So often we look to others for everything whether it’s inspiration, acceptance, approval, guidance, or sometimes even just permission. Sure, we often do these things because we genuinely do need help from those in our circle who can aid us the way we need.
But when our first instinct is to immediately seek these things from others, these people become a crutch, instead of an extra helping-hand in our own journey forward.
It can become a crippling habit.
If this sounds like you it’s time to do some self-reflection to answer the question, “Why do I always look to others first instead of looking inside myself first?”
It can be a tough question to ask yourself. I know the answer, it’s quite simple, really. You haven’t built the proper mindset yet.
But I know you can. Read on…
When people no longer need to seek outside inspiration or motivation to accomplish tasks, that is when they truly become unstoppable. This becomes a mindset; however, it doesn’t start in the brain, it starts in the real world. It’s earned.
Allow me to explain…
Mindsets like this aren’t born, they aren’t decided upon one random-ass day after reading a blog post like this one, they’re built over time.
Unstoppable mindsets begin in the real world based on how we choose to respond to the valleys in life, the sucker punches, or simply put, how we respond when things get “hard”. They’re earned through real life trials and refusing to quit when those hard times arrive.
Do you allow yourself a “pass” because it’s “hard” or you’re “too busy” and then sulk in self-pity because you never progress, or do you fight the war within your mind and say “No! I refuse to quit! I. refuse to let myself go down that path!”?
Battling these inner demons may be a constant war you’re fighting hourly, daily, weekly, monthly. And yes, the fight is really hard. Especially the first one.
More on that later…
All it takes to begin the journey building this mindset of “becoming your own motivation and inspiration” is to make the choice to fight your battles and not give up at the first hurdle, thus allowing you to build the necessary grit you need to come out a winner who refused to quit.
I guarantee if you ask any strong-minded individuals, who always get shit done, within your circle the question; “What was the first life battle you fought, didn’t quit, and won?” they will all be able to tell you EXACTLY where it all started. The first victory that built their foundation of confidence and inspiration to fight when the next hurdle was put in front of them.
That first victory is where the “Grit Snowball” begins.
As life goes on, you will draw motivation and inspiration off what YOU already accomplished and overcame during that first battle, then it will become easier and easier to look to YOURSELF to fight (and win) every time.
You know you will keep pushing forward no matter what because your grit snowball is evidence that you CAN keep grinding, after all, you’ve done it before, right?
Suddenly you don’t need motivation from others, you don’t need to be inspired, you just confidently say to yourself,
“I’ve accomplished X in the past, now I want to do Y, I can do that, and I will.”
Well, well, well you gritty S.O.B., NOW you’re off to the races!
Maybe life hit you hard and knocked you down, but you made the decision to stand right back up. YOU did that. Be proud and build off that experience so when life challenges you again, you have the confidence within yourself to stand up again and keep moving forward.
Your grit snowball was already formed, and the next challenge will just add another layer of snow.
Maybe your grit snowball (mindset) hasn’t formed yet and you need that “swift kick in the pants” to stop being a damn quitter so you can build a Do’ers mindset where you “embrace the suck” and do the work to get where you want to be.
If that is the case, the time to start doing is now.
For me, this concept of becoming my own motivation and inspiration is muscle memory now. No “motivational” books needed.
Why? Exactly what I said, it has been built over time by accomplishing my own goals, embracing the suck, doing the work, overcoming hurdles, and making it to the other side.
Was I always this way? Absolutely not.
Where did it all start for me? Let me tell you a quick story…
I used to play in a band and one day when I got home from a summer tour my wife told me, “Our marriage is over, it’s time for you to leave”. Gut-punch.
The next three months of my life was a war. Not with my wife, but within myself.
I finally understood how people can fall into addiction of all kinds when they’re in dark places or grieving.
Anything to fall asleep at night, right?
But I actively made the CHOICE that I would NOT let myself go down that road. So, I fought like hell to win her back...and I mean like Hell.
Day after day I worked on MYSELF so that I would be a man and husband worth sticking by and by the grace of God he softened my wife’s heart and a decade later we are about to welcome our third daughter into this world and our marriage is better than ever.
I am actually a better man because of those three months alone. It turns out the pain was one of the best things to happen to our marriages and me as a man.
I had two choices; to crumble or grow. I chose to grow.
Talk about a snowball builder to inspire/motivate and build confidence within myself to never quit, right?
For me, this is where my own grit snowball officially began. Thanks to the self-confidence earned during that experience I have since climbed and summited many life-sized mountains (both literally and figuratively), from dropping almost 100lbs and completely changing my life physically (and therefore mentally), completing major feats in the outdoors I never thought possible, building six-figure careers from the ground up, and more.
Each layer of the grit snowball builds on itself and over time everything is obtainable simply by choosing to go after it, embracing the journey, and knowing I’ll make it to the other side (eventually… so long as I put in the work and refuse to quit)
People with such a mindset understand how empowering this mindset truly can be. I want this for everyone.
Through the confidence I built during the fight for my marriage I now know “I can do anything…” It must start somewhere and for me that was the starting line.
Is it hard going to the gym to deadlift at midnight after a 14-hour workday? Of course, but your goals don’t care about your schedule.
Is it hard training heavy squats in my garage first thing in the morning in sub-zero temperatures (-18 being the lowest temperature I’ve trained in, so brutal, damn you winter), absolutely.
It’s hard every time but over time I’ve built and earned the mindset, “I can do this, so I will” and there is no question about whether the work will be accomplished. I want this for everyone.
No inspirational fitness Instagram page needed, just the desire within myself to be my own motivation and my own inspiration to get out there and kick some ass.
I am always continuing to fight my own personal battles and climb the mountains I need to climb.
The Do’ers mindset is earned through trials and tribulations when you choose to fight back against those inner demons that plague our minds.
Perhaps you’re looking for health changes, great, but it’s going to be hard. Maybe it’s relationships that need help, it will be hard. For others it’s career and life changes, it will be hard.
But nothing is impossible. You can do this. I genuinely believe that.
I encourage you all to make the active choice not to “quit because it’s hard”, but to follow through with commitments to yourself (and others), so you will become your own motivation and inspiration and will write your own blog or book one day on the subject.
We don’t need any outside factors, we decide for ourselves, and over time, building off each win, we move towards success in every endeavor.
When you can confidently bet on yourself every time, you will become an unstoppable human being.
Let’s create a positive world of unstoppable humans being better every day by doing great things within ourselves and those around us.
About the Author:
James Appleton is a founder and co-owner of Absolute Aid. When he's not running a company or writing content, he is usually somewhere in the great outdoors, climbing mountains, deadlifting, or spending time with his wife and daughters. James is passionate about helping others to become the only source of motivation and inspiration they need to accomplish the goals they seek. He fully embodies the essence of Seek To Do More day in and day out.
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