The Secret to Self-Motivation? Fake it Until You Feel it.

Last time, in Struggling with Self-Motivation:  Why Most Days I’d Rather Sit on My…,we talked about the battle that goes on in our minds between two competing desires:

1. The desire to be productive
2. The desire to be lazy

I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly easier to do things, even hard things, when I feel like it and have the self motivation to do so.

The problem is that, sometimes, I just don’t feel like doing the things I know I need to do.  There’s no emotion, passion or drive to do them, so they don’t get done.

I’ve observed that something interesting happens if I make myself do what I ought to do, even though I don’t feel like it.  I start to feel like it.

Eugene H. Peterson, in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, said,

“We can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel ourselves into a new way of action.”

In other words, if you wait until you feel like doing it…you’re going to be waiting a long time.  But if you take that first step and start doing what you know you need to do, you’ll begin to feel the passion and the energy that comes from taking action.  You can fake it until you feel it.

I think this principle can be applied to just about every aspect of our lives:

  • You can love someone even if you don’t feel like loving them right now.
  • You can do something hard, challenging, or difficult even if you don’t feel like doing it.
  • You can take a step toward your dreams, even if you gave up long ago.

What do you think?  Are there any instances where this would not be true?

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