Motivation and how positive change also is an act of love

“Motivation is derived from the word ‘motive,’ which denotes a person’s needs, desires, wants, or urges.” That was the definition I got when I googled “motivation.”

I always found it difficult and annoying at school to wake up early in the morning, contrary to the days on which we had a school trip. I woke up even earlier.

My expectation of having fun during the trip motivated me to wake up early. Just the thought of it was enough to energize me.

When we deeply desire something, we act differently and do things that we don’t usually do. Like when I volunteered to sell Tombolas when I was 14 years old to meet a celebrity, I had a big crush on while I was a timid teenager with zero knowledge of money. 

My motivation made me get out of my shell and challenge myself to realize my desire. 

What’s the other thing that comes with motivation?

When we talk about motivation, we forget to think about something more substantial: change.

Butterflies are the most beautiful example of transformation
(Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash)

When I was a teenager, I used to consider change as a bad thing. I labeled it as unfavorable. There’s a quote my younger version loved to share with others and in which I intended to let my friends know that because of them, I changed as if the change was my way of punishing them. 

I began to understand and look at things differently when I became older. I realized that change was the most beautiful thing we could do for ourselves. It indicated growth and transformation. 

The primary function of our subconscious mind is to keep us safe, and therefore it resists change, for it threatens it. As we grow out of our comfort zones, we experience resistance and a significant tendency to return to our old habits, and sometimes we do. 

Photo by Altansukh E on Unsplash

What does our demotivation indicate?

The demotivation we experience can have different sources. It can be our beliefs about the goal we’re seeking, like a belief that we don’t deserve it. 

The possibility of “Change” alone challenges the identity we’ve built around ourselves in the past years. 

We resist change because we fear success as much as failure and the birth of a newer version of ourselves and what might result from that. 

Our demotivation might cause us to return to an old habit that we take as proof or an indication that we are a failure. Imagine if this was how you thought when you fell down while trying to learn how to walk as a child? You’d still be crawling up until this day. 

How do we start trusting ourselves?

Change is not easy, and it is supposed to take time to happen. Change comes with small promises that we keep to ourselves daily. That’s how we stop betraying ourselves and begin to build self-trust.

Motivation alone won’t allow you to reach your goal. What you need is self-compassion, dedication, purpose, and commitment. 

What my younger version had to teach me

My motivation to meet that famous guy as a teenager allowed me to get out of my shell for a few hours, but was it enough to sustain it? No, it wasn’t.

I had to challenge myself daily to become more confident and socially skilled. Seek professional help, read books, challenge my thoughts, learn more skills, experiment, and most importantly, take action.

I decided to go and read in public even though my legs were shaking. I asked questions and sought answers.  

I learned that I don’t have to fit in everywhere with everyone. I began to choose who I wanted to engage with and for how long. 

With time I learned several ways to act in the same situation. The scenarios my imagination created turned out to be more complex and scary than how reality was. 

I had to make peace with shyness. To remove the shame of being labeled as shy. I stopped identifying as a shy person and started acknowledging that until now, I still experience shyness in certain situations, and that’s okay.

It turned out that behind this shell of shyness, a mighty lioness was hiding, and with the right conditions, it came to the surface. 

Life is a continuous path of learning and adjusting to what we know. 

Whenever we seek to change, we must first ensure that we’re doing it for ourselves, not to pursue acceptance from others or to prove anything to anyone.  

The positive change also is an act of love. 

Ninette Abi Atallah

1 thought on “Motivation and how positive change also is an act of love”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.