Pain and Fear Powerful Motivators, if You Know How to Use Them It’s quite amazing that most of us live our entire lives based on the decisions that we make, and then either follow through on, or revert back to our normal habits. That is, we decide to do something, yet just because we decided to do it, doesn’t automatically mean we will do it.
Most of us live according to our feelings, instead of our decisions. Why is that?
What’s the difference between acting on feelings or decisions?
Decisions are choices. You decide between the drink of coke or orange juice, to watch X Factor or Australia’s got Talent, to take the job that pays $10k a year more than the alternative offer, or to go out with the blonde girl or the brunette. Some choices, decisions are easy to make and some are more difficult. Some decisions, we may say we have made eg: me starting a diet a couple of weeks back, but instead of acting on the decision, something gets in the way. That something is usually feelings. Feelings are designed to fail us when it comes to sticking with decisions that we make, that require will power to carry out. If the decision we made is to change a behavior that’s a habit, well then you have your work cut out for you.
Why some decisions require will power to carry out.
Most of the decisions that we make, through out the normal course of a day, are quick and easy to make. Sometimes, we are faced with a decision, however, that may be quite easily made, but more difficult to carry through with.
The reason for this is, we have made a decision that goes against our normal grain.
It’s a decision to do something that replaces as action that is a habit.
Pain and Fear- Powerful Motivators
The more often, we do the action, or the more pleasure that we associate with doing the action we are trying to change, will determine how difficult, or how much will power will be required, to change that action.
Where the change requires an action that makes us feel as though the new action is less pleasurable, than the old action, the highest scale of will power muscle will be required.
This is in the case of giving up something like cigarettes, sugar, or eating takeaway foods.
Where the change requires an action that we associate little pleasure with, but is part of our everyday work or routine, it’s more a case of needing to remember that we are making a change, before carrying out the old action on autopilot out of habit.
This could be in the case of deciding to use a different route to get to work, having a different breakfast cereal in the morning, or deciding it’s better to perform some task, at a different time and day, than the norm.
These changes in habit and routine are always much easier, and really only require remembering to carry out the action in that particular way, to be successful at the change.
Pain and Fear- Powerful Motivators when it comes to more difficult changes
For example, take me deciding to go on a diet. Going on a diet requires a change in the normal way that we eat. Our normal eating habits are going to be changed.
Although, I made and stated my decision to start a diet, my habits of eating too many unhealthy foods, (sugar and milk) , ended up being stronger, than my desire to lose weight, which caused me to bust, and give up trying.
Often when thinking about giving up bad choices in our example, foods, we’ll associate this as a form of pain.
Going without my fave fattening foods is painful, for me.
I’ve been eating anything I like, when I like, and this has become a far more, powerful habit, than what I’d initially thought.
How can I increase my willpower so I can stick with my decisions?
Why are pain and fear powerful motivators?
Using my diet again as an example. (This method can be used for anything, where you are making a decision to bring about change.)
So I made a decision to go on a diet. A couple of days into the diet, my will power to not eat the very foods I had decided to not eat, failed and I ended up breaking my diet.
I guess I subconsciously decided that I no longer wanted to diet, and preferred eating anything that I wanted to eat instead.
Now this way of eating is what has caused me to put on far too many kg’s in the first place. (see this post: I hate being fat) .
I really want to lose this weight, and made a firm decision when I started, to stick with my new eating plan, so how can I increase my willpower, in times of weakness?
There are a number of ways to make our willpower stronger, however, the most powerful way I have found so far is to use pleasure and pain to your advantage.
Pleasure and Pain to Increase Will Power
When thinking about an action that we no longer want to do, instead of thinking of that action as a pleasurable action, we need to change our way of thinking, and see it for what it really is, and that is one that causes us long term pain. OK, the pleasure of eating foods that we love, is pleasurable. This pleasure is in an instant gratification, type of way. But the result that we get from eating these types of foods, is far from pleasurable, long term. The result is down right painful. When it comes to changing a behavior, the easiest way to do it is to focus on the painful aspects of the behavior.
Eg: if your a sugar addict, like me and want to change the behavior, instead of thinking to yourself, I love sugary sweet foods. You associate that action with the downside of the action or behavior.
Ask yourself this question:
What is the instant gratification payoff I get from the behavior?
Is there something that I can substitute this instant gratification for, that is a healthier or better alternative.
What pain does …………………………cause me?
Now answer the question, with as many examples that you can think of, where the behavior or action causes you pain.
Eg: Sugar causes tooth decay
The dentist is painful.
Sugar gives me highs and crashes as well as changes my moods.
Eating sugar will leave me tired in half an hour.
Eating this sugary treat will only leave me feeling tired in half an hour.
Eating a sugary treat will leave me hungry again in half an hour.
Eating sugar laden foods, keeps me in a loop of craving sugar, fat and salt. The more quickly I cut out the sugar, the more quickly I will stop craving it.
Sugar is addictive
Sugar has no nutritional value, is very high in calories and what isn’t used for energy turns straight to fat. That is a fact.
Eating sugar will make me fat. Its very high in calories.
There have been many people that I know and have read about that say, once they give up sugar, they never feel better, especially in energy, mood and again cravings.
Eating sugar will deplete my energy, change my mood and cause me to crave more unhealthy foods.
Eating sugar will deplete my energy, change my mood and cause me to crave more sugar, fat and salty foods. It’s addictive, I’ll still be hungry again in half and hour, and sleepy, plus it turns to fat.
( to help memorize) CHEMFAS = Sugar cravings, hungry, energy, mood, fat, addictive, sleepy.
Now use affirmations and repeat to yourself, ………………………is painful because …………………….
Write them down seven times each and then read them out seven times each day.
Before long, your subconscious will learn the associations and when the thought of eating a sugary treat is before you, there will be a lot of different painful reasons, why you’ll choose the healthy alternative.
Remember this works for any behavior your trying to change.
Make sure to only work on changing one behavior at a time. It needs your full attention and focus, for it to be successful.
It needs you to constantly be mindful of the fact that you now choose to be this new way.
Most of our fears are irrational
In this article #The Top 7 Mindset Secrets for Success #CHINH PHAM
source: ptb click picture for link
Included the secret of concurring fear. ChinhPhan says”
The most common fears we experience are irrational and originate in our minds: fear of failure, fear of others judging us, fear of ridicule, etc.
What’s the one thing all of these fears have in common? That is, they come from us being afraid of something that hasn’t even happened yet! Most of us live our lives paralyzed by a fear of something that is actually a “perceived danger” vs. an actual reality.
Start creating a loving and productive relationship with your fears. See your fears as an indication that you are on the right track. When you are scared to do something, it means that that’s the exact thing you MUST do in order to take your life and business to the next level!”
Chinh’s don’t just talk about it do it tip, from this article was this:
“Identify one thing you’re afraid to do. Then figure out the next step, just 1 step. Commit to taking that step in the next week”
Sharon’s tomorrow never comes tip
Identify one thing you need to do but haven’t through fear of it being too painful. Again, work out what the very next step is to move the project forward and take the next step, in your next available time slot.
What thing is causing you to procrastinate over getting it done because of fear or pain? Let us know in the comments and we will hold you accountable, for taking the next step on this project.
Also if you have anything to add as to pain and fear powerful motivators, why? Let us also know in the comments.
As always thanks for reading,