Be your own Cheerleader

We’re well into the new year now, how are those new habits and routines working out for you? Are you going to the gym more often, eating more healthily, quitting bad habits, socialising more or working harder?

When motivation dries up, most of us rely on our inner voice for direction. Phrases such as:

“I can do this.”

Or “You got this, Richard!”

Do you notice the difference between the two?

One is ‘first-person’ wherein you tell yourself “I can do this”. The second statement is third-person, where you step outside of your ‘self’, begin to distance yourself from the stress and start to coach yourself as an outsider.

Techniques I teach my private clients, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and self-hypnosis frequently use methods that involve self-dialogue, and recent research shows that third-person self-talk may be even more effective to help us navigate rough patches.

A new study suggests that people can conquer stress if they address themselves in third person: “Grant has never aced this exam, and that’s why his hands are shivering. But all Grant needs to do is face his fears and take the test.”

Easy and effective

When people use third person self-talk, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies show that emotion-related brain activity is significantly reduced, suggesting they are regulating their emotion much more effectively.

Third person self-talk was neither taxing nor required much brain power—at least not more than a standard pep talk.

The problem with first person cheer-leading or ass-kicking is the use of words such as ‘I’ and ‘me.’ The two words are completely tied to your ‘self’, whereas saying your name creates a little bit of psychological distance because you view the situation from the perspective of a bystander.

That little bit of psychological distance from myself helps make it look as though I’m thinking about somebody else.” That’s why third person reflections can quickly provide perspective, and also encourage solutions.

Do it right

Sometimes you need to create space between yourself and your emotions. So, it makes sense to use third person self-talk to regulate stress and resolve issues.

However, if ‘third-person’ talk is a little too advanced right now, here are a few hints to make your first-person self-talk a little more effective.

  1. Try to sound natural and realistic. Allow your self-talk to sound like it’s coming from a loving parent or a close friend. If a close friend of yours felt stressed about work, what would you say to them? Now, try saying that to yourself. And remember to be kind and understanding to yourself.
  2. Think about that worry, fear, anger—whatever the problem may be—as something outside of yourself.

When you feel you are starting to lose your cool, become anxious/angry/overwhelmed etc. you can say to yourself: ‘This is my (insert emotion here eg.  frustration) talking. It loves to get me stressed, but I don’t need to listen to it. I’ll take a walk around the house and calm down.’

  1. Breathe deeply. Take a few low, slow, deep breaths before you begin self-talk. It will help calm your nerves.

I hope these few suggestions help you to have a more stress-free, productive day. Do you have any other suggestions to share?

If you’d like a FREE ‘Stress-busting’ or ‘confidence-booster’ MP3, just click here to visit the FREE downloads page.

motivation, blog, hypnosis, myndworks

8 Steps to Unbreakable Motivation

Whether you’re heading towards a specific goal, trying to stick to your New Year’s resolutions or just pumping yourself up towards something in the future, motivation is the thing that makes or breaks success in the first instance – hands down.

Motivation is actually made up of two parts. First there is the drive to get started on the thing you wish to achieve, and the second is the willpower to keep at it.

The most long-lasting motivation is created internally. When you rely on external factors you surrender control of your progress. But when you motivate yourself, you remain in the driving seat and it’s this that will often lead to more enjoyment and a stronger sense of achievement.

Here are some steps to help you get motivated and maintain it…

  1. Review

Think of your main goal or what you’d like to be motivated about and then ask yourself

  • What would happen if I achieved that?
  • What wouldn’t happen if I achieved that?
  • What would happen if I didn’t achieve that?
  • What wouldn’t happen if I didn’t achieve that?

This will give you a clear idea of what will happen when you do or don’t achieve that what you’re after. These answers are your motivations.

Take those motivations and paste them everywhere. Keep the list with you in your wallet or purse, on a flash card, stick them to your computer screen, your phone screensaver or anywhere else that you regularly look at and therefore be reminded of them.

  1. Reflect

Take time to sit and think. Self-hypnosis, meditation, guided visualisation – whatever floats your boat, just DO IT! Bring your wandering mind and its thoughts back to this moment NOW. What is happening RIGHT NOW is all there ever is. All that ever exists. And it’s in this moment NOW that you can begin to focus on a plan. You can consciously recharge whenever you are feeling drained. One of the most motivating things you can do is to rest and renew yourself at regular intervals.

  1. Listen to yourself

We can be very critical of ourselves sometimes but we can also be our own greatest cheerleaders. Focus your mind towards the positives in your motivations list and believe that anything that cannot be controlled by you is alright. Tell yourself, “it’s fine”, and keep going.

  1. Move it

Exercise will not only keep you energised, refreshed, and motivated, it also gives you an active time to reflect on things.

Examining your thoughts while you exercise can double your productivity. If a challenge springs to mind you can push a little harder and use that energy to fuel an even better workout. A long walk or gentle run can become very introspective and the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain can reduce stress and enhance motivation as a natural by-product.

Exercise your mind as well by doing things differently. Try brushing your teeth with the other hand, swapping knife and fork around or even taking a new route to work. In this way, you’re developing a growth mindset and training your mind to enjoy new challenges. This can be applied to the major goals you wish to achieve. Sometimes having a new insight or approach to life can excite and motivate.

  1. Accountability

Find at least one (or more) like-minded people who can support and motivate you through the good and bad times. These people will share your triumphs and failures, be genuinely happy and, most importantly, be there for you. Feeling alone or having the wrong people around you can destroy your motivation.

  1. Listen to music

Listen to your favourite, uplifting music. Create a play-list that has all the music you love listening to that makes you feel motivated, inspired and high-spirited. Play that soundtrack first thing in the morning and at regular intervals in your day to give yourself a good lift and a strong shot of motivation. Feel free to dance around and release those feel-good hormones.

  1. The big picture

Imagine your life after you’ve achieved your goal. Allow yourself to really step into the vision. When you have a clearly-defined image, you will be more motivated to pursue the big picture. Revisit your vision regularly and allow it lift you.

  1. Celebrate the journey

Huge goals often take time to realise. This can be frustrating and become a drain on the original motivation. So, on your journey towards success, pay attention to and celebrate how far you’ve come! Remember the challenges you’ve accomplished so far and be proud of yourself. The celebration will inspire you and build a more effective you.

You may even prefer to set a series of short-term goals and celebrate reaching those on your way towards your main objective.

Ultimately, motivation starts with mindset and if you use one or more of the tried and tested techniques outlined above, you’ll find yourself at the finish line quicker than you could ever have imagined.

If you’d like to learn how hypnotherapy can help you get motivated, get in contact with Richard for a free rapid change consultation.

Richard Scott combines psychology, NLP and CBT with over 10 years’ professional, full-time experience in traditional and modern hypnosis to deliver the fastest, most successful results. He specialises in stress and anxiety control, weight management, confidence and self-esteem, and empowering women.