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Have you ever been at one of those seminars that featured a really good motivational speaker?
Do you recall how you felt while this person was working the crowd into a fury of positivity?
What came up for you as the speaker was installing visions of happiness and success into the minds of your fellow audience members?
I am powerful! I can do anything I set my mind to, you probably said to yourself as you fed off the energy in the room.
When you left, I bet you felt ready to take on the world.
I bet you were determined to throw away your bad habits and grab life by the balls!
You declared to the heavens that you are no longer that same person.
From that moment on, things were going to change for you.
Yeah. How long did that fucking last?
EXTERNAL MOTIVATION IS TEMPORARY
When you got back to your normal routine, you probably started with the optimistic conviction that things are different now. Maybe you even started to take action on some of the things you’d been putting off.
But, I’m willing to bet that after a few days – or maybe a week – you were back to your same old routine and your same old self. And, all of your same old bad habits started creeping back in.
Why didn’t this motivation last? Why couldn’t you continue to feel the same way you felt after that seminar with the really good motivational speaker? You know, the one that you barely even remember now?
It’s because external motivation is temporary.
When the source of your motivation is right there in front of you, you can feed off that energy. But, when that source goes away, they take that spark with them.
The only way to keep yourself performing at an enlightened level is to be your own motivation. Every day. You have to turn your higher self into your own motivational speaker and develop the ability to call upon him.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching and listening to motivational speakers, reading motivational books, and consuming other motivational material as much as – if not more – than the next guy. But these only serve as reminders to me that when the video is over, I still have to be my own motivation.
CHANGE YOUR MENTAL PROGRAMMING AND BECOME YOUR OWN MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
The way to become your own motivational speaker lies in your mental chatter – the dialogue going on in your brain all day, every day. It’s that voice that is constantly running in the background. It’s your monkey mind. And, it’s a result of the mental programming that began in childhood and continues to run, whether you want it to or not.
Your mental programming might tell you that you’re not good enough or that you’re not someone who eats healthy and enjoys working out. It might tell you that you’re comfortable with your vices and becoming more successful would require giving up too much of who you are.
Your mental programming might tell you that change is too scary and too uncomfortable.
But you can change your mental programming.
What if the voice inside your head – your mental programming – was your own personal motivational coach? What if it repeatedly told you that when you work out you feel alive inside? What if it told you that you love the way that healthy food makes you look and feel? What if it told you that you are an infinite source of love and strength, and that you live in an abundant world?
What if the conversation going on in your head everyday was inspiring and motivating?
Would it make you more inclined to reach your fitness goals? Or any other goals for that matter?
You’re damn right it would.
You can change your mental programming.
You don’t have to be the same person today that you were yesterday.
IDENTIFYING YOUR DEFAULT MODE NETWORK
Most of us are stuck in our heads, living in a repetitive, ego-driven cycle that scientists call our Default Mode Network (DMN). I would encourage you to do your own additional research on the brain’s DMN.
The DMN is the constant dialogue happening in your brain when you are not purposely thinking about anything in particular. It’s part of your subconscious mind. It’s often ruminating about the past or conjuring up mental movies about worst-case scenarios in the future. It’s that voice in your head that repeatedly tells you that you’re too stupid, or insecure, and that you don’t deserve the things you really want. It keeps you wallowing in fear and anger.
Try consciously listening to this voice sometime. Observe it without any attachment to the thoughts that come up. You might notice that it’s like listening to a 5-year old ramble on about nonsense.
When you can objectively listen to this voice, you will start to develop the ability to understand how absurd it sounds. And, subsequently, you’ll gain some insight as to how this voice is running your life.
USING MINDFULNESS TO CALL ON YOUR HIGHER SELF FOR MOTIVATION
Here is where it gets interesting. The part of you that can identify your DMN and become the observer of your own thoughts – that is your higher self. That is the part of you that you can train to be your own motivational coach.
How do you that?
One remarkably effective technique is to combine mindfulness meditation with affirmations.
Mindfulness meditation allows you to disconnect from your DMN and increase coherence throughout your brain. In general, mindfulness meditation means focusing all of your attention on one thing – typically your breath.
To practice mindfulness meditation, simply get comfortable, close your eyes, and focus all of your attention on your breath.
When other thoughts come in – and they inevitably will – don’t judge them or let them stir up an emotion inside you. Just notice that those thoughts have come in and bring your attention back to your breath. You can even say to yourself something like “back to breath” or “be here now.”
Each time you catch your mind wandering and then bring your attention back to your breath, it is exercise for your brain. It’s like performing one set in a workout.
For a while, all of this may be easier said than done. I get it. But, with some time and practice, you’ll become better at it. And, trust me, it’s well worth the effort.
Start with short sessions of 10 minutes and work your way up to longer sessions as your mind evolves.
Once you are able to call on your higher self, you’ll want to implant those positive, motivational thoughts into your mind.
Follow your meditation up with “I am” and “I love” affirmations. Declare to yourself that you are all the things you want to be and enjoy all the things you’d like to do.
Remember to keep all of your affirmations positive. Avoid negative phrases like “I never” or “I hate.”
Say them to yourself with determination and energy and, eventually, you’ll start to believe them. Vibrate high with love and inspiration while you say them.
Begin each day with this technique by making it part of your morning routine.
Before long, you’ll become your own powerful, motivational speaker.
Now, go out there and grab life by the balls.
Sean Harley is a professional body-builder, fitness model, certified personal trainer, mind-body coach, and the owner of Rock Solid Nutrition. With his proven coaching methods, Sean has helped thousands of men and women take back control of both their bodies and their minds. He has been featured in countless fitness magazines, including Iron Man, Muscle & Fitness, and Physique. Additionally, Sean sits on the Board of Directors for the National Service Institute at Healthnovations International, a global nonprofit that works to provide wellness solutions for disabled veterans and other vulnerable populations.