How We Motivate Each Other
If there’s one thing I can almost guarantee in our journey to succeed in our lives, it’s having the balance of an intrinsic desire to accomplish things and a strong support system. This is a concept we’ve recently talked about in one of my classes, and I couldn’t agree more with it.
And while I could go heavily in depth on how we can tap into our intrinsic desires and pool of inner-motivation, I wanted to focus more-so on the other side of the support system, specifically on the outside of someone else’s motivation system. I’m referring to when we, the outside influences, play the part of the support system.
There is something really important that we need to keep in mind when we’re helping someone reach their newest potential, and that is the approach we take. It may sound very simple and self-explanatory, but bare with me for a second.
Take someone that is having a tough time finding a way to become motivated to change their health status. They want to start eating more healthfully and working out more.
*enters fit , intense personal trainer friend*
“Dude, it’s so easy, just stop eating so badly and get your butt on a treadmill. Calories in verses calories out. Get It?”
Not very helpful, was it? Maybe. It’s straight to the point and could be a good way to slap reality into someone that is in denial of their habits. But lets check out this person’s background.
This person has severe body image issues, a past career in sports, and basically gave up after an injury ruined their career.
Now this approach doesn’t seem so appropriate now, does it? It may actually do the exact opposite of what it was intended to do. What was meant to inspire change may actually implement a feeling of failure, and honestly just piss this person off.
We Don’t Always Know Where Someone is Coming From
In this example, the potential support system didn’t take into account what past influences may have put them in the place they are in today. This applicable to anything, and we’ve all probably made the mistake of making an initial judgment before making the effort to understand why someone is at the point that they’re at now. Perhaps someone is feeling stuck in a relationship that isn’t good for them, and the look to a friend for advice based off of one instance, and the friend just says to drop it. Would that be received well if that person is in love or literally feels trapped in that relationship? No. Not at all. If someone asked you to help them get better grades in a class and you just said “study” and jumped right into hardcore tutoring sessions without even entertaining the idea that this person needs a little more help than just learning how to take better notes, you may just overwhelm them with extremely organized information they didn’t understand to begin with.
Some People More Are Sensitive Than Others
Everyone responds differently to different methods of encouragement. One may choose gyms based on the environment, not on the quality of the gym itself because it’s less intimidating. People may choose to get help from someone else because they were more understanding and patient with their struggles than their other friend. And, in some cases, people love being screamed at to finish a workout. Everyone is different when it comes to outside motivation methods, and we must be mindful of this each and every time we offer our voluntary services of help.
Sometimes To Motivate Is To Reassure People They’re Trying
People are not always going to need endless amounts of instruction, or words of wisdom, or strategic plans of approach. Sometimes, all anyone really wants is a pat on the back and recognition of their hard work. As much as having an intelligent mentor in what ever field you’re seeking help in is, people may not want facts spit at them all the time, or critiques offered at any moment a flaw is present. That’s what textbooks are for. Maybe telling someone what’s at the finish line or explaining five thousand different ways to get there is just too much sometimes, and all they really want to know is how far they’ve come from the starting line. Just knowing that their moving in the right direction may be enough to get them there.
Your Presence May Mean Way More Than You Think
And this is a big big big factor in the support system’s role. Just being there for someone. I think that we forget that we’re people, social beings, and sometimes all we need is the presence of another for support. Words don’t always need to be shared, and even hugs don’t need to be exchanged, just letting the other person you’re there for them by simply BEING there can sometimes be enough. Think about how excited you get when someone has come to watch you perform, or support you in your sport, or actually wish you happy birthday in person (and not on Facebook). I think we don’t stress or value each others presence enough, and sometimes the desire for company can fall under the radar.
We have to remember how vital motivation comes across to others. Not only is it’s presence in itself important, but the way we approach it with others is an extremely sensitive matter that will vary with everyone. Remembering that everyone has a back story, that everyone has different levels of sensitivity, and that everyone interprets motivation differently will help us deliver the most appropriate form of support to then create an environment solely made up of positivity.