Can Anything Make You Change?

Actually, yes. The Motivation Matrix model by Dr. Jim Taylor can help you understand and achieve effective change.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” –Napoleon Hill
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Oh, I should really change that”?
And then you took action, and you were a changed (wo)man. Just like that, huh?
I doubt it. (I’m human, too, you know.)
For most people who want to change their behavior, motivation to change is initially high, and then it fades and we don’t actually make much progress or change.
Which reminds me of the old saying:
“Old habits die hard.”
And it’s true that for most people, it’s easier to stick to the status quo and resist change.
But, that’s not always what’s best for us. Or what we want. 
Change is the process of moving to a new state of things, to something different. Change is also an indicator of your capacity to learn and integrate new information. 
Nevertheless, because opportunities for change bring up uncertainty, many people find that change makes them anxious. Is that true for you? 
Well, that’s normal, to have some fear or uncertainty when faced with new possibilities.
The question is, are you going to let that stop you? 
If what you are headed for is a good change, don’t let that flutter of normal anxiety get in the way. If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to make your way through it. 
That’s easy to say, but  how exactly can you do that? 
I’m going to offer one answer that can be quite simple. If you can find a powerful motivation to change, you’ll SUCCEED.
That’s because motivation is a powerful force, but not all motivation is equal. I’ll get to that in a second.
But first, it’s important to know that when you feel motivated, your actions and behaviors are stronger, more focused, and less likely to be stopped.
Which is just the kind of stuff you want to harness to get you going.
So, exactly which kind of motivation works best?

Let’s take a look at this interesting model called the Motivation Matrix, which divides motivation to change into four categories: internal-positive, internal-negative, external-positive, and external-negative. And as you can see, the outcome changes accordingly.

Motivational matrix | Lisbeth Calandrino::

If you follow the matrix, you’ll see that it’s the positive reasons we’re after in order to have the most successful outcome.

The good news is that most negative feelings have a positive twin nearby.

For example, I might dread the feeling I get in my gut when I come late. That’s an internal negative factor. Chances are I can use that motivation to work on being on time, but my likelihood to succeed comes along with a general feeling of unhappiness and a higher likelihood of burnout. 

But, if I dig a little deeper, I can tap into the relief that I feel when I’m time for a meeting. Now, that’s a positive internal factor. If I use that as my motivation to be more timely, I’m more likely to succeed.

Practically-speaking, that means that you’ve got to find your internal-positive reasons for what you want to accomplish, and you’ll have the greatest chance for success.

In order to figure that out, ask yourself a few powerful questions.
  1. What do you want to change? (Identify the direction that you want to take)
  2. Why is this important to you? (The more you believe in the benefit, the easier it will be to do the work)
  3. What would motivate you to make this change? (The more motivated you are, the more you’ll succeed)
  4. How is your behavior showing resistance to this change? (Are you making excuses, complaining about it, worrying, or ignoring the need for change)
  5. What manageable steps can you take to move towards this change?

Because whatever you want to change, it’s for a reason. And your job is to figure it out – what is motivating me to change? And how can I align that motive with something that is internal and positive?

If you’d like to learn more about this model, you can read a great article in Psychology Today written by Dr. Jim Taylor

But, what if there’s nothing in your life that you’d like to change? 

That might be a great thing, because your life is so hunky-dory. Amazing!

Or, you might be a procrastinator. So am I, which is why I’ve put together a great top 10 list of tips to help fellow procrastinators!

Perhaps you know dread the reaction of others. Hey, where’s that on the matrix? You got it – it’s a negative external factor. That’s a tough one, but you can work on it by building your self-esteem which would then factor in as an internal positive motivator. 

No matter what, I challenge you to try make a change today.

As an art therapist, I personally use drawing as a great way to learn about what’s going on internally. If you are have an art journal, I recommend using one of the questions above as a springboard for an entry. 

Anyone can do this. Here’s how:

Take another look at those questions we went through a couple of minutes ago about motivation. Then, instead of answering the questions in your head or writing them out, draw your answers. 

That’s right, take a pencil and paper and draw whatever it is that seems to answer the question. It doesn’t have to be complicated  and certainly not museum-worth. Stick figures or shapes are just fine, too!

Just be honest with yourself. And draw it. 

You might be surprised at what you discover. Drawing is fun in that way.

What was it like for you? Did this art exercise help you learn more about what motivates you?

I hope it did.  And, you can keep this post handy by pinning THIS PIN below to your favorite Pinterest Self-Help Board.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

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