The popular term for the struggles we have with motivation, dedication, and understanding self-sabotaging behavior like procrastination is
“The Inner Game.”
We are all either handling or struggling with it.
The inner game is a matter of spirit – that point between mental/intellectual and feeling/emotional. Things go well when the two are in alignment, but spirit is agitated when they are not functioning in harmony, when your philosophy has a breakdown.
When you are ill, you go to a doctor. When you have back pain, you go to a chiropractor. You go to a dentist for a sore tooth and an orthopedic surgeon for a broken leg. But when your philosophy is not serving you well, what do you do? Where do you go when you are dealing with matters of your spirit, of your soul?
For an entrepreneur or small business owner, this is often more than a dilemma, as it was for Lena. She came to see me because she was struggling with motivation and her business was beginning to suffer. When you are your business, and you slow down, so does business.
The recession hit her graphic design business, as it hit many, many others. Lena had been agile and adaptable and had found ways to keep the money flowing by branching out. She had had hooked up with 2 online printing companies and was taking on small jobs for them.
There was little satisfaction in creating small ads and flyers and doing layouts for business cards. The profit margin was small and she was spending more time earning less money. But more important, she was questioning her own abilities and skills. The more she questioned them, the less she was able to motivate herself to go after the big design jobs.
At the end of our 90 minute session, Lena had come to terms with a few mental gremlins, reviewed all her talents, and regained her sense of purpose. This is absolutely key! Nietsche said, “If you know the why, you can live any how.” In Lena’s case, I think it’s worth re-wording it a little: If you know the why, you will find the how.
There is a surge in interest in philosophical inquiry in the helping professions – and it is about time! Several decades ago researchers discovered that some neurotic symptoms are due to philosophical rather than psychological causes – in fact, they discovered about 20 percent of neuroses were not clinical in nature, but existential or soul- or spirit-based.
Church, family and friendship have always been and will continue to be the first place many of us go. But today there is a whole slew of amazing resources – some more specialized than others – we can turn to. Pick one and watch your life return!