Motivation Isn’t Real: Being Courageous Is

The story behind this photo depicts me conquering one of my biggest fears.

Since I was a young teenager I have been heavily consuming as much information as possible in the realm of self development, health, fitness and psychology.

Among the thousands of articles and videos I’ve consumed I’ve come across plenty of ‘motivation’ that has hyped me up to go out there and attack the world. Some have even been so powerful they’ve moved me to tears.

While I believe I’ve taken value from this type of content there’s something about the effects of ‘motivation’ that is very shallow to me.

I feel when I’ve previously seeked motivation in the past I was looking to be given reasons, or enforce pre-conceived reasons to take action. But isn’t that half the problem right there?

We place our decision making, decisiveness and autonomy at the mercy of an external stimuli. The external motivation we consume becomes the fuel for our desire to take action.

We proceed to seek more motivation to continue to fuel the cycle and be productive once again. To me, all that is doing is cultivating an unhealthy relationship with ‘the self’.

I don’t believe pumping yourself up for 5 min, 1 day, a week, will yield long term positive change in life. I believe the human condition relies on intelligence, self awareness and practical skill development to prosper long term. I just don’t see external ‘motivation’ sources doing that.

Why?

Motivation is temporary. Motivation is not enough.

From my perspective we must learn to rely on our own mind to conjure the willpower and boldness to attack our lives. We must switch the external stimuli that was previously prompting our decisions to stimuli created within ourselves. As a result, we let our own minds be the sole contributor to why we do what we do. Once we refuse to let our actions be at the mercy of the world around us then we will be able to take full control of our lives.

How? Build integrity through fear.

In some of my experiences the biggest most life changing events often happen in the face of fear. But it’s not just the big things that you must be brave in front of. It’s the small daily sparks of fear and anxiety that you must face and conquer.

It’s having the courage to go up to your parents and tell them your afraid you’ll fail them.

It’s having the courage to say ‘I love you’.

It’s having the courage to be loved.

It’s having the courage to be vulnerable in front of those you love.

It’s having the courage to show weakness in front of those you admire.

It’s having the courage to go the gym even when you look in the mirror and feel like shit.

It’s having the courage to go for a run even though it’s cold, windy and raining outside.

It’s having the courage to approach that friend from high school you haven’t seen in years, instead of ducking your head and sliding past them.

It’s having the courage to approach that cute girl/guy at the cafe you go to every week.

It’s having the courage to not wear makeup.

It’s having the courage to wear what you want.

It’s having the courage to say what you want.

It’s having the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

It’s having the courage to not regret.

Once you’ve learnt to conquer the daily fears that haunt you…

One fear at a time….

One day at a time….

You will eventually be free….

I really believe that.

If you read up to here I appreciate you A LOT. I hope your able to conquer your fears and this post has brought value to your life.

Self-reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. Video’s + podcast → youtube.com/emmanualalexander

Self-reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. Video’s + podcast → youtube.com/emmanualalexander