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The collapse of motivation

By February 22, 2016Personal Power

Do you like the results you’re getting?

If not, the solution could be simpler than you think.

Motivation is the reason or reasons that one acts or behaves in a certain way.

80% of the world attempts to use “motivation” that doesn’t work long term.


Hear me out.

Shame, on a subconscious level, feels like home.

First, shame was the predominate motivation our parents, church and society used to train us.

(Don’t blame them. It’s how their training went as well).

Using shame even seemed to “work” when we were kids. When a kid first feels shame, they almost always comply immediately – right?

Second, the world (especially marketers and coaches) leverage “shame feels like home” to pummel their message into us.

Books, videos, podcasts, coaching, ads and training…they all blast us with messages of how we should be (and aren’t).

Not because shame gets lasting results. (Though it DOES get a short term bang, why do you think there so many 90 day coaching packages?)

No. This isn’t about lasting results. Shame is used…


People love buying things they already agree with on the inside. They love looking for someone to lead them. Someone that can echo the voices they already hear in their head.

And finally, the marketer/coach is no different than your parents.

They probably have good intentions, but are driven by their own inner demons of shame. They think their inner turmoil is the path others should take as well.

Third, shame partners with our deepest survival instincts.

I’m talking about the part of our brain that alerts us of all the potential things that could destroy our status and cause danger. The part that is always asking the question “Am I perfect enough to not get destroyed today?

So with all this, it’s no wonder we’re addicted to shame as a motivator…

Shame can play out in many ways.

  • It could be comparison to others that are “less qualified” but more successful.
  • It could be a deep fear of not performing up to others expectations.
  • It could be a deep fear of not performing up to your OWN expectations (and thus proving you are a failure to yourself).
  • It could be a subtle feeling of guilt or regret that drives you.
  • It could be a constant drive of needing to prove or defend your title, position, knowledge, skill, income…etc…
  • It’s also often described as a constant feeling of not being/having/doing enough. (Whatever the “enough” is…)

You know you’re using shame as a motivator whenever your self talk sounds like a drill sergeant.

“#hustleharder #justdoit Do the (F**king) work. Why are you so weak. What’s WRONG with you? You’re so weak/soft/indecisive/uncommitted. Grow up. You know what successful people do? They stop making excuses…!” 

And on and on…

One of the best indicators of shame is a single word.


Should subconsciously says “I SHOULD do something…” – which is in essence saying that you’re not enough in the moment.

I should workout (because right now I’m a fat lazy slob).

I should read that book (because right now I don’t know how to do it…which means I’m inferior).

I should write down my goals (and until I do, I need to heap myself with shame for not living my dreams).

How long have you been shoulding all over the place? And more importantly…why isn’t it working?

Shoulding has more in common with NOT getting things done than WITH getting things done.

And it makes sense. Because with shame you think you’re not enough where you are. So how do you feel from the start?
You feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle.

You feel like you’ve already lost – and you have to prove yourself to gain back your own respect and honor.

It destroys your courage and creates a downward spiral.

Because without courage – you can’t bring your A game. And when you don’t bring your A game, you feel more shame. And when you feel more shame, you should more. And then you lower your courage.

Ad neasum.

So how do you escape the spiral?

It isn’t instant and it isn’t easy. You’re fighting years of internal programming, thought habits and limiting beliefs about your self worth and value. And to make matters worse, you’re swimming against the wave of an entire society.

GOOD coaching will get you the fastest and life long results.

But outside of coaching…here are three things you can do today.

1) Recognize your motivation.

Is it shame or an overflow of your power?

2) Track your wins. Not your losses.

This increases your courage instead of decimating it.

3) Turn your”shoulds” into a game.

Example: Imagine each day as a new “level” with power ups throughout the day. How many powerups can you achieve? Can you beat the “level” before a friend or a certain time? Can you “upgrade” your life with money, skills and health?

If you put in place these three action steps you will start your life on a path of courage.

Just don’t put them in place because you should.

Do it because you can.

Join our discussion about this blog post on the video below!

The collapse of motivation.

Posted by Jonathan Heston on Monday, February 22, 2016