While exercising (on an elliptical machine) one morning, it seemed much harder than usual, I was totally out of it. I had to do some serious talking to myself, motivating myself to make it through the mere 30 minutes.
As I was talking to myself, “Come on Debbie, you can do this. Keep pushin...,” I reminded myself that I have a goal to obtain. I then began thinking about the other goals I have set for myself and how so many times I become discouraged and just want to give up. It was then that I was reminded that I need to have more self-talks, motivating myself in other areas of my life.
So often we depend on others for motivation. While this is okay, we also need to learn to motivate ourselves. It is good to listen to motivational speakers, read motivational books or columns such as this one or get encouragement from family and friends but true motivation must come from within. After being encouraged by motivational speakers, your family and friends or by reading, it is self-motivation that will keep us going. We must learn to motivate or encourage ourselves. As lyrics from a verse from the song, “Encourage Yourself”, by Donald Lawrence says:
“Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.
Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.
And no matter how you feel,
speak the word and you will be healed;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.”
So how do you encourage yourself?
Remember your why
A quote by an anonymous author says, “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.” Often when we begin something positive, it’s for a good reason. We begin exercising or eating healthier because we want to lose weight or develop a healthier lifestyle. We begin a business venture because it has long been a dream of ours.
We begin to pursue a degree because it was something that we always wanted to do. We begin going to church or reading our Bibles because we want to develop a relationship with Jesus. We join an organization because we want to develop ourselves or give more of ourselves in service to others.
While we may have been determined and excited about getting started, as soon as we become overwhelmed, tired or weary, or obstacles come our way, we want to give up right away. Whenever we feel like giving up or quitting, we should always remember and reflect on our why; why did you start in the first place, why do you want to achieve what it is that you are trying to?
Once you remember the why, if it was for the right or a positive reason, you should use that to encourage yourself. Speak to yourself, remind yourself why you got started and encourage yourself to keep pushing.
To ratify means to confirm, approve, affirm or validate something or someone. Often we wait on others to ratify us by telling us that we are good at something or that we have the potential to achieve something etc. Sad to say, sometimes we may never get such ratification or approval from others.
Some people are quick to point out the bad in others but never the good. We must therefore never allow the negative thoughts or opinions that others may have of us to rob us of our happiness or keep us from achieving our goals but instead learn to ratify ourselves. Eleanor Rosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” This simply means, if you believe the negative things that others may say about you, you are giving them permission to make you feel inferior or less than.
To ratify yourself you must have a positive attitude and a high self-esteem, believing in yourself and knowing that you can achieve anything you are determined to. We must learn to ratify ourselves by speaking positive self-affirmations daily. You can look in the mirror and speak to yourself repeating Self-affirmations such as:
I am beautiful
I can achieve anything I put my mind to
I can do all things through Christ
I will succeed
I will achieve my dreams
Personalize your self-affirmations; you can be specific by stating that you will succeed at whatever it is that you are trying to. As you begin to speak these self-affirmations daily, you will be encouraging yourself to keep going at whatever it is you are trying to achieve.
Remind yourself of past achievements
Think on those things that you achieved in the past, things that you probably had a difficult time with, that you probably thought you would never achieve. Think about the obstacles that you faced and how you were able to get over them. Think about how happy you were when you made that achievement.
Thinking about past achievements should encourage you to keep pushing at whatever it is you may be trying to achieve now. It should be a reminder to you that just as you made those previous achievements, you can make the ones that you are trying to now. You may also remind yourself of persons in history, or other persons that you may know who made similar achievements and this should be an encouragement to you that you too can achieve.
Going back to my story about exercising on the elliptical machine, just as I talked my way through until I was finished, I encourage you to encourage yourself by talking your way through whatever it is that you are struggling with. Imagine yourself on an exercise machine or running a race seeing the finish line and keep talking to yourself until you have completed your goal. Remember why it is that you are doing what you’re doing, ratify yourself and remind yourself of past achievements. Have those self-talks, calling your name and reminding yourself of your personal goals, encouraging yourself to keep pushing.
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Published Thursday, March 9, 2017