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The Fear of the Unknown | Why Motivation is Garbage

February 9th 2017 10:09 AM

Is it at all true that one needs to feel prepared in order to embark on a new change in life? Or, is this just a falsehood that we’ve been perpetuating simply to make excuses for our fear of the unchartered territories of our artistry?

You may have ground breaking ideas that never surface because you lack the motivation or drive to actually make something out of just a passing thought, but what if you never needed to be motivated in the first place?

The Habit of Hesitating

Motivational speaker and former clinical defense attorney Mel Robbins sat down with Millennial’s Digest details in just a simple 4 minute explanation why it’s so hard to do the little things that will improve your life. Her book, The 5 Second Rule, argues that what if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself?

Although the irony of the video’s title, “Motivation is Garbage” stemming from the media outlet “Millennial’s Digest” is not lost, look past that for just a moment to examine the video’s content.

Most of us feel motivated to do things that are easy because we know we can accomplish them with no obstacle at all. Since are brains are wired to protect us from the mysterious unknown and all the hurt that comes along with it, it is simple for us to blame lack of motivation as the reason for not facing some of the most challenging decisions in life.

Maybe you’ve been on set/location with a client and have encountered a chance moment of hesitation when directing a pose or determining light direction. The second you hesitate, a stress signal is sent to your brain and then a series of defense tactics start up to protect you from, well, looking a damn fool.

One possible tactic is The Spotlight Effect, a term used in psychology where people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are, which in turn signals the brain to magnify risk and pull you away from a perceived problem. Now, simply put, there is never going to be a point at which your mind will be armed to face your fears, and that’s why it’s called the unknown.

you are one decision away from everything

You can trace every single problem in your life to silence and hesitation, whether it be answering an inquiry for your first legitimate client or taking your first artistic risk as a photographer. Playing the waiting game to see if there is a right time and place for you to make the leap only increases your chances of losing an opportunity you may not be fortunate to encounter again. So what can you do to battle silence & hesitation?

  • Wake up and realize that motivation is garbage, so stop waiting for it.
  • Learn to take control of that micro-moment of silent or hesitation.

So next time you hesitate, keep this in mind and take a beat to realize that there at no point in your life will you be ready to jump into the sea of the unknown, and there is nothing that prepares you to take on difficult decisions with confidence other than pushing yourself past your fears.

You can watch Mel Robbins’ full theory on why motivation is garbage here:

Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

Comments [5]

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  1. Tim Evans

    I’ve practiced law for 14 years, and I’ve never heard of a “clinical defense attorney.” What the hell is that?

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  2. Fatima Champagne

    Yes – Yes – Yes…thank you for this

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  3. Ett Venter

    Holy crap. That’s incredibly challenging. Thanks Shivani!

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