Published On: Mon, Feb 2nd, 2015

Self-Motivation: Finding Powerful Inspiration From Within

How do small business owners become corporate giants? How do former drug addicts get clean? How do amateur songwriters make hundreds of thousands of dollars on YouTube?

Answer: Inspiration.

But, when you’re poor addicted to drugs, and singing songs in the alleyway, no one is going to give that to you. You have to find it from within. Here’s how.

1.Start Writing

Start writing down everything and anything that comes to mind about your problem and what it’s keeping you from doing in life. Presumably, you want to change. If you don’t, no one can help you. What don’t you like about your life right now? Where do you want to be?

Don’t think too hard about this — it should be like a stream of consciousness. Write down anything that comes to mind, even if it seems irrational or nonsensical. You’ll go over it later with a conscious, objective, mind. Right now, you want to do what’s called an “emotional dump.” You want all of your thoughts and fears out on a piece of paper.

 public domain pic from May 4 1916

public domain pic from May 4 1916

2.Make a Plan

Once you’ve got everything down on paper, it’s time to sort through it. Think about all of the things you wrote down. What makes sense? What doesn’t make sense? Most people carry around fears and emotions that don’t have an objective basis in reality.

For example, if you have a fear of quitting your job to start a business, and that fear is vaguely defined as “what if I fail?” this is understandable, but it’s unfounded. What if you stay at your current job and you get laid off? That’s always an alternative possibility.

Or, what if you are trying to deal with a substance abuse problem — you fear that others will make fun of you for admitting to it. You’re afraid to admit failure. But, look at your life right now. You’re already failing. You already have health problems (all drugs cause side effects).

Having all of this information in front of you helps you cut through emotional baggage that may be weighing you down. It gives you a chance to be tough on yourself without being “against” yourself. Remember, you are the only one that can make the changes you need.

While it’s important to recognize and admit your faults, it’s also important to forgive yourself and move forward. That can only happen when you take the first step — admitting that there are things you want to change and then mapping out a plan for that change.

A plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can consist of simple steps that include action-oriented processes that will move you from your current state to the desired one.

For example, if you want to start your own business, the first step is to make a business plan. Once this is done, all you have to do is follow it through and you’ll be out of your old job and into your dream career in no time.

If you’re battling addiction, the first step is to call a friend or trusted family member and get an appointment with a doctor to have yourself checked out. Then, you must assess whether you trust yourself to be an outpatient or whether you need to be checked in somewhere.

3.Change Your Behavior

When Patty Loeffler, and her family, wanted to lose weight, it didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen because she ate the same foods day in and day out. When she first met her husband, Patty was thin and active. But, nine years after marriage, she found herself 100 pounds overweight and unhappy.

While she ultimately tried a number of different weight loss plans, it was the act of changing her behavior that really made a difference. She made extensive meal plans and a committed effort to weigh herself daily to track changes over time.

After nine years of failure, Patty was able to lose all the weight she’d gained, and then some — all from a change in behavior.

Sean and Gloria were having marital problems; it wasn’t over money or the kids. It was Sean’s drinking that was the problem. When he was having a bad day, he’d start drinking. Sean is a shy guy to begin with, and he could hide it pretty easily by not interacting with people. However, after a while it became obvious. He was unhappy with his job, he was turned down for life insurance because of his drinking problem, and one Friday night he came home and fell over right in front of his wife, drunk.

That was it for Gloria and the kids. It was do or die time. Sean had a decision to make — keep on with the same behaviors or make a change. And, change he did.

While not all stories turn out this way, a lot of them do. In fact, there are clinics all over the country that report many methadone success stories, alcoholism recovery, and other substance abuse successes for those who check in and follow the program.

4.Make Verbal Promises

Making verbal promises creates a sort of “pact” with people you tell. It’s a promise you must keep, which is why it tends to work well — especially if you promise those you love and care about.

5.Make Written Promises

Written promises work even better. If you write down that you will do something, you’re more apt to do it.

Guest Author :

Michael H. has been writing for CRC Health since 2006, his passion for recovery has led him to author countless articles about addiction and recovery.

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