing in their life. I fully believe there is something good within every facet of your life if you just look at it the right way. I’m taking about internal negativity which you can use to motivate yourself.

Here’s an example: people will say ‘don’t follow someone on social media who makes you feel bad about how you look’. Well I say, why not? There’s a very good chance that there is an underlying reason as to why that person is making you feel that way. Identify it. That right there is the perfect kind of feeling to use to motivate yourself, to go back to the gym, or change your hair, whatever it might be. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using jealousy as a fuel for motivation. It becomes a problem when you start to despise yourself. You have to understand how to use negativity as motivation before you actually start doing it.

If you find that negative thoughts only bring you down and you can’t turn those thoughts into motivation, then avoid them – that’s okay! Find your positive motivation. Is it following someone on social media who makes you feel good? Just don’t fall into the trap of getting motivated and not doing anything with that motivation. I can’t stress that enough. Motivation is an excellent source of happiness. But if you don’t do something with that motivation, in a week’s time when you’re on the comedown from motivation, you’re only going to be left feeling the same way as before because you didn’t start to make changes.

As always, I like to give you a little insight into how this works for me because I am by no means an expert. I find that I use a little motivation sandwich. I start with positivity; I usually stumble upon someone on social media who I find absolutely fascinating and then that kickstarts my motivation. For instance, I got back into the gym after stumbling upon Whitney Simmons on YouTube. But when that positive motivation starts to wear off, I will use negative motivation (this part hasn’t kicked in for me yet) and then I’ll go back to positive motivation. That’s just what works for me.

You’ve heard me say it before: experiment. Keep trying out new ways to keep motivated, turn that into determination and then you will succeed.

Next week: finding your inspiration

Nat xx

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