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  • Writer's pictureTesia Bryski, MEd, RP

Motivation is a Myth

Here’s the tee: motivation is a myth.

In fact, when we tell ourselves we need motivation to pursue something, we’re chasing a pretty elusive idea. When we state that we just simply “don’t have the motivation”, we are actually de-motivating ourselves, over and over again.

The truth is that we overuse and abuse that word. Motivation is an excuse - we tell ourselves that we need it to achieve a goal, and when we “just don’t have it’, we just flat out don’t do what needs to be done. Motivation is, to be crass, a cop-out. It creates a negative headspace in which we become stuck. When we tell ourselves that we need that motivation to get us going, we are trapped in a cycle of always chasing an idea that doesn’t exist. When we break it down, our thoughts (or headspace or mindset) constantly create these roadblocks that shelter us from the simple truth that we are running away from something. Or that we’re afraid of something. By saying “I’m not motivated”, we are removing the responsibility off of ourselves. We aren’t owning up to ourselves. We aren’t showing up for ourselves. The excuse of “finding motivation” is one of our greatest defense mechanisms.

What we believe to be motivation is a myth.


Well, that’s the bad news. Here’s the silver lining.


We can always, always, always self-motivate. The minute we take notice of what we are telling ourselves, and how we are speaking to ourselves, we’re able to tune it out. How, then, can we be motivated? At an intrinsic level, it operates by tuning out the ego - the incessant mind chatter that judges and labels and compares and controls. Your true-self, the self that self-motivates organically, can only be found when the ego is released. The ego is created by a complex and powerful overlay of our mind that protects us, rather defends us, from any form of suffering. Essentially, the ego creates stories, or excuses, like that of requiring motivation to do anything. The result is an unbalanced, disconnected mindset that focuses on all the wrong things, such as appearance or status or position. Constantly comparing, yearning to control or manage your experience, or creating excuses or stories, the ego removes yourself from the present. It deters you from your actual experience.

It boils down to shifting the way we think.

Learn to tune out the ego by grounding in your present experience. Trusting the sensations in your body is the first step: tuning into the subtle sensations and energy we create by simply being here, present and attentive to what is, is our greatest tool in present-moment awareness. It's the most grounding truth, and we will then be open to those endless possibilities. We learn to tune out the ego over and over again until we can challenge those core beliefs and the struggles the ego creates for ourselves.

On the topic of motivation specifically, self-awareness operates by listening to how our body responds to given situations and as such, we will uncover what we truly enjoy doing. What we are truly called to do, because our very being is activated. Over time we learn to listen to what resonates well with us. Our brains will naturally tune out the preferential mind and respond by practicing intention-based actions. Our senses constantly call to our deepest values and ethics of the way in which we choose to see the world - and when that clashes, we just aren’t motivated. Our state of being - our authentic selves - will organically cater to that action, and THAT is motivation.

Overcoming lack of motivation?

Ask yourself: “what is really going on here?”

Tune out, listen in, move on with intention - the motivation will organically follow when we are at our most authentic state of being.


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