Today, I want to touch on a topic that I feel is crucial in our personal and professional lives: self-motivation. Specifically, the idea that it’s not your coach’s, mentor’s, or anyone else’s job to light that fire within you. This might be a hard pill to swallow for some, but it’s a fundamental truth that can radically change how you approach your goals and challenges.

If you find yourself relying on others for motivation, it’s a shaky foundation to build upon. Why? 

Because external sources of inspiration are fleeting. They can be powerful in spurts, but what happens when that external push isn’t there? If your drive is dependent on someone else, you’re setting yourself up for inconsistency at best, and complete stagnation at worst.

The key, I’ve found, lies in building habits that are stronger than your feelings. It’s about creating a routine, a discipline, that stands firm even when your emotions are trying to sway you otherwise. Feelings are transient – they ebb and flow like the tide. If we base our actions purely on how we feel at any given moment, we’re at the mercy of an ever-changing sea.

Think about it – on days when you’re feeling down or unmotivated, it’s your habits that will carry you through. These habits are your armor against the unpredictability of feelings. Whether it’s waking up early, dedicating set hours for work, or setting aside time for personal development, these are the routines that will keep you moving forward, regardless of your emotional state.

Developing these habits isn’t easy. It takes effort, persistence, and a healthy dose of self-discipline. But the beauty of habits is that once they’re ingrained, they become second nature. Your path to success then becomes a part of who you are, not just something you do when you feel like it.

So, how do you start? Begin with small, manageable changes. Focus on one habit at a time. Be consistent, and be patient with yourself. Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection. Celebrate the small victories, and don’t be too hard on yourself when you slip up. It’s part of the journey.

A message for my coaches…

Realizing that motivation is an inside job is actually fantastic news for us as coaches. Why? Because it means we don’t have to shoulder the burden of someone else’s motivation. This was something I personally struggled with.

In my early days of coaching, I felt tremendous pressure to be an endless source of inspiration for my clients. I believed that if they weren’t motivated, I wasn’t doing my job right. This belief, I’ve come to realize, wasn’t just exhausting; it was also misguided. Our role as coaches is to guide, to provide tools and strategies, and to support our clients. But their motivation? That’s theirs to find and nurture.

This understanding has shifted how I approach coaching. It’s liberated me from feeling responsible for someone else’s drive and allowed me to focus more on empowering them to discover and fuel their own motivation. It’s about helping them build those crucial self-motivating habits and mindsets.

And if you’re a coach who’s felt the weight of your client’s motivation on your shoulders, remember this: your job is to coach, not to carry. Your expertise and support are invaluable, but the flame of motivation in each person must be kindled and kept alive by them.


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