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We know it’s hard to stay motivated, but it’s even harder to get your head in the game when you don’t have the right inspiration. False facts about what it takes to make your goals a reality could be sabotaging your self-improvement journey and preventing you from achieving your personal objectives in the workplace and at home. From the idea that money is the ultimate motivator to the strategy of playing the waiting game, this week we debunk the most common motivation myths surrounding success. 

What are the top myths about motivation?

Myth #1: Visualizing success

Many people are told that if they can just picture themselves reaching their goals, they can achieve it. If you can imagine yourself as fit and healthy, or visualize the day that you finally get that sought-after promotion, then you’ll be one step closer to achieving success.

The reality: A lot more work goes into achieving your dreams than just imagining a victory. Simply visualizing success can be counterproductive and oversimplify your goal-attainment strategy. Remember,  it’s always important to keep a positive attitude and strong mindset, but don’t let that overshadow the actual work needed to gear you towards where you want to go. 

For example, many people may spend so much time visualizing getting fit and healthy that they never actually take the necessary, practical steps, such as tweaking their diet or starting to exercise.

Myth #2 Money is the ultimate motivator

For most people, money considerations seem to be at the top of the list when it comes to career choices and personal decisions. Many people still believe that the possibility of making money is the main incentive that encourages individuals to meet their targets and produce better work. 

The reality: The motivation of money will quickly die out. If you place too much importance on financial gains, you may lose the passion you have for your work or for achieving that particular wellness or fitness goal you’ve been working towards.

This can leave you feeling more unmotivated than before. You’ll quickly find that your reasons for working so hard aren’t concrete, and if they don’t align with your personal goals and your own happiness, your determination to put your best foot forward will take a knock. 

Myth #3 Nothing is more motivating than fear

Some people believe that fear can be used to ignite your work-drive and help you achieve your fitness, personal or work goals quicker. The fear of losing a job or a source of livelihood, or the fear of sickness and illness due to living an unhealthy lifestyle, may motivate many people to change their daily choices and work towards self-improvement.

The reality: Fear’s power is short-lived and its motivational push is only temporary. In fact, research shows that positive reinforcement is usually more effective than fear when it comes to building and maintaining motivation.

Over time, fear creates a stressful, unhealthy environment instead of a positive driving force which builds your self-esteem and provides encouragement as you achieve your step-by-step goals.

Wellness

Myth #4 Overworking yourself 

Many people glorify the idea of working too hard. Working all hours of the night, not getting enough sleep and juggling home and work responsibilities all at once is seen as a must-do for anyone worthy of achieving success and setting themselves above the rest.

The reality: Being overworked can drastically inhibit your performance and stop you from ultimately unlocking your full potential. Whether it’s achieving your dream job, reaching your ultimate fitness goal or excelling at a hobby, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance. Work hard, but remember to reward yourself with time off and a small treat every now and again.  

Myth #5 Playing the waiting game

Many people believe that you have to wait for the exact right moment, pinpoint the perfect opportunity and wait for a specific inspiration in order to get motivated and start the journey to success. 

The reality: Success is not about luck, and motivation does not come and go randomly. Staying motivated is a continuous  process  that requires constant thought and mind-maintenance every day. The key is to create your own motivation, don’t wait for it.

Sit down and make a step-by-step plan for reaching your goals. Find like-minded people to help you stay motivated. Why not join a fitness club or enlist the help of a professional society for better career advancement? 

And don’t forget the most important part – always inspire yourself with small rewards for achieving every goal along the way.

Myth #6 Being smart makes up for motivation 

Some people believe that being naturally smart or gifted means that staying motivated is not that essential. A lot of people rely on their intelligence alone to get them where they need to go and trust that they’ll achieve success regardless of the energy they direct towards finding inspiration and keeping themselves motivated.

The reality: Being gifted is not enough. Hard work and planning is a necessary tool for success. Researchers have actually found that intelligence is not always a good predictor of real achievement. However, with self-motivation strategies and your own passion driving you, you can never go wrong. 

Myth #7 Only some people are real “go-getters” 

Some people believe that you are either born to achieve great things or you aren’t. Often people will describe someone as a born “go-getter” – someone who can achieve anything they set their mind to and is naturally gifted when it comes to paving a path towards success.

The reality: having the right attitude and developing a strong work ethic takes time, and there’s no use being hard on yourself if this requires a bit of practice. People don’t automatically have a strong motivational streak or lack one.

It all comes down to your own  passion for achieving your goals. The effort you devote to bettering yourself everyday and the small steps you put in place make you that much closer to reaching your goal every time you leave your home or office.

Key Takeaways 

  • There is no one-step trick to finding motivation. Staying motivated is a constant process and it can’t be achieved overnight. 
  • Hard work, a balanced lifestyle and strong incentive for achieving your goals outweighs any quick-fix motivational strategy. 
  • Finding your own personal inspirations and having a strong commitment to your goals can be the biggest deciding factor when it comes to staying motivated for the long-term or losing your enthusiasm over time.

Still in need of some inspiration? Check out our Instagram page for some motivation magic. Our daily posts will give you the encouragement you need to pursue your goals, discover new health hacks and stay motivated everyday. 

If you’re looking for any more friendly tidbits of advice, you can also take a look at our helpful blog page that discusses the most up-to-date health and wellness developments as and when they happen. 

Gemma Oberholzer

About Gemma Oberholzer

I guess you can say I'm a serial self-improver. Since I was a kid I can remember being weirdly thrilled at the idea of learning something new and figuring out how to use that new found knowledge to better myself. This perpetual learn-grow itch eventually lead me to the field of Health and Wellness and it's here I've been, fascinated for the last 8 years of my study and work life. From Human Life Scientist and learning the mechanics of physiology and intricacies of metabolic biochemistry, to Food and Nutrition Scientist where I deepened my understanding of diet and it's key role in human performance and health. Geared with this comprehensive education and better appreciation for human health, I've since been able to practically apply this in my career through the fields of research, product development, brand management and marketing. In 2018, I was finally able to bring all these learnings together and so my passion project, WellBe&Co, was born. WellBe&Co is a personal and corporate wellness company specializing in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions. It's here that I've gained invaluable insights into the human-side of the health and wellness industry in a way that has enabled me to provide relevant content and value-adding services to individuals and companies alike and live out our mission to build communities that know better and grow together through better health.

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