all done it at one time or another. You tell yourself, “I should do
this” or, “I have to do that”. The underlying intention of
these statements is that we are trying to motivate ourselves.
Unfortunately, what happens all too
often is that we achieve the exact opposite of these intentions.
Instead of firing ourselves up to do the task, we start to languish
in a state of unmotivated apathy. We feel frustrated by our lack of
performance. This will inevitably lead to an erosion of our
Self-Esteem and may even cause negative self-images as strong as
When we apply these statements to others we can generate a sense of righteous indignation. Imagine that you are sitting in your lawyer’s office. Your lawyer has been held up in court and is running late. This is not something that enters your thought
process. Instead you think angrily, “How can he be so inconsiderate? With all the money I’m paying him he should at least have the decency to arrive on time for our meeting.” All that results from this type of thinking is that you will begin to feel
angry and resentful. A single incident like this can even permanently sour what has, up until then, been a beneficial working relationship.
Should Statements will generate a great deal of unnecessary turmoil in your daily life. Human performance will inevitably fall below our expectations at some point. In fact, our performance will sometimes fall below the expectations of others. "I got
caught in traffic" "There was a delay on the subway" "My babysitter showed up late". You get the idea. When such events occur it is through no fault of our own. How would you like the person who is disappointed by this occasional circumstance to react?
Would you like them to forgive you and understand that you are both victims of circumstances beyond the control of either of you? Of course you would. And this is the healthy way to respond to occasional disappointments. Don’t take them personally!
Don’t fall into the should trap. Try to understand the situation from the other person’s perspective and be willing to forgive them.
With regard to self-motivation, again treat yourself with the same decency you would have treated people in the previous examples. After all, you too are only human. Sometimes you won’t be able to live up to the expectations you set for yourself. If this
happens, don’t think poorly about yourself. Instead, realistically re-evaluate your expectations. If you thought something would take you two days and it actually took you three is that a terrible thing? Why did it take you the extra day? Had you
managed to accomplish your task in only two days what would the quality of the project have been like? What other areas of your life might have suffered as you struggled to meet your deadline?
Almost everything we accomplish in life requires some sort of negotiation. We negotiate with our partners in order to share a balanced relationship. We negotiate with children, friends, employers, employees, co-workers and a host of others. We also need
to negotiate with ourselves. After all, isn’t the relationship we have with ourselves the most important relationship of all? Give yourself the same benefits you would anyone else. Set realistic goals and be willing to alter these if necessity dictates.
The results will be a boost to your Self-Esteem, better all round performance in all the tasks you undertake, and a happier outlook toward life.