But I Need a Kick in the Butt

kick_in_the_buttMaybe you do – I suppose we all need a swift kick once in a while but I guarantee you that a steady diet of kicks in the ass will not work!  There are two primary motivators that we all deal with which are 1) pain / consequences and 2) pleasure / rewards. Which is more powerful? Well that depends. Pain or consequences can be very powerful in getting us to start or stop something. I definitely utilize this power in my coaching but SPARINGLY!

Here’s the thing, pain works in short doses at the right time. If you are right on the edge and you want something and you are capable (whether you know it or not), then a swift dose of immediate consequence can be perfect to get yourself moving. However, if you use this tactic consistently it loses it’s power and it takes more and more pain to get you to take action and that’s a very unfulfilling and unhappy game to play in life. And unfortunately, if you consistently use negative consequences as a motivator then at some point it will likely backfire causing you to become disempowered or hopeless.

When writing my book, I Almost Missed My Life, I knew that some pain / consequences would be necessary to get me started. So I intentionally set up a consequence to get a positive result. I wrote to several people whom I greatly respected and told them I would send one “secret” (there were 52) to them each Monday morning until I finished. I know myself and I would have felt terrible to not keep my word to these people. Sometimes I found myself starting at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night but I got it done. But I also gave myself pats on the back each time I sent a secret out!  After about seven weeks I started to get momentum and I no longer needed the “pain.”  The good feelings I gave myself for the progress started to kick in and I was able to complete the entire 52 Secrets in about four months instead of twelve.

It’s amazing to me how many people though are still stuck on kicking themselves constantly to get themselves to do what they want or for not doing what they wanted to do — in spite of the fact that it doesn’t work most of the time. Even the old adage about mother birds pushing their babies out of the nest is a myth. For example, Ornithologists have observed eagles coaxing, their young from the nest, rather than just giving them a shove. When the fledgling eagle is almost ready to fly, parents have been observed to swoop by the nest with a fresh kill. Instead of landing in the nest as usual to share the meal, the parent lands near the nest and eats in plain view of its squawking, hungry teenager. This behavior continues until the fledgling is decides to venture out of the nest, at which point the parent will share its food. REWARD!

So if you REALLY need a swift kick in the butt — go for it! But make sure you also give yourself that pat on the back when you take the action!

Spread the word,


One comment

  1. I think that there are times when we all need a kick in the pants. It is fortunate that some of us have friends that care enough to do it for us!

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