I'm back with another rant episode, this time about the idea of “motivation”. I share this to offer you maybe a different perspective than you've gotten from other fitness influencers, and maybe even a different perspective than you currently hold yourself. So let's dive into today's episode as we talk a lot about motivation!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/130
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You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 130
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Another rant episode coming up! 0:45
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, and I'm back with another rant episode. So many of you guys tell me that you love my rants, and I'm not gonna lie, I really love to record them because I feel like I just can't get to say whatever I want. And because I've given the disclaimer that this is a rant, I kind of just get to say what I want and kind of have it a little bit more unfiltered, a little bit more maybe unpolished, and just kind of share my opinion. And I think that's why I like to call these rants specifically because I don't, we're going to talk about some stuff that I don't necessarily think is the “right way to look at it”. So it's not like this is the only way to look at it, this is the right way to look at it. However, I share this as a perspective to offer you from maybe a different perspective than you've gotten from other fitness influencers, maybe a different perspective than you currently hold yourself. And, you know, I offer that as an opportunity for you to maybe look at things a little bit differently.
A rant about motivation 1:54
And so the thing that we're going to look at a little bit differently today is motivation. And the reason that I picked this topic is that every week usually, at least once a week, I put a question box up onto Instagram and do just like a q&a, ask me anything and I will respond to the questions. And the question I very often get in the question box is the question that somehow relates to how do I get motivated? Or how do I maintain motivation? Or how do I keep motivated? And it's a very frequent question that I get, and I totally get where that question is coming from. Because we like to talk a lot about motivation and we like to point out how important it is and that we need to stay motivated. And especially when you're talking about some coaches in the way that they coach, there's this perspective that if I, as a coach tell you what to do, I give you the keys to the kingdom, per se, and you don't actually use it, but you don't actually put it into practice, I give you a meal plan, you don't follow it, I give you a workout plan and you don't follow it. Well, then the breakdown must be in your motivation. Like you need to be more motivated to stick with this plan. If you're bingeing, if you're going off-plan, then obviously your motivation isn't high enough. And coaches will often tell clients, some coaches, that they like you need to be more motivated, like, you need to want this more. This needs to be a deeper desire for you before this is going to actually work before you're going to actually stick with the process or stick with the program.
Recognize that you aren’t the problem 3:44
And I think that's such a short-sighted way to deal with this. And I dove deeper into this topic in Episode Number 102, which was another rant. So if you haven't listened to Episode 102, it's titled You Are Not The Problem. And I kind of dive into this, this concept a little bit more. So I'm not going to dive super deep into it. But I think that perspective that coaches are telling women, you need more motivation, you need to dig deeper, is what is causing so many of these women coming to me saying, Amber, how do I get more motivation? Like I just don't feel like I want to go to the gym, I don't feel like I want to do the things that I need to do in order to get the results that I want. And I will tell you that the first thing to understand that I talked about this in Episode Number 102 is that recognizing that you aren't the problem, that you're like motivation, doesn't need fixing. That's not what the issue is here.
Reason behind self-sabotage 4:45
If you're seeing evidence of self-sabotaging behavior, which is what I would classify, here's the meal plan and then you don't follow it. Or here's the workout plan and you don't do it or you tell yourself I'm going to track my macros today and then you don't do those, I would say that those are behaviors self-sabotaging behaviors. The reason someone self-sabotage is is not that they don't have high enough motivation. The reason someone's self-sabotage is because there is an underlying belief, thought, idea that is creating that self-sabotaging behavior. It is your brain trying to keep you safe from what it perceives as a greater risk of accomplishing that goal of taking the action that needs to be taken. And until you address that underlying belief, that underlying thought, it doesn't matter how much motivation you have, it's never going to be able to compete with your brain.
The analogy of a tree 5:48
So I like to use an analogy, I like to use a lot of analogies and metaphors of a tree. And we can all picture a tree at the top there are the leaves are the flowers of the tree, in the middle is the trunk of the tree, and underground are the roots of the tree. And if we think about labeling each of those parts of the tree, we can imagine that the leaves of the tree are the results that you get, right, it's the last thing that happens if you have to plant the seed it has to grow. And once it grows, then it spawns into those leaves, it's the last piece that comes. So if we think about where those like leaves come from, where those branches come from, well it comes from the trunk, the trunk, then goes up into the branches and up into the leaves. And so we could label the trunk in our metaphor, your actions because we know that the actions you take, produce results. Take new actions, get new results, take the same actions, get the same results.
The link between our actions and results 6:54
So we know that there's this link between actions and results. And so what most coaches will do and what most programs will do will focus on the actions that you're taking. Here are the macros to hit, here are the workouts to follow. Here's, you know, the meal prep schedule to do, here are the right foods to eat, here's the wrong foods to eat, and so on and so forth. Right. So it's all you can see, as you're listening to that those are all very action-oriented, focused things. We're focusing on the action someone's taking, which is a great thing because you have to take new actions to get new results, you've probably heard me say what got you here won't get you there, the actions that you've taken to this point have created the results in your life that you currently have. If you want new results, you have to take new actions. And so that's where a lot of coaching starts. And especially a lot of new coaches will start just focusing on helping their clients take the actions that they need to take or the actions that that coach took themself. This is where a lot of new coaches start. They took certain actions that got them a new result. And so then they just surmise, hey, if I have my other clients take the same actions that I took, they're going to get a similar result. And that's where a lot of coaching ends up starting.
But what those coaches and maybe you don't quite understand yet, is that yes, while actions produce results, what is underlying the actions? What are the roots of the tree, and the roots of the tree are what you're telling yourself, your beliefs, your long-held understandings about the way that the world works? Your perspective, the metaphorical glasses that you've put on that you've chosen to wear through life that color the entire world. And those beliefs, those thoughts are what come before your actions, your beliefs, create your actions, which then create your results. And so if we only focus our attention, especially as a coach, if I only focus my attention on what my clients are doing, and not what they are believing, or what they are telling themselves, I'm just slapping a bandaid on a big gaping wound. I'm not actually fixing what is underlying that's pre-empting those actions. And so when we just say, I just need more motivation, if I just had more, more motivation. If I could hold longer to this, then I would be able to solve the problem. Well, the piece that we're missing is recognizing that motivation isn't what's like keeping you stuck. It is those underlying thoughts and beliefs that are creating the actions that are then creating the results that you want in your dream.
Relying much on motivation might lead you to quit 9:41
So when it comes to motivation, I truly believe that motivation is one of the lowest forms of currency, so to speak. It's like one of the lowest forms of ability to keep going towards your goals is you sitting there relying on motivation, and I hear it all the time and there's nothing wrong with this. But I hear it all the time where people are like, how do I keep going in my journey, if I'm not seeing results, right, because the results keep them motivated. If I step on the scale and the scale is going down, I still feel motivated, I feel like I want to keep going. But if I step on the scale, it's not going down, I don't have that same motivation and so then I end up quitting. And you can see in that circumstance in that situation if you are relying on motivation coming from certain results to keep going, inevitably, at some point in your journey, you're not going to have those results. And if you've only been relying on motivation, if the only thinking keeping you going is motivation, then what's going to happen when the scale goes up one week, or when your measurements don't change, you then you've experienced in the past, probably some of you, then you don't feel motivated, and you don't do it. So we can see that the cost of relying on motivation to keep going, in a lot of instances causes you to quit. So that's the cost. So if you want to rely on me for motivation, that's fine. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with that. But recognize that the cost for most women is if you rely on motivation, it won't always be there and so what ends up happening is that you quit.
Motivation does not solely drive you to reach your goal 11:25
So here's something I want you to consider. When you look at the women who have the results that you want. Did they get there simply because they had more motivation than you? Is that the secret? Is that like that woman that you love her Instagram account and you love her body and you're so excited and you want your body to look like hers? Do you really think that the difference between you and her is that she has more motivation than you? I would venture to say that's not actually the case. And that the women who have the results that you want, didn't get there because they have motivation, they actually got there because they did not rely on motivation to get where they're at.
Action creates motivation 12:13
And I would also venture to say that those women didn't wait around for motivation. And that's what I see a lot of people doing is not starting something until they feel motivated to start it, not realizing that action creates the motivation. Okay, so I'm going to say that again. Oftentimes, we think that we need to be motivated before we take action, when in actuality it is the action that creates the motivation, the action has to come first. Have you ever had the experience where you wake up, it's time to go to the gym, you don't want to go to the gym, no part of you wants to go to the gym, you go anyway. And by the end of your workout, you're like, all pumped up, and you're like, yes, I'm so glad I went, I feel super motivated, I'm excited to hit my goals. And it turns things around for you. That is an example that backs up this idea that action is what creates motivation. So if you're sitting around, waiting for motivation to preempt action, recognize that you may be waiting there a really long time, because it is the action that actually creates that motivation. Now if in the past, you've done that, where you've waited for motivation before taking action, there's nothing wrong with that, I think we all do that in areas of our life, there have absolutely been areas of my life where I kind of want to wait for the motivation before I start taking action. So this is not like to say that I have never done this. We all do this in some respects. But when we can start to recognize it and start to bring it to our awareness like, hey, in this area of my life, I'm waiting for motivation to come up first, before taking the action. And I'm sure if you ask yourself that question, wherein my life am I waiting for motivation before doing something? Something's likely going to come up? I know in my life It does. I can think right now of some things that I'm kind of waiting for motivation before I take action. And then I can ask myself the question, what would happen if I took action first? What would happen to my motivation, then? I find motivation by taking the action first.
So if we're not relying on motivation, what should we be relying on or what could we be relying on? And I would say there's a couple of things, one, desire, and I think this is a powerful question to be asking ourselves like What do I want? What are my desires? I hold the perspective that a desire, anything that we desire is possible for us, and just the fact that you desire something means that it's possible, it means that it is available to you, we do not desire things that are like, out of the realm of possibility. Okay, so you think of something super crazy, like, I don't really desire to go to the moon, that's not a desire that I hope. If I desired it, I probably could make it happen. But I don't desire it. I don't desire to become a professional baseball player. Okay, I probably physically couldn't anyway, and I don't desire it. So I hold the perspective that if I desire if I want something, it is possible for me. And now I just have to figure out how to get it. And so a powerful question to ask yourself is, what do I want? And surprisingly, at least in my life, I found that that can sometimes be a challenging question. We don't really know what we want. So you can think about this in different areas of your life, what do I want health and fitness? What do I want in my career? What do I want with my family relationships? What do I want with my children? And there may be like areas of your life where when you ask yourself that question, the answer is, I don't know. I don't know what I want.
Be clear with your desires and create priorities 16:17
And so getting clear on what you desire is important, because it allows us to create our priorities. Not everything can be a priority, we cannot give the same level of priority to 15 things in our life. But just we can't, inevitably, there has to be some hierarchy of priority. And problems come in our life, when we aren't clear on those priorities and two things are kind of competing for our attention. And those two things come head to head and part of us wants this thing, and part of us wants this thing. And if we're not clear on what our priorities are, we aren't able to say, Okay, this is my priority, I'm going to give it higher priority and this other thing is going to go you know, underneath it. So, desire helps us to understand what our priorities in life and not everything can be a priority and not everything should be a priority. And sometimes I find that, especially as women, we get caught into this, this should be a priority. My family should be a priority, or my career should be a priority, or my health and fitness should be a priority. And I want you to notice, if you start saying that to yourself, this should be a priority that there is a lack of like ownership of realizing that you get to choose what is a priority. So nothing should be, your family should doesn't, there's no should in that. Okay? It's not that your family should be a priority. It's not that your career should be a priority. It's not that your health and fitness should be a priority. None of those things should be a priority. They are options for you to choose what you want to be a priority. And when you get clear on your priorities, everything can line up and you can feel like you can do life the way you want to do life. So I love to help women get clear on not what should be a priority. But what they currently are placing as a priority and what they're ideally would place as a priority. And if there is a gap between what you are currently placing as a priority and what you want to be a priority, then how can we start to change things up? How can we start to shift things so that there isn't a disconnect between what you say is a priority, what you want to be a priority, and what you are actually already making a priority currently in your life.
Developing habits 18:52
Now, we said we're not relying on motivation to take action. We talked about desire, and how getting clear on what you desire, what you want is an important part of the process. And the second important part of the process is developing habits. So we don't need to have motivation but we do need to create our habits. James Clear, the author who wrote atomic habits, which is a book that I love, and we'll link that up in the show notes. He said you do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems and systems and that is another way to say your habits. We fall to the level of whatever we habitually do. Habits are maintained in our subconscious. Our brain uses habits because they're efficient. Our prefrontal cortex uses a lot of calories, uses a lot of energy to consciously think about things and so in order to not have us have to think about everything all day long, a lot of the information coming into our brain is processed through the subconscious. And habits are in the subconscious, we don't consciously think about exactly how we tie our shoes. We don't actually consciously think about all the steps to brush our teeth. Those just happen on autopilot, it's a way for our brain to save energy to just go into a habit loop, go into a habit, like there's a, if you've ever read the Power of Habit, another great book by Charles Duhigg, he talks about the habit loop where there is a cue, there is an action and then there is a reward. And once the cue is hit, then that habit loop just goes through on its own, you don't need to consciously think your way through a habit, once the cue is hit, then that automatically happens.
Making actions become automatic 20:53
So when we can understand that habits are driven by our subconscious, we don't have to use willpower, we don't have to use motivation, we don't have to use thought to be able to access those habits, we can see how important it is to have the action that we want to take, be taken out of that prefrontal cortex where we're making decisions where we're thinking about it, and put it into the subconscious. And that's honestly a lot of the work that I do with my clients is a lot about figuring out what they currently have programmed. bringing that to conscious awareness, shifting it, and putting it back into the subconscious. Because when you do that, your actions become automatic. You don't have to think about eating healthy, you don't have to think about going to the gym, guys, I don't ever make a decision to go to the gym. Like I wake up and that's what I do. It's become like it's just an automated habit. It's not a decision I make. And the struggle a lot of women have, especially in their health and fitness journey, especially at the beginning, is they're trying to make too many decisions throughout the day. And our brain gets decision fatigue, which is why your willpower lessons at the end of the day. It's why most binges happen at night, not in the morning. Because you have that willpower fatigue, you have that decision fatigue, because you're trying to do all of these new things, which is causing your prefrontal cortex to have to do a lot of work. You're trying to change your nutrition and you're trying to change your workouts and you're trying to train, you're stressed and you're trying to change your sleep, you're trying to change all of these things. And your prefrontal cortex is like, I can't handle all this information. And these decisions all through the day all at once. So what would happen, if instead of having to think through all of these decisions, you were able to take it and put it into your subconscious, into your habit and we did it one at a time where we focused on one thing, made that automatic, moved on to the next thing made that automatic, moved on to the next thing made that automatic. Wouldn't you be so much more successful than trying to change all the things at once and overload your ability to continue to think about it and make decisions throughout the day?
How do we create a habit? 23:05
So instead of relying on motivation, what if we focused on what we desired and we were focused on the habits and how we could create those? Now, creating habits sounds great but then the question comes up, how do I create a habit? Okay, because it's not, it's like creating a habit just doesn't happen out of thin air. How do we reprogram our subconscious? How do we make, how do we shift from old habits to new habits? That's a big thing, right? You already have habits, you've already created some. And some of those are bad habits. Some of those are habits and not even I hesitate to even use the word bad. But some of those are habits that aren't aligning with the goals that you want to create in your life. So how do you switch those out? How do you take a bad habit and create it into a new habit and a habit that's actually supporting your goals? And again, this is a lot of the work that I do with clients inside of my program instead of Macros 101, we focus on helping to reprogram that subconscious to rewrite those stories and those beliefs that are causing you to go through self-sabotaging behaviors.
So we've talked about desire, we've talked about habits. And the last thing that I want to talk about is momentum. So in, let's say you go to a playground and there's a merry-go-round on the playground. If you want to get that merry go round going and you walk up to the merry go round and you like hunched over and push with all of your might to get that merry go round started takes a lot of effort. And it takes a lot of energy, right it feels that merry-go-round feels pretty dang heavy. And then as you start pushing, it gets a little bit easier, and then as you pick up speed and momentum, you're able to hop onto the merry-go-round and just kind of ride the momentum. That same principle absolutely applies to your health and fitness journey. So, and this is why taking action is so important to create that momentum and to create that motivation. So like, yeah, it feels hard, changing things and doing new things, takes more effort, because again, you're taking things that used to be in the subconscious, and you're bringing to the conscious awareness. Like it takes more effort to do those things. But recognize that it will always take that much effort. And that as you can build that momentum, it becomes a lot easier and you can just hop on the merry-go-round and ride the momentum.
What one action can build your momentum? 25:41
So I love to ask my clients powerful questions. And one question that you can ask yourself, in terms of momentum is what is one action? One, when I always ask my clients this, they want to give me 12? What is one, what is one action that I could take today that would build momentum, and then start there? So many times people get overwhelmed with all of the things that they need to change and all the stuff that they need to do. And I do this sometimes in my business, where I'm like, I have all of this, all the stuff to get done. And it can feel overwhelming and we all know that overwhelm usually causes us to like to shut down and not perform well and actually not get very much accomplished. So instead, coming back to this question of what is one action I could take today, that would build momentum, and then just do that one thing. And if you continue to ask yourself that question over and over and over again, what you will find is that you will, it's like pushing the merry-go-round, it's gonna be hard at first, it's gonna take effort. But pretty soon, you're gonna pick up that speed and you're gonna hop on that merry go round, and you're going to have that momentum towards what you do desire towards the results and goals that you have set for yourself.
Let’s wrap up! 26:55
Alright, so we're gonna kind of wrap this up. The moral of the story, let's sum up this whole podcast and like a couple of words. Motivation is overrated. That's how I'm going, to sum up the podcast, motivation is overrated. And if you're focusing your attention on trying to find motivation, like going around looking for motivation, having seen other people can give you motivation. What would happen if instead, you just started taking action, you just started taking action and I don't know, maybe saw if motivation came because of that action, rather than proceeding with the action.
Take away 27:35
Okay, awesome. I hope that that offered something for you. I hope that it offered a new perspective, a new way of looking at it. Of course, this isn't the right way to look at it. You can look at it a different way. But hopefully, I've given you a kind of an opportunity to see motivation in a different light, and decide what is going to best support you and your goals as you're trying to achieve the things that you want to achieve.
Continue for supporting and sharing BAB radios 28:01
Thank you for being here. Thank you for being a biceps after babies radio listener. If you have not yet, it would really mean a whole lot to me if you left a review on iTunes. And just let me know how you're liking the podcast. What do you think about it? If you want to give me five stars, I will not be sad about that. But really, I know, I would love any feedback that you have about the podcast. And when you rate and review the podcast on iTunes that really helps with you know, all the algorithm stuff that, you know companies do these days, it really helps iTunes to be like, hey, people really liked this podcast. Maybe we should offer it to more people. Maybe we should show it to more people. And it really helps the podcast to be able to grow. So if you would do that, take the five seconds, five minutes to write that review. That would mean the world to me. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for listening, and I will catch you next week. That wraps up this episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
Hold up, sister friend. Do you love Biceps after Babies radio? If so, the best way to say thank you is to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes. I know, every podcaster wants you to leave a review, but it's because those reviews help the podcast to reach more people. And I do truly want to know what you think. If this particular episode resonated with you, will you also please share it? Either send the link to someone who would find it valuable or take a screenshot and post it to your social media and tell your friends and family why they should listen. Make sure you tag me @biceps.after.babies so I can hear your feedback and give you a little love. And you know, if you aren't already following me on Instagram or Facebook, that's the perfect time to hit that follow button. Thank you for being here and listening to Biceps after Babies radio.