You won’t have motivation to do something you don’t want to do. Duh. So what do you do? Where do you go? Do you pack our bags? Give up?
Watch YouTube pump up videos until you realize how meta you’re being? Because you’re motivated enough to watch videos and do things in order to motivate yourself to do something you’re not motivated to do.
One option to crawl out of this mess:
Turn HAVE TO into WANT TO.
Maybe chant yourself into a new mindset and flip your perception upside down…?
Ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup I.
If you want to try to consciously fool your subconscious, you’re welcome to give it a try. Do the Bart Simpson and write it on a chalkboard until your hands fall off.
I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. VEGETABLES WANT TO EAT ME.VEGETABLES WANT TO EAT ME.VEGETABLES WANT TO EAT ME.VEGETABLES WANT TO EAT ME. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES. I WANT TO EAT VEGETABLES.
It rarely works.
And, most times, it often serves the opposite purpose: it reminds you of how you really feel.
People without a lot of self-confidence will crash and burn if they use positive reinforcement techniques. They can’t resolve the cognitive dissonance.
I’m awesome! No. Wait. I’m not. I’m a piece of shit. An awesome piece of shit? Fuck. Why am I even thinking this? I’m a great person. I need to be confident. I hate myself.
“Well I have a friend that watched a documentary and then stopped eating meat. How do you explain that?”
This does happen. Let’s call it an epiphany. Unlike consciously trying to convince yourself to believe something, epiphanies come from deeper subconscious place.
I had an epiphany when I was eighteen. I was eating a (second) bag of brown sugar Pop-Tarts (no icing, please) right after eating a bunch of pizza in my college’s cafeteria.
I cracked open the bag I thought, “What the hell am I doing? This isn’t going to get me the body I want. I am dying inside when I look in the mirror, and yet this is how I treat my body? I’m doing this to myself? Something has to change.”
In that moment, Pop-Tarts went from ZOMG DELICIOUS to ZOMG REPULSIVE. I didn’t eat them. I threw them in the garbage. Things have never been the same since.
(Even though I’ve rewired my physiology to the point where, now, I could enjoy no icing brown sugar Pop-Tarts if I wanted to.)
Epiphanies sound awesome. And they are. The caveat being: you can’t consciously trigger an epiphany. It’s not going to come about with ritualistic chanting. It just sort of clicks. Out of no where. Like a Blutz Wave to Goku.
You can putz around for years trying to trigger an epiphany without anything to show for your time. I guess, if you maintain interest in something long enough, you’re more likely to have an epiphany.
I was obsessed with how I looked for ten years. And then I had an epiphany. So considering I floated in purgatory for ten years, my chances for an epiphany outweighed those of someone that was only floating for one day.
So I guess if you want to chill in purgatory and cross your fingers for an epiphany, then be my guest.
But there’s a better way.
And before I get to that better way, I should also mention the other way to flip your perception upside down: get proof that HAVE TO is actually WANT TO.
But this is a strange loop.
How do I convince myself that I want to eat vegetables? I need to prove to myself I want to eat them by actually eating and then liking the way they taste or the feeling I have after eating them or…
But in order to get proof, you have to take action. But you’re in this pickle because you’re struggling to take action. And you’re struggling to take action because your motivation is low. And your motivation is low because you don’t want to act. And in order to increase your motivation to act, you need proof. And in order to get proof, you have to take action. But you’re in this pickle…
The only alternative at this point (and the only way to gather said proof above), is to push through and go forth without motivation. Which is absolutely possible.
Because motivation is only 1/2 of our performance piston.
Motivation has a brother.