Hypnosis for motivation

Motivation is one of the driving forces behind human behaviour and is derived from the Latin word ‘movere’, meaning ‘to move’. As in, we need ‘to move’ and take action to achieve something. Without motivation, we wouldn’t be able to achieve and progress through life. Motivation fuels competition and allows us to make connections and build our social network. Motivation allows us to strive towards meaning and our purpose in life. 

However, remaining motivated all of the time is difficult. Life brings with it ups and downs which can alter our levels of motivation, and unfortunately, a lack of motivation can lead to mental illnesses such as depression. With this in mind, it’s therefore vitally important for us to learn how to maintain motivation and learn what to do when motivation has been lost and the steps we can take to regain it.

Types of motivation

When an individual is motivated by other people or rewards, they are said to be extrinsically motivated. However, when an individual is motivated by the desire to improve at a particular activity, the driving force is suggested to come from within – the motivation is intrinsic. Intrinsic motivation can be especially powerful and the accomplishments that can come from this form of motivation tend to be more fulfilling. 

What motivates us?

Psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed that we are motivated by 5 needs (and stages). 

  1. Physiological: the need for food, drink, sleep and sex.
  2. Safety: the need to have protection, to be free of fear, and the need for structure and order.
  3. Belongingness and love: the need to have social contact, friends, family and intimacy.
  4. Esteem: the need to have the esteem of others and to feel self-esteem; to be valued and important.
  5. Self-actualisation: the need to grow, to use one’s potential.

For us to move from one stage to another, each need must be met satisfactorily to enter the next stage. Maslow believed that you won’t reach self-actualisation until all the previous stages have been adequately achieved. 

As we know all too well, life can throw curveballs our way, so this hierarchy of needs has room for movement – an individual may travel forward through the stages but then back again. Just as in life, there is a lot of toing and froing, and our motivation levels can vary causing certain stages and the accompanying needs to become more difficult to meet. 

Reasons for why motivation levels can become low include: feelings of being overwhelmed, negative self-talk, a lack of interest in the task/goal, a lack of confidence, or procrastination. The longer an individual becomes ‘put off’ by these causes, the harder it becomes for them to find their motivation again. Our subconscious becomes our own worst enemy and exacerbates our avoidance of the task. So, what can we do to help keep our motivation levels consistent, even during these tricky, demotivating times?

Setting SMART goals

From the very beginning, to improve your motivation, and ultimately your success, you need to rid yourself of any fear of failure and your goal needs to be established. A goal should be ‘SMART’ – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. ‘SMART’ goals are most used within business for its employees, but they are also extremely valuable in our personal lives too. No matter which area of your life you wish to improve or change, the strategy of setting goals helps you to know what you want and how to get it. 

‘SMART’ goals and the theory of motivation are both about being purposeful and living with intent. By setting goals, you are establishing a sequence of events that need to happen to get you to your goal. Goal setting also provides you with a sense of completion – what you are working on and striving towards, will not go on indefinitely, phew! Working within limits and time boundaries can heighten your experience and make it more enjoyable. 

Once your goal has been set, the next step is to link that goal to a reward. At the end of this hard work, there needs to be satisfaction in some form. Individuals are often driven by reward and the reward should be just as personal as the goal itself. A reward needs to be meaningful to you and something that will spur you on to succeed and power through. Perhaps it will simply be relishing in a feeling of pride or a feeling of satisfaction.

Alternatively, the feeling of accomplishment on an intellectual, emotional, or social level may be your reward. Often, material gains are used as rewards, such as a new item of clothing once the goal has been achieved. Whatever your reward, it is a key part of the maintenance of motivation, so it is vitally important to secure one in your mind – perhaps even write it down as a little contract to yourself: “My goal is to… and my reward will be…

Finally, it is imperative to highlight that no success can be achieved, or goal set without a positive attitude. This is where good levels of self-esteem and self-acceptance are required. You need to believe that you’re worth it. Affirmations are a wonderful way to increase levels of self-esteem and self-acceptance and can very simply become part of your daily routine.

Read more about affirmations.

How to stay focused

Now you have your goal, your reward and your positive attitude, what could possibly go wrong? As explained above, unfortunately, life can bring with it challenges and unforeseen circumstances which can, in turn, change the way we think and/or view ourselves. Therefore, levels of motivation may drop when faced with a hiccup along the way. However, please don’t despair – this is where the magic of hypnotherapy comes into play. 

Hypnosis is a technique that helps to replace old, unhelpful subconscious thinking habits, with new, more helpful thinking habits. In hypnosis, we relax the body and mind to allow an individual to reach a hyper-attentive, deeply relaxed state. In this state, we can speak directly to your subconscious and provide it with helpful suggestions. These suggestions are carefully worded to empower the subconscious to change and replace some of those unhelpful patterns that may be hindering your motivation to achieve. 

Hypnosis can help you accomplish 3 things: 

1. Being motivated for success

We have a personal responsibility to get things done, however, this sense of responsibility can weaken over time, especially if we have got fed up with the task at hand. Therefore, hypnosis can help us to re-establish our sense of drive and remind ourselves of why and what we are wanting to achieve. Hypnosis can also help the subconscious to get excited about success, increasing our levels of motivation again. If in the past we have given up on goals and not felt motivated, hypnosis can replace those negative thoughts and memories with new, positive suggestions helping us to reach our goals and achieve success. 

Many of the causes for a lack of motivation can be corrected through hypnosis by feeding the subconscious suggestions for alternative, more positive ways of dealing with variations in motivation levels. 

2. Achieving success

Hypnosis can help you to visualise yourself achieving your goal and enjoying the success that it will bring. Visualisations may involve imagining that nothing will hold you back from reaching your goal, allowing you to become the successful person that you want to be. Hypnosis can help you visualise freedom – freedom from past burdens which have prevented you from being confident, self-assured, centred and strong.

Lastly, to help you reach your ‘SMART’ goal, hypnosis inductions can transport you to an image of you accomplishing your goal – perhaps you see yourself putting other minor goals aside, allowing you to focus on just the one goal or project. 

3. Enjoying success

Hypnosis can prepare you for the feelings of happiness and contentment that will come when you’ve accomplished your goal. Hypnosis can help you see that your success is not only positive, for yourself, but for others around you. Hypnosis can allow you to relish your success and feel comfortable. 

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Written by Cat Randall
Cat Randall is a freelance writer and newly qualified hypnotherapist.
Written by Cat Randall
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