What spurs you? Not motivates you. I don’t mean your purpose, mission in life, or your goals. Are you goaded into taking action by the carrot or the stick?
I’ve always been fascinated by this idea. The carrot is a promised reward, held always just out of reach. You take a step towards it, and it moves a step farther from you.
The stick is a threatened punishment. You keep moving forward because you don’t want to feel its sting.
In school I had many teachers and coaches. Some believed the best way to inspire greatness (or compliance) was through yelling or berating. Others did it more nicely.
We all need to be challenged. The most effective coaches and teachers seemed to intuitively know who needed a boot in the ass and who needed to be coaxed more gently.
I think it’s important to have a clear understanding of yourself (so did some guy named Socrates). Your internal motivation is what’s going to drive you to go after your goals over the long term. But every once in a while, we all need a little nitro to give us a temporary turbo boost.
If that’s someone challenging your intestinal fortitude by calling you out of name, that’s cool. I’ve seen it work. If someone clapping for you and encouraging you, just one more rep or mile, that’s cool too. I’ve also seen that work.
I tend to fall mostly in the latter category. When I saw a coach screaming in a teammate’s face, spittle flying far too close, I thought it was funny. (I never claimed to be the most mature human.)
On the rare occasion when I was the object being yelled at, I never felt inspired. If the idea was to make me so enraged that I’d take it out on the opposing team, it didn’t work on me. It did, however, make me wish all kinds of horrible things would happen to that coach.
Circling back, it’s helpful to know which spur is going to work best for you. As a fitness coach, it’s imperative to have an understanding that everyone is different. You have to adjust to help inspire your clients to achieve their goals. Not that you have to be fake about it. People will see right through that. You want to see the situation (the desired outcome, the necessary steps, and the path) through the eyes of the client.
Hope this helps. Thanks for reading. Any comments or questions, leave ‘em below.