Sheesh, that's honest...

How to stay motivated when you really just want to eat pavlova in a hammock

Making Decisions & Finding Passion

Yesterday as I bent over to pull on on my favourite, rather tight jeans, there came an almighty ripping sound

my pants ripped right down the back!

Like Winnie the Pooh! BGC and I were in stitches, I was embarrassed, but still had to run around the house showing everyone.

As I mentioned here, I have become more and more heffalumpy as I have become more comfortable with BGC. 

This is the third long-term relationship I’ve been in and the third time I have acquired more rolly bits as a result.

And while I always appreciated Mr Darcy’s words to Bridget Jones “I happen to have a very high regard for your wobbly bits. … I think it’s high time we had another look.”, it still makes me feel self conscious and a bit bleh and unsexy.

A friend of mine tells me it’s a thing, it happened to him, he calls it “the 5kg comfort kilos”.

I am aware that this seems to be something of a phenomenon. Comfortable relationship >> chubby bits.

WeightWatchers has an article titled Is your relationship making you fat? So it must be a thing.

We start off all sexy and fun and being our best self when we’re single or in a new job or hanging out with a new love interest or new friend. The relationship or job then becomes more and more secure. We’re pretty sure they’re not going to leave us. Or fire us. So we start to let our standards slide.

Our A game slides to B.

I’ve written about this here before – That New Job Feeling (And Neon Green Underwear) 

I’ve been thinking about this lately, as it seems so odd. It’s the case in so many areas of our lives. I’ve been doing it in business too – when I first started Project Self it was all new and exciting. In the growth phases I flipped between feeling overwhelmed and elated, excited by the growth yet overwhelmed by how much I was having to learn and change to keep up.

But when I was able to quit my job and get all my income from mindfulness coaching, I started to feel more secure in the knowledge that I now know how to run my business successfully.

With the security came the coasting, I took my foot off the pedal and enjoyed the fruits of my labor. But before long I felt a bit stagnant coasting along the plateau. But I couldn’t seem to muster the energy to cycle up the next hill to take Project Self up a notch.

Until I watched a video by Owen from Real Social Dynamics (yea, he’s a dick, but he’s got some bloody interesting stuff to say). In it he suggests that our greatest success could be our biggest failure. I.e. a big win in business or a relationship could be the thing that causes you to coast – and coasting for too long leads to a downhill slide (in motivation, drive, and happiness!)

It hit me like a brick – I’d nearly let my small wins in life knock me off the bigger game!

I felt more alive and on my game than ever when I was single, and Project Self was still in the early growth – can I make it – will it work stages. I had everything to strive for, and coasting wasn’t an option. I still remember the feeling of ecstatic aliveness that I was experiencing almost daily. I was on fire.

Right now, I’m not. I’m lukewarm. Definitely still warm,

but in need of a rocket launcher strapped to my back to get me fired up again.

Now that I find myself with a really bloody good life, – epic job, and unbelievable boyfriend and mates, I am chilllllllling way too much. I’m still working a whole heap too much, but only really to keep things ticking over. It’s hard to motivate myself to start cycling up the next big hill to achieve the next level of mastery in my life.

It seems in life that we strive and strive, and as soon as we reach the first bit of of goodness, we coast. But inevitably, after coasting for a while, we start to go downhill, in both our efforts and our sense of achievement.

We start to eat more, exercise less, challenge ourselves less. Life becomes a bit meh, and the shine and excitement we felt on the uphill ride starts to seriously wear off.

So what is going on??

Why don’t we just stick to all our good habits if we know how good we feel when we’re up there on the peak?

In his video, Owen talks about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

So I did some research – and it blew my mind.

Maslow’s theory for human motivation is that humans start with ensuring we have our physiological needs met – air, water, food. Once they’re met, we move on to safety needs – financial security, health, personal security.

If we’re lucky enough to have those met, we move on to love and belonging – intimacy, family, friendship. Then to self esteem and self respect through status, fame, recognition, etc.

Only once we’ve mastered all of those areas are we able to move on to self-actualisation, which constitutes fulfilling our highest potential – achieving all that we can.

And then after that self-transcendence – where we fulfill a higher goal outside ourselves, in altruism or spirituality.

Owen talks about how when our base needs are met, our DNA switches into energy conservation mode, and we suddenly find ourselves kicking back, relaxing, taking the foot off the gas. Even though we feel less alive when we do it.

The lower needs – physiological, safety, feel good when we have them. Love/belonging and esteem feel great when we have them. But self-actualisation and transcendence is what it takes to feel FUCKING AWESOME.

I’ve been there, striving for my massive life goals, and I can tell you, it’s ecstatic. You feel that you’re buzzing with energy and drive. Life flows easily and effortlessly.

Until we hit cruise control.

So, as Owen did for me – this is your brick to the face wake up call –

if you’re coasting in some area of your life – think back to when you were happiest with that part of life, what were you doing differently then? I was doing a whole heap of yoga and biking, and not binge eating sugar!

Battle with your energy-saving DNA! Work out how to get back on the uphill road, and get back to growing. It’s the only way to live a truly fulfilling bloody good life.

Pstt - enjoyed this blog post? Splendid news! If you fancy getting these snippets of self-deprecating radical honesty delivered freshly to your inbox moments(ish) after I take them out of the gluten free oven (every week or three-ish), subscribe over here.

I have an online workshop coming up (details TBC) called How to be Less of a Dick to Yourself (AKA Self Compassion for Sceptics)! I would love you to join us — It’s going to be bloody splendid! Click here to register your interest.

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