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The Top 10 Motivation Poisons

The Top 10 Motivation Poisons

We are drawing close to the new year and you know what that brings—New Year’s resolutions. Many of us have new goals and priorities and things we really hope to achieve during this fresh new year. So what is the problem? Motivation poisons. Beware of these motivation poisons that can bring you down and keep you from being the person you want to be this new year.

1. Naysayers holding you back.

These are people who do not want to see you succeed with your new goals and will tell you so. It is likely that they are just jealous of your ambition, so do not let them get you down.

2. Negative thoughts keeping you down.

The brain is a funny thing in that negative thoughts can actually prevent us from completing a goal. These motivation poisons of the brain are probably not even true. Just keep telling yourself that it is mind over matter and push on forward.

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3. Not setting proper goals.

It is great to have lofty goals, but the biggest obstacle is nailing down an exact plan on how to achieve them. This involves coming up with concrete steps to move you towards your aspirations.

See One of the Best Goal Setting Exercises here.

4. Having a lack of preparation.

Along with not setting proper goals, sometimes you truly are not prepared enough. If you have a dream of becoming a lawyer, do some research. What are the best schools? How long does it take? How much money will you spend? Being prepared will ensure you have less hiccups along the way.

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5. Expecting perfection from yourself.

Humans are not perfect and that is just the way it is. Expecting yourself to never make mistakes or backtrack on your goals is silly. Once you experience these setbacks, cut yourself some slack and remind yourself that no one is perfect.

6. Falling into the comparison trap.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

What he meant was, if you compare yourself to others, you will never be happy. Try instead comparing yourself to your past self. You might be surprised at how much you have grown and improved over the years. Use this as a reminder that you are capable of changing to push you forward in your dreams.

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7. Doing too much at once.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Look at your resolutions in the same way. Map out baby steps so that you do not overwhelm yourself.

8. Feeling that you are not worthy of great things.

We all are worthy of our dreams. Just because they seem big and far off should not prevent you from trying. Do not let your low self-worth hold you back from the things you are capable of!

9. Making excuses.

Listen, we could all probably come up with an excuse not to do anything in this life, whether it be reasons why you should not go to the store today or reasons why you should not pursue that promotion. Excuses really are the easiest motivation poisons we can inflict on ourselves, so resist the temptation, be bold and press forward.

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10. Setting too many goals.

How long is that New Year’s resolutions list? Be honest with yourself and decide which goals you have your heart set on and those you can do without. Once the list becomes too long, our brain becomes far too burdened and you might find yourself frozen, unable to decide which goal to work on first. By making our list an achievable one, we can really visualize a positive outcome.

Motivation poisons can come at us from many different angles, so it is best to be prepared. Use this list as a reminder of how to fight back against the naysayers, negative thoughts, excuses and more.

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Amanda DeWitt

Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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