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What Motivates You to Take Action?

June 21, 2010

White FlowersWhat prompts you to take action? Many of us seem to delay taking action until forced by outside circumstance. The natural outcome of procrastination is a hardship. I think we learn to postpone when we are growing up. Our parents literally have to force us to accomplish things that we do not want to do. Actions like cleaning our room, brushing our teeth, or sharing our toys are good examples. Of course, we need to learn to do these things, but we may forget or wait until the parent controls the action. The parent may even have to impose consequences in order to motivate us in the right direction.

By relying on the parent to force us to accomplish, we develop the habit of hesitance and rely on natural concerns before we take action. As adults, we no longer have the parent to enforce and govern responsibility. We must learn from our mistakes, and be spurred to take action. With the habit of relying on our parents to drive us (outside stimulus), we can end up being forced through life. We may delay on a project until an adverse effect comes along. We know that if we do not take action something will happen, but somehow we still delay until the incident. We seem to have a habit of delaying the inevitable, and using it as a motivational quality.

For example, say that you know that your roof is in need of repair, and you do not want to repair it or put out the money. Do you wait until your roof leaks before you fix it? How many times have you heard yourself think, “I knew that would happen”? How did you determine, and did you somehow wait or desire for it to happen? Did you understand the obligation, and refuse to be accountable, by taking the necessary steps to prevent it? When you finally came up with the adversity because of delaying, did you feel eased of making the decision? Did you in the end take the required steps because of the outside stimulus (the hardship) and how did you feel by utilizing this force?


We Do Have a Choice

Many of us at least on occasion utilize outside factors to provoke ourselves by perceiving what we want to avoid. We may delay until the actual event occurs, (and now I have no choice). We discern natural consequences (what will happen if) and prompt ourselves with this process. This is effective motivation and it is internal. Is it healthy to arouse a feeling force to take action?

We may have to feel guilty, unequal, or pushed (place stress on ourselves) in order to force ourselves. Is this the best method to taking action toward what we want to avoid? If we feel forced, by working ourselves up, we can experience a touch of resentment. Just because we eventually take action using this method and avoid disaster this cannot promise a sense of achievement. We can think about what we don’t want differently, accepting that we always have options and that ultimately we choose.


Switch Your Outlook

Any time we focus on what we want to avoid, we are going to have to force ourselves to succeed. If we change our focus, we generate a true inner-motivation to excel. Maybe we cannot eliminate thinking about what we want to avoid and this is a relevant thing. By understanding clearly what we prefer, we can think about what we do want to happen and utilize the “what will happen if, path” effectively. “I don’t want my roof to leak,” becomes “I would like my roof to be in good condition.” This changes the thought process and the “what will happen if” transforms with it. What will happen if I decide to fix the roof today? How will I feel if I take affirmative action now, with a willing attitude?

Sandra Hendricks, EzineArticles.com Expert AuthorEmotionally driven pertains to what we do not want and to what we do want, and the link works. Whether we feel forced, or we strictly wait until we have few alternatives, we fulfill the need. There is a difference in these two leading factors. With one, we are affirming ourselves toward a clear, feel-good result. On the other angle, we make an effort to avoid harmful results. Using positive thinking and arousing a sense of security, we can more easily see our options, because at this point we feel we have a choice.


Tips to Overcome Feeling Forced 

  • Pay close attention to your thoughts, and the avenue you are taking to motivate yourself.
  • Recognize the way your thoughts are affecting how you feel.
  • Try to rephrase your contemplations about what you don’t want. Break down the word “don’t” into “Do NOT” and remove the word NOT.
  • Realize that you always have a choice and the various options that come with it.
  • Think about what will happen if you think positive. Consider how you will feel by changing your outlook and inner-dialog.
  • Understand that even though you may be unmotivated to do something, you can achieve without forcing yourself. You can let go of negative thinking and visualizing – you do have a choice.
  • Think about how you developed the habit of procrastination. Take steps to change the habit into an avenue of positive fulfillment.
  • Realize that stress and pressure cause resentment, guilt and overall low self-esteem.



10 Comments to “What Motivates You to Take Action?”

  1. Wow… Amazing article.

    This is one of those that can really help someone.

    Why do I say that?

    You used a great metaphor of the roof. Memorable thing that explains what you want to say. Even when I forget the whole article, I will still remember “the roof.”

    And in the middle you are using a very powerful questions, which will “turn on” everyone’s mind. Questions often govern the way we think. As a result, questions related to the metaphor (roof) that everyone understands (and easy remember) is a great combination. Such a combination could motivate someone to change.

    And in the end you put the tips. Practical post… Great!

    .-= Marko — Calm Growth´s last blog ..What Everybody Ought to Know About Self-Confidence — Part 2 =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Marko, for the insight and awesome feedback, I appreciate it! Your information and thoughts concerning this article is very helpful. ;)

  2. Dia says:

    Hi Sandra,

    Very nice post. Action is one of the most important things we should do if we want to succeed. For me personally, the way I motivate myself to take action is by thinking of the end result. If there is something that I don’t feel like doing, then I change the way I think about it. This process works very well with me. Thanks for sharing.

    .-= Dia´s last blog ..5 Ways to stay energetic throughout the day =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Dia, it is essential to focus on what we want to achieve. Changing our point of view, to me, is the primary method to become motivated toward success. Trying to avoid anything cannot propel us to reach our dreams.

  3. Baker says:

    Hello Sandra,

    Wonderful article. Recently, I have been taking a lot of inspired action and feeling rather ambitious more so now. I would say that what really gets me into action is when I get inspired by a new thought that comes to me. Insightful post!

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you for commenting Baker. I read your guest post concerning The Law of Attraction, and it sounds as if you are inspired by many new ideas and have several projects!

  4. “Understand that even though you may be unmotivated to do something, you can achieve without forcing yourself. You can let go of negative thinking and visualizing – you do have a choice.” This really is the key. You’ve put together a very fine article. My clients and I always find that any movement works! You’re correct, we are always at choice.

  5. rob white says:

    Hi Sandra,

    You posit an interesting perspective that procrastination was programmed in us from negative experiences. After all, if we were not taught resistance, procrastination would not exist… there would simply be what needs to be done and we would do it.

    When I feel forced to something that isn’t all that enjoyable I say, “do it now.” I commit myself to never leave the scene of a decision without taking action. When we commit to taking care of ALL decisions, we prove to ourselves the real treasure we possess is the ability to act on our dreams.

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Rob,

      It is intriguing that you tell yourself to “do it now” when you feel forced. I have a similar outlook on the word “should”. When I hear myself think that I should do something, I “do it now.” By taking action toward what I hear myself think I should do, I usually stay away from feeling forced.