Is “Motivation” Really Just Garbage?

  • Is “Motivation” Really Just Garbage?

    Is “Motivation” Really Just Garbage?

    I’ve been listening to Mel Robbins’ recently launched podcast, and she said one particular thing that stuck with me. “Motivation is garbage!” she exclaimed. 

    Is she right?

    Mel is a world-renowned motivational speaker, so I was surprised to hear her blast the very thing her audience is seeking – motivation. We all need motivation to get things done, don’t we? 

    She talked about how society feeds us the idea that we will do something once we are motivated. However, the downfall is that motivation is not coming to the rescue! Since our brains are wired to avoid uncomfortable things, trying new or ‘outside-the-box’ endeavors requires much more effort than the routine actions we’ve grown accustomed to. When we want to do something different – start a business, write a book, or try something new – we must reach down and dig out the energy to get it done.

    Try a Countdown Instead

    So how do we get in touch with this energy or motivation? Mel started doing things with the support of a countdown: 5…4…3…2…1. At one, she launches herself into what she needs to do, whether she wants to or not. She has used this for everything: getting out of bed when she doesn’t want to, not eating when she isn’t hungry, and even making one more sales call to close the day. 

    She attributes her success with this countdown method to science. When you interrupt your brain pattern, you have 5 seconds to stop yourself from talking yourself out of action. This is called breaking the habit loop, or metacognition, if you want to get precise. Successful people throughout history have used it, and you can use it too. 

    Simply put, you outsmart your brain by directing yourself in ways that allow you to do things you usually wouldn’t. It’s human nature to perceive speed bumps as barriers and let small challenges stop you from doing what needs to be done. Starting rituals helps you form new habits. Thus, the countdown “54321,” where you take action immediately upon saying 1, will set you up to do any activity, big or small.

    What’s At Risk While You’re Waiting for Motivation?

    In just 5 seconds, you can rob yourself of the joy you’ll feel if you take action or the success you’ll feel after taking a risk and having it pay off. The biggest risk? Not ever becoming who you want to be because you were afraid to take one simple step. That’s why you must start moving before your brain talks you out of it.

    How To Interrupt The Pattern

    Add a mantra thought that will be your anchor. Your mantra is not positive thinking on its own, but should be coupled with the interruption of the negative thoughts by counting. Catch yourself straying from the vision or anchor thought- bring in 5..4..3..2..1- and focus back on the vision you see for yourself. It can be: I will close this sale, I will not eat unhealthy food, I will do this….

    Tell yourself you will do this, AND tell yourself you are excited to do it! Being nervous is the same as being excited – you just need to say it out loud!

    Getting motivated can be daunting- using this method should help you get that ‘launch’ you need to get started and silence those negative thoughts!

    Listen to her podcast in full here:

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