You've probably experienced being given a pep-talk.
And you've probably experienced having a pep-talk not work for you.
That's because a pep talk, delivered at the wrong moment, can actually be poisonous to your motivation and your ability to take action.
But the thing is...
When you're feeling discouraged, most people want to help you by "fixing" your bad feeling as quickly as possible, so you can start doing better.
So they give you a "pep talk."
And that's a problem.
What is a pep-talk?
A pep-talk is a talk, a blog post, an inspirational quote, a graphic in your Facebook feed, or anything else that is designed to to whip you up with excitement to the point where you can start taking action.
That's the purpose of a pep-talk:
A well-delivered pep-talk will create enough excitement inside of you that it overcomes your inertia, and gets you moving again.
But here's the problem:
Pep-talks become poisonous when the excitement they inspire is just a veneer of excitement over an inner state of discouragement.
Pep talks work if you are inspired in the first place. But if you are discouraged, pep-talks will just make you feel worse.
how do you know if you're inspired in the first place?
You are inspired when you feel at a core level that it is possible for you to accomplish what you have set out to accomplish.
For instance, you'll be inspired about weight-loss and better health when you feel at a core level that it is possible to lose weight and create better health—all while living a life you love.
But even an inspired person will sometimes need a pep-talk. You may be having a bad day, or feel a bit out of sorts...and that's when reading an inspirational quote or listening to a TED talk about what's possible may help you get excited and take powerful action.
But if you are discouraged, pep-talks are POISONOUS
Adding excitement to inspiration can be great—but adding excitement to discouragement is a losing proposition.
When you are feeling discouraged, a pep-talk is actually poisonous. Because a pep-talk will simply be adding a veneer of excitement over a foundation of discouragement.
And when you have a veneer of excitement over a foundation of discouragement, any action you take is going to be half-hearted, at best. You'll shame yourself. Trying to eat right and exercise will feel bad.
And you won't get anywhere.
Ignore the poisonous pep-talk
A pep-talk is poisonous for you if it leaves you feeling like you ought to feel differently than you do.
You'll find yourself thinking,
"I know they are right. I know I ought to be inspired. I know I ought to be more energetic. I know I ought to be more committed. Ugh."
If you are having those thoughts, that means that you are actually discouraged inside, and that this pep-talk will be poisonous for you. You may be able to get a little bit excited, but your inner discouragement will stop you from taking powerful action.
If a pep-talk is poisonous, you need to ignore it. Don't feel bad about ignoring it.
Just look to restore your lost inspiration, so you can once again take inspired action.
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