Three Best Friends – Three Differences in MotivationEver wonder why it’s so easy for some people to reach for their dream jobs, while you can’t be bothered to get off the sofa? Cosmo discovers why some women have the motivation to succeed while others can’t muster the energy to get out of their PJs…
The day starts out like any other for 21-year-old fashion student Ellie Fraser. Alarm rings, she’s straight out of bed and into the shower, ready to start work at 9am. Ellie is an aspiring Fashion Editor from London. She works at Miss Selfridge when she isn’t at University, and in any spare time she has, completes internships with retail giants like John Lewis and Topshop. But Ellie sees her busy life now as a necessary part of her plans for the future. “I’m a confident person. I know I want to be successful, I know I don’t want to just do a normal job.”
Sandy Gaskins, is a chartered psychologist and member of the British Psychological Society. She says motivation is dependent on your upbringing and family life, and is not dictated from birth. Sandy believes people like Ellie are benefitting from the way they have been brought up.
“It has a lot to do with having a positive outlook on life” she says. “ But motivation is also very much connected with initiative. Imagine a child building with Lego. If you say to that child ‘you want to do it this way’ and make them change to the way you want them to do it, you are killing their initiative. If you ask the child how they are building the Lego, and encourage what they’re doing, you are encouraging their initiative. If a child has initiative this allows them to build their motivation.”
I watched my mum build up her own business when she was 21
Studying at the notorious London College of Fashion has only cemented Ellie’s drive for success. The magazines she religiously bought from a very young age have hugely influenced her get up and go attitude. “I’ve always wanted to do well for myself. I’ve always picked up fashion magazines and looked through them and thought ‘that’s what I want to do’.
“I watched my mum build up her own business when she was only 21. So I’ve always known for myself that I wanted to plan for my life.”
Having a positive role model in her life from an early age has allowed Ellie’s motivation levels to be sky high.
But on the opposite end of the scale, Ellie’s best friend Melanie Rogerson, 21, has a little more time on her hands, and a little less drive to succeed. She chose not to go to university, and has never been motivated by the idea of working in a job she’s passionate about. “I’m really indecisive as a person. I don’t even know why. I’ve never had a real passion for anything.” Melanie works as a visual merchandiser, but she seems reserved in admitting that she has a dream for her career.
“I love my friends and family, but at school I was never motivated, and even as a child I never had an ambition or ‘what I wanted to be when I grew up’. Maybe that’s what you need for motivation in your career.”
In Sandy’s opinion, Melanie’s lack of drive and willpower may be a result of her childhood.
“It may be that anything she has decided to go towards in her life has been put down, most probably by her family members, or teachers at school, who without meaning to have killed her initiative. Most probably someone along the way has heard her ambitions and has said ‘Yes, BUT…’ looking at the negative instead of positive. What she needs is someone encouraging her to go for the thing she is passionate about.
“At the moment she thinks she has no passions or drive because she has no initiative. It’s a self-defeating attitude.
“Maybe every time she has ever felt like something is worth going for, she’s thought, ‘oh no actually I cant do that’ or ‘that’s an unrealistic goal, it’ll never happen to me’.”
Sandy believes there are ways in which people like Melanie, who struggle with the confidence to be the best they can be, can change their attitude towards their careers. “There is really a push in the psychology world at the moment to look toward motivational interviewing, and that’s all about building someone’s motivation, and engaging someone. I think that could help her to change the way she thinks.”
Sometimes our lack of motivation comes from being in an environment that simply doesn’t suit us. Jo Minch for example, never stood out at school. Sat daydreaming in a science lesson in a London suburb at the age of 15, her mind was not focused on Bunsen burners, but more her burning desire to become a film star. “I hated school. I hated the fact that you had to do subjects that were of no interest to you. High school didn’t push me at all, I had all these big dreams from a very young age, I always thought if I could do anything I would want to act, but I was stuck in a maths lesson. That’s why I just get bored so easily, if I’m not doing something I’m interested in.”
[pullquote]I don’t want to wake up in 10 years time and regret the decisions I’ve made [/pullquote]
Now aged 20, Jo’s life has changed since she broke free of compulsory education. “I love uni, because my passions and what I aspired to be have always been in the theatre and the arts, and school never catered for that. But as soon as I got to uni and was able to do something I loved, I thrived on it. That’s what motivates me. It makes you want to try if it’s something you enjoy.”
For some women, motivation has less to do with dreams and ambitions, and more to do with self-confidence and belief. Andrew Cunningham is a hypnotherapist working in Harley Street, London, who specialises in confidence building through hypnotherapy. His patients tend to be mostly female, but can differ hugely in personality. “It’s very personal. Confidence is such a big part of what people want out of hypnotherapy, there’s a female side of that because women are in a very male environment sometimes.
“Like anything, you can change your view, and change the way you respond to things quite quickly.”
The most important advice the girls agreed on was the need to be happy and confident in whatever you do.
“I want to be successful, but ultimately, I don’t want it to be at the expense of my happiness”, says Ellie. Although Melanie struggles with motivation today, one day she wants to start a family and lets that hope drive her forward. “I would be happier to be motivated by a family than by a job.” Jo adds, “I don’t want to wake up in 10 years time and regret the decisions I’ve made”
For more information and advice from our experts visit:
Sandy Gaskins at http://www.psychology-counselling.com/
Andrew Cunningham at http://www.hypnotherapyinlondon.co.uk/
If you like our article and want to find out more about motivation, why not watch how hypnotherapy could help you to become confident >>
VIDEO: Can hypnotherapy boost confidence?
According to Sandy Gaskins, our psychology expert, how motivated and confident we are is determined by events that have happened in our lives. This suggests that our confidence levels are not set in stone – and we can do something to change the way we think. Hypnotherapy has for a long time been used as a treatment surrounded by an air of mystery. With TV hypnotist Derren Brown creating a fascination in the subject, we decided to find out if hypnotherapy can be used to boost confidence. Charley suffers with anxiety, low self-confidence and a lack of motivation. Can hypnotherapist Andrew Cunningham help her?
If you think hypnotherapy could be right for you, visit Andrew Cunningham HERE to book an appointment.
Hear how your birth month could have been holding you back at school, and why you shouldn’t let it keep you from being the best now! >>
PODCAST: September babies do better
The Institute for Fiscal Studies released a report at the end of 2011 suggesting that the month you were born in not only affected your school attainment levels, as had previously been found, but also affected your general well-being, self-worth, and motivation. Results found that those born in August had significantly lower levels of self-belief and confidence than those born in September, because they were the youngest in their year at school. Ellen Greaves, research economist for the IFS, completed the study, and spoke to us about what implications there might be for the future adult life of people born seemingly too late in the year.
Q&A: What is Motivational Interviewing?
Q. What is Motivational Interviewing?
A. Motivational Interviewing is a type of counselling developed by Dr Stephen Rollnick and Dr William. R. Miller. They define it as: a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. The counselling is focused and goal-directed and it’s main purpose is to overcome conflicting and contradictory emotions and in doing so, help to increase motivation.
Q. How does MI work?
A. MI is based around the client making a change in the way they think. This type of counselling is different to others because the client controls their own motivation to change. The counsellor doesn’t involve themself in the process, but allows clients to motivate themselves. The relationship is more of a partnership, than a client/counsellor relationship.
Q. How will it work for me?
A. MI is all about using what you already know, and helping you to change the way you think about things. As Sandy explained in ‘Three Best Friends – Three Differences in Motivation’ killing initiative kills motivation. For that reason, during MI the counsellor does not guide a client, but simply helps a client to realize their own motivational strength and enables the client to use it. MI affirms your freedom of choice and self-direction.
Q. What does this all mean?
A. It means that we all have the motivation to succeed inside of us, and Motivational Interviewing can help us to realize our dreams and go for them!
To find out more about Motivational Interviewing, and to book an appointment with Sandy, visit her HERE
What makes you successful?
This months feature is all about giving you the confidence to motivate yourselves and make a success of your life, but what exactly do we mean when we say success? Success can mean very different things to different people, so we took to the streets to find out what it is that makes you successful…
Have your say! Comment below to tell us what makes YOU a success!