Can You Believe This? Myths about Motivation

We’ve been told by motivational speakers and authors what we need to do to become or stay motivated. No doubt they believed they were giving good advice. They genuinely wanted to help others reach their goals.

But were they unintentionally reinforcing false notions about how motivation works?

Let’s look at some of these motivational myths.

1. Write down your goals and you’re guaranteed success.

  • In all fairness there is some truth in writing down your goals and getting specific about what you want is important. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. You have to do more than write them down. Writing down a goal helps you plan, but action is what actually gets you to the goal.

2. Do your best.

  • Many people believe this is a great way to motivate someone. They think it encourages someone without putting pressure on them. Actually, it is only giving them permission to be mediocre. Instead, you should set specific and difficult goals. That way you push yourself to work harder and commit to the goal in the long term.

3. Visualize your success.

  • This is popular positive thinking advice. Visualizing success without putting in any effort isn’t helpful. In fact, it’s a recipe for failure. You can visualize your success, but you have to believe that to make that success happen you’ll need to put forth the effort, planning and persistence.

4. You’re your biggest motivator.

  • You could have all the gung-ho in the world, but if you are associating with negative people or are trying to do it alone, then you’re doomed to fail. For example, if you want to lose weight, then socializing with those who make unhealthy choices can derail you. In reality, you need the right social support to reach your goal. A good offline and online support structure is necessary for sharing experiences and building confidence.

5. Failure is a sign of weakness.

  • Don’t beat yourself up if you fail at some point. It could be because you stopped tracking your successes or skipped a few days on your diet. These aren’t a sign of weakness. It’s simply a sign of old, familiar behavior patterns working their way back into your life. Failure is a result of lack of planning or poor behavior patterns.

These motivational myths aren’t your keys to success. In order to succeed, you need to put in the effort and create a plan to achieve your goal. You can find motivation in these myths, but without putting in the work they’ll remain myths.

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