Motivation is a deeper topic than you might think at first glance. On the outside, an unmotivated person might seem as if they just need a strong coffee and a little nudge. But when you peel back the layers, there is usually a much deeper thread to find.
If you find yourself truly unmotivated, it can often be linked to your purpose and even your sense of identity.
Let’s consider it from this angle. If a parent, employer or well-meaning friend tries to motivate you, they might employ a ‘carrot and stick’ type of approach. We might even do this with ourselves sometimes.
This might take the form of small rewards for doing the things that you are unmotivated to do. This is not dissimilar from that typical childhood experience of doing household chores for pocket money.
As an adult, you might motivate yourself to go to a gym class that you don’t really want to do, with the promise of a cold beer afterwards. In the employment world, sales bonuses are a common way to motivate a sales team to work harder. But this is really a very short-term boost, as true motivation comes from within.
External rewards, such as money, will only get you so far. True motivation is an inside job, stemming from what truly lights your fire and makes you want to do your best for your higher purpose in life.
But for many of us, the trouble stems from not yet knowing or understanding what our higher purpose is.
How coaching can help
When you sit down to work with a coach, you will have the time and space to open up more than you would with a friend, partner or employer. A good coaching relationship facilitates some self-reflection, as well as the goal setting and accountability that is typically associated with coaching.
While goal setting is a valid part of the process, it’s so important to acknowledge your past, your dreams and even your sense of identity before we look forward to where you want to go in life. Goals that are not based on who you are at your core will never be enough to keep you motivated in the long term.
Some clients even find that, when they finally do that deeper work, they realise that the path they have been on no longer serves they, they desire a change, and they pursue that change with force they didn’t even know they had in them.
This is the difference when you are motivated from your true purpose.
Finding your purpose through coaching
What comes to mind when you think of your purpose in life? The chances are that your job doesn’t exactly fit your higher calling by some happy accident.
If you believe that purpose is about using your unique set of skills, personality and passion in life to make your patch of the world a better place – then it’s perfectly reasonable to say that no job is like to be a 100% match.
What we can do, however, is to make adjustments in both our career and our lives as a whole to do more of what fills us up on this level.
When we are purposeful, motivation grows organically. We have a deeper reason to get out of bed each day, work hard, and feel good about our endeavours.
This is why that deeper work that you do in coaching is so important. It is about uncovering and clarifying your unique set of skills, personality, and passion. It’s really about getting clear on who you are, without the interference of external influences, from job descriptions to small rewards, clouding your judgment.
This deeper work can be hard to do alone, as it requires a great deal of perspective. It can be harder still to do with a friend or family member, as they will no doubt have their own opinion, agenda or ideas to offer up. While this is well meant, it can really slow down the work you are trying to do.
Working with a trained coach is the best place to have a crystal clear, unbiased conversation where you are the only focus.