Motivation is so unreliable. It’s never around when you want it. Should you go looking for it when it moves in such mysterious ways?
What about the 5-second Rule? Mel Robbins says as long as you act within five seconds, the brain has no time to talk you out of doing something. Let me tell you, the brain can be only be fooled once.
What about affirmations? How about if you repeat to yourself “I am someone who loves to go running everyday.” Will that work? Again, the brain knows when you’re up to something and won’t be fooled.
Why is this? It’s because there’s someone in the way.
Yes, it is possible to give yourself a command and follow it, if you know how to communicate with your Gatekeeper.
Let me introduce you. Your Gatekeeper has the keys to your limbic system and is in charge of everything you do. He decides what you do and don’t do. He has a team following his orders… if he says you’re going running this morning, his team jump into action and take you running.
Here’s the thing. Your Gatekeeper only does what he THINKS is in your best interest.
When you have an intention, or read an affirmation, he checks it against the information in your self-image files.
Gatekeeper to team: “Is Richard someone who wants to go running everyday?”
Team to Gatekeeper: “We’ve checked the files, Richard is not a runner. He loathes running… Apparently it’s horrible and dangerous.”
Gatekeeper: “Ok team, stand down. Richard ain’t going nowhere.”
Your Gatekeeper acts on what he thinks is in your best interest.
Your Gatekeeper calls out bullshit on your affirmation and leaves you with very unused pair of running shoes. Look, he’s only doing his job.
It’s time to get him on your side, give him a good talking to if you have to, using language he’ll understand. All he needs is a very clear brief. Take some deep breaths and get into the zone. Picture your Gatekeeper and his team standing in front of you. Now, here’s what you say.
“Thanks for all you’ve been doing for me so far. You’ve done a really good job keeping things in check. However, I’m making a few changes now and I need your help. I’m going to start running everyday, so I need you to step back and allow it. It will be ok, nobody will get hurt I promise.”
Or, getting tougher:
“I’ll only say this once. When you hear me say I want to go running, you take me running. I’ve had enough of not running. Enough is enough. I want to be fit and slim. That is what I want. Take me running.”
Channel whoever you need to. Be Brian Clough, Mohammed Ali, Grace Jones, or even Margaret Thatcher. Whoever you think speaks the right language to get through to The Gatekeeper. And watch what happens.