From pre-contemplation to self motivation - big words, big ideas

Miller and Rollnick¹ have provided a framework for considering self change. Self motivation rises up from within us when the time is ripe (when we are ready.) Of course, people like John Cleese can jiggle it out of us, but it definitely comes from us.

Miller and Rollnick's "pre-contemplation" stage is not where you're at. You wouldn't be on this site, as you wouldn't have a problem - at least wouldn't admit it, even to yourself.

Their next three stages are contemplation, preparation and action. These are when you realize you've a problem and are working up to doing something about it.

It ain't easy.

Blissful ignorance is easier, but not necessarily more comfortable and can be dangerous.
People who live in glass houses can't throw stones. I've been there and done that, with my head firmly buried in the sand. I do like mixing metaphors, by the way.

What do you think about your lifestyle?

You're in control of your attitude,
whatever your situation

Sometimes that's about all you are in control of, but it's a very powerful understanding.
From that understanding, you can intend that you will attempt to act so other things will fall into place for you.

Please accept my very best wishes for you.

And how you talk to yourself -
The words you use

Research² showed people told a treatment was 99% safe would agree to it more than if told it had 1 in 100 adverse effect rate.

The way we talk to ourselves follows on from our attitude and can help us to get a handle on that.

If need be, swap to calling your glass half full.

Self criticism addiction

Self consciousness is a first step in the process of change. It is, if you like, limited constructive self criticism.

An amazing range of things can become objects of addiction. Food is mine and some people have self deprecation.

This can make it hard to motivate oneself. One can be stuck in the stage of contemplation.

A Buddist technique may be useful. Whenever you realize that you're thinking of or heading towards your pet obsession, take a step backwards mentally and say to yourself "thank you mind, for that...whatever tendency it is."

The more times you stop yourself in your tracks this way, the quicker you will pick up on it and be able to redirect your thoughts.

One trick people use to stop a train of thought is to wear an elastic band around one wrist, and now pull it away from the skin and let it snap back.

What you value motivates you

It may be saving the planet or saving your leg. An old man I knew had chain smoked for years, even after he developed a duodenal ulcer.

The possibility of bleeding to death didn't motivate him to stop. When the drug cimetidine came on the market, he got rid of his ulcer pain.

Some years later he got pain in his leg and was found to have blocked arteries. The vascular surgeon told him to stop smoking, and he did so cold turkey, overnight!

He loved to get out along the river in his 4 wheel drive and was a very capable water colour artist. Losing his leg would have destroyed this very important part of his life.

Is there something in your life you are passionate about? Is the way you are living putting this part of your life at risk?

Have A helpful tip to share, or an experience others can learn from?

You can have your own page on this site, be anonymous if you prefer, and help other people or get useful opinions from other readers.

It's very quick and easy

References and notes for self motivation page

1. W. R. Miller & S. Rollnick, Motivational interviewing: Preparing people for change.


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