Ep. 29 The Whip and the Carrot

When we want to motivate ourselves to do better, how do we do that exactly? Most people I talk to use a “whip”. They try to be hard on themselves, punish themselves for shortcomings, and use forceful or negative self-talk to get themselves moving. We seem to prefer fear, judgment, shame, and guilt to do the job.
These are terrible motivators, however. They only work in the short-term, feel terrible, and at some point, we need to get away or take a break from it. So we quit. Then when we are ready to start again, we get the whip out.
There is an alternative. If you want to get a donkey moving, you can whip it from behind, or you can lead it with a carrot. I’m suggesting we try the carrot. The carrot in this case would be love, compassion, encouragement, gratitude, appreciation, patience, excitement, joy, and many others. Even commitment and determination are better than judgment.
You might think that this means you will go soft and not try as hard. But effort, excellence, and drive are independent of the motivators. We can still treat ourselves kindly and strive for excellence. In fact, it works so much better! When we motivate with the carrots, we can sustain it because we enjoy the process so much more. We are willing to give even more of ourselves when we feel encouraged and hopeful.
You might not have a lot of evidence that this works and so you might be hesitant, but I would ask you how well the whip is working. Might be worth trying something else for a change. It looks like this…being kind to yourself, encouraging yourself, picking yourself up when you fall, having patience when things are hard, and also holding yourself accountable to your goals…not slacking off or indulging behaviors that will have a negative effect on your dancing. Indulgence is not the same thing as love. Keep that in mind.
Love works better than judgement. I dare you to try it.



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Hi there,

I'm Amber haider

As an amateur ballroom dancer myself, I understand the issues that come up for dancers, the pressures of competing, and the desire to make the most of my ballroom experience. I also really like to WIN! As a Life Coach by vocation, I have the tools to cut through the mental garbage that is holding you back so that you can maximize your potential. Using my own tools, I have been able to skyrocket my own skills, learn faster, lessen the pressure, win more and have tons more fun. I can show you the way. Here’s a couple tools to get you started:

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