Yes You Can! You Can Do It! I’ve recently found that motivational platitudes annoy me. Maybe it’s my age, or my stage in life. Maybe I’m just too jaded. Or maybe I know better.
I go between stages of intense determination and mental blocks. The first one may seem like impulsiveness to many. Once I decide to do something, I just figure it out and do everything I can to make it happen. The second can be debilitating.
When I find that the achievement of a goal is out of my control, no matter what I do, the veil of that obstacle covers everything else. It’s something that’s hard for me to compartmentalize.
Thus, motivational speech is useless to me. I’m far more interested in hearing how a problem can be solved or what adaptations one can make to traverse barriers. This is what gets me out of my funks.
It means looking at a problem in a different way, from a different perspective. An overhead perspective helps the most. It allows me to see multiple outcomes. But when I am hyper-focused on a specific goal, considering other paths feels like defeat.
The feeling of defeat puts me into a tailspin of upset and woe. Disappointment isn’t a great catalyst for enthusiasm.
Rumination is a fierce foe for people like me. It is the core of PTSD, a mental flagellation of failure or trauma played over and over again in the mind. It’s a loop of mental anguish that that goes round and round antagonizing any thoughts of triumph.
Figuring out a way to negotiate turmoil is empowering. This is where deconstructive thinking comes into play. If I start looking at components of a problem and understand how they are related, I can sometimes find a solution by rerouting my thought from a path of perceived failure.
So save the motivational speech and give me some mechanics to map a way to contentment if not gratification. Instead of, “You can do it,” maybe say “You’ll find a way.”