Seeking motivation vs. Feeling inspiration

(aka the battle between self sabotage and empowerment)

A few years ago, when my fitness business was still in its infancy, I worked with a marketing mentor and while reviewing some of the copy on my website she inadvertently helped me cement my resolution to change the way I offer my services.

She pointed out that she felt intimidated when she read that I was looking “for people who were committed and dedicated” to work hard towards their fitness goals and like her, lots of potential clients might feel the same because they might be looking for someone to keep the motivation going. That’s when I realized that every single client I met that fell into that category failed to achieve their goals… until they finally connected with a good reason that inspired them to actually do what I suggested they did on our first session.

Why I have a problem with providing the motivation to do stuff

Motivation vs InspirationThe reason is very simple: when people say that they look for motivation they are most likely focusing on all the things they think they should do (eat less, exercise more, don’t drink alcohol, etc.) and are seeing these as an almighty sacrifice. They don’t see all the benefits that come with good health and decent fitness levels. Therefore they expect me to make them want to do all the things they don’t really want to do.

I kid you not, one client once asked me to force them to do the workouts. Another one gave me permission to shout at her if she wasn’t following the program that we created together! She looked at me funny when I asked her if I should bring a whip and wear latex at our next appointment…

She failed miserably because she had no intention of minding her diet or keeping up with the activities and workouts in between sessions that she agreed to do. When left on her own she would just eat and drink all the things that didn’t work for her and then spend all her free time snoozing on the sofa instead of doing her homework.

And that’s what seeking motivation is: looking outside of yourself for someone or something that is going to make you do something, even if deep inside you know that you don’t really want to. This reliance on others to do what you know you have to do is not the best way to start a fitness makeover program.

What happens if that someone or something is unavailable? Do you give up on your goals until you find somebody else willing to bully you into pursuing them?

It’s all about your mindset and understanding what a Personal Trainer really does: i.e. provide guidance, support, encouragement, a safe environment for you to discuss personal issues relating to your weight loss journey. Dominatrix services typically aren’t part of the package.

Why I love the idea of finding inspiration from within

Motivation vs InspirationOn the flip side of the coin the clients who totally surpassed their initial expectations approached me when their heads were already in the right place and were looking for guidance and support in achieving goals that they were already hellbent on smashing.

Sometimes they got stuck on the way, other times they didn’t know where to start but once they got going they all finished very strong.

The reason for their success was also very simple: they were inspired to change and were excited and ready to embrace the learning process. Because that’s what a fitness makeover is: a process, an exciting but never ending  project, something that will have a positive impact on your life, a journey of discovery for what makes your metabolism tick and keep you healthy and strong.

These clients had clarity, they were able to focus their efforts and make SMART choices along the way. But most importantly they were connected with the reason why they wanted to do this.

It was knowing that “why” that kept their embers burning throughout their journey and never gave up in the face of obstacles. Their inspiration was a powerful driving force that led them to being successful with their weight loss and fitness program.

By the way, it goes without saying that inspiration trumps motivation in every aspect of our lives: whether it’s business, decorating, working, shopping, cooking, traveling, cleaning, learning, etc.

I am one of the worst offenders at this: not so much in the fitness realm because that’s what I love doing, but when it comes to marketing, blogging, filming, writing newsletters and so on there is nothing that anyone could say or do to make me do it when I don’t feel like it. But when I feel inspired there is no such thing as obstacles or stopping until I am done. And, typically, that’s when I am successful.

It’s all down to mindset not motivation.

Stop looking for motivation with help from my bookIf you think you are dithering about starting a fitness makeover, my book “8 Mindset Tweaks for Effortless Weight Loss” will help you get clarity on the reasons why you think you “should” get fit and lose weight.

Sometimes what you  say is nowhere near the truth of why you want to change, but with a bit of digging you can get to the core of your desire. Once you understand what this is you will be open to embracing and enjoying the process.

The book is available on Amazon.


There is also an workbook with additional exercises to help you get more out of the book. You can find that in the Downloadables area of this website.

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