I am intrinsically motivated, of course I respond to competition and peer pressure but that is only if I already have a desire to do something. A perfect example would be during a run last year with my husband, I was trying out my new Vibram Five Fingers and just recovering from bronchitis- it was a beautiful day for a run. I’m not a runner in the first place, so between the new shoes, crusty lungs, and the bad attitude I had brought out with me that day I was in for a long run. Throughout the entire run my husband kept telling me “you’re doing great,” “you can do it,” “great work sweetie!” He’s one hell-of-a-coach and a great motivator but my switch was flipped and I didn’t want motivated and encouraged…I wanted to die. Every time he said “you can do it,” I thought “how do YOU know what I can do??”when he said “you’re doing great,” I thought, “don’t patronize me…I suck and you suck for telling me differently.” I had it in my head that I couldn’t do it anymore and I had to stop.
About a quarter of a mile from the end of the run my determination was depleted, my willpower was all washed up….I was being a huge sissy. Evan looked back at me, with my sore knees and wheezing lungs and said in a very sweet, understanding voice, “If you feel that bad, why don’t you just stop?” In a demon voice I responded “NOOOO!!!” and I began running faster, much faster, and fortunately by the time I made it home I had correctly redirected my anger at him back toward myself, sparing myself the humiliation of telling him he was being too encouraging.
It’s important to know yourself and your motivation style in order to succeed. I now know that I need my coach to say “If you’re not going to give it everything, just stop!” It may sound a little harsh, but if my performance isn’t matching my potential I need to hear it. I need a nice balance of “you’re doing that really well” and “you suck, why don’t you just quit!” to keep me going. Do you find that confusing? You can only imagine how my husband feels….
Today: learn what gets you going and tell your coach and your friends so that they’re saying just what you need to hear when you’re being a huge sissy. (And if you’re used to working out with me, you know I’ll tell you when you’re being a huge sissy so there will be no confusion).