Finding the Right Motivation

Another friend of mine just qualified for the London Olympic Games – her first, representing Canada.  I am so happy for Marie-Andree Lessard, her story is one of persistence and discovery of what it takes to make dreams come true.  I had the honour of sharing part of her journey in aiming to qualify for 2008.  Unfortunately, she missed out that year and it brings up questions – how effective is all this ‘mindset’ stuff when sometimes it doesn’t work?

via The Canadian Press

I’m guessing we have all felt that at more than one point in our lives.  I know what I want, I desire it, I’m determined, and I’ve done “everything”!  What am I doing wrong?

Sometimes it’s just timing, and just because a goal is not achieved in the time you wanted it, doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen.  That happened for me – I first wanted to go to the Olympics as a young gymnast back in 1984.  I didn’t even get close.  I missed out on 1996, and the desire and passion kept me going until 2000, when I did get to represent Australia.

Often a goal is not achieved because there is something more to learn – that when you learn it will allow the blocks and resistance to disappear, to allow what you desire to happen.

Canadian, Lessard, shared with me that she had to let go of needing to prove herself on the volleyball court in order to play freely on the beach volleyball court.  This brings to the discussion the importance of having the right motivation to achieve your goals.

There are two types of motivation – you may hear them named ‘pain’ vs ‘pleasure’ or ‘carrot’ vs ‘stick’.  I think of them as either ‘toward’ what you want or ‘away’ from what you don’t want.

What drives you?  Is it the desire to have your goal and enjoy it, for what it can do for you and your life, and for others?  That is, you are focused on what you want and moving towards it.

Or are you driven more by the need to have this goal, for whatever reason – you must have this, or else……?  Perhaps you also feel the need to prove something?

Or is your drive coming from moving away from what you don’t want – don’t want to be lonely, or unhealthy, fat or broke?

When you are focused on what you don’t want or feel the goal is a need or must, then your goal is ‘away’-motivated.  The pain or necessity can be a strong driving force, but it can be inconsistent (no pain = no motivation) and also brings up resistance.

Needing to achieve your goal, or needing to prove something can prevent the very thing you desire from happening.  Let go and trust that everything is as it should be.  Keep doing the things you need to do to achieve your goals (action IS needed), and by being okay that it doesn’t have to happen – it might just happen.  It happened for Lessard, it can happen for you.

Want to learn more about the Olympic experience and what it takes to achieve such high goals, join me in this month’s telecall at

1 reply to Finding the Right Motivation

  1. FANTASTIC article, Annette! You’re spot-on with your insights. Bravo!!!!!

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