Have you ever noticed how much information is out there about holistic health, biohacking, supplements, nutrition? The amount of really good information available is staggering to say the least, but, unfortunately, there is also a lot of harmful information and influencers out there.
In particular, the "abusive" motivation model could be particularly harmful if we do not have context. While I'll be the first to admit we all need a kick in the ass once in awhile, it's important to follow that kick in the ass with some coaching and insight. I see a lot of influencers online who have a message similar to: "just get off your ass and get started." "You don't need any equipment, or much space to workout. Stop making excuses!" What context is missing here? Why would someone just refuse to take care of themselves? Is it a lack of knowing the importance for longevity and happiness? Is it a lack of self love? Is it trauma?
People have all sorts of reasons to sabotage their higher self, but there is a huge reason, that easily explains the "unexplainable" lack of motivation that so many suffer from. Succinctly, what's not talked about in the fitness space is the trauma effect on our ability to take action.
(This is not medical advice, or an attempt to diagnose, treat or cure any condition. If you feel you have a condition that requires professional support, please do what you need to do to be your best)
One of the survival strategies for people with deep trauma is dissociation. We learned at a young age that when we couldn't fight or flight, we could check out and go somewhere else in our mind. This creates a trance like state. As adults, when we feel stressed and fearful or uncertain, if we have deep traumas, we will likely fall back on that survival strategy of dissociation. In checking out into a trance state, we cannot see the obvious, we cannot see rationality.
If you don't get it fully, just look at the mass formation effect on people during the Covid-19 plandemic. That is a collective unconscious (CJ Jung) trance where tribal association and acceptance over rode logic and reason. We believed some ridiculous notions, and I'll leave it at that.
As a more direct example here is a case history of a client I worked with recently:
A woman has grown overweight and has developed a few autoimmune symptoms in her lungs and on her skin. She is growing more concerned by the day with her rapidly deteriorating health and happiness. When she attempts to make changes in lifestyle, she experiences heavy resistance, negative inner critic, and exhaustion. She has attempted 6 times to lose weight in the last 3 years, and has never lasted more than 10 weeks on a dedicated plan.
Here was her pattern we discovered that was formed from programmed survival in response to trauma.
1) She senses something must change, knows that she is unhappy and going the wrong way in life
2) She creates anxious energy due to the conflict between "I need to change my habits" and "I don't know how, and I'm not sure I'm worthy"
3) The anxious energy is fueled by thoughts and rumination triggered by trauma
4) The gravity of it all gets too heavy and she dissociates by going into a trance fantasizing about younger days when she felt and looked her best
5) She creates a feeling of shame, and a belief that she "cannot do" because she "does not know how", more rumination.
6) Deeper dissociation pulled her further from reality.
7) No longer able to ignore the mirror, mucus, and itching, she snaps out of the fantasizing trance and goes right into another trance of "I am unworthy" because "I am unloveable, I am bad, I should be ashamed"
8) Back to #1.
The solution for her was to get in touch with the effects the trauma had on her, and her survival strategy, which at the time of the trauma was 100% necessary, but now it is no longer serving her. In doing that, we could then move on to realizing when she was slipping into a trance, and stopping the story/lie to self dead in it's tracks. (story/lie to self=I am unworthy, I am unloveable because I am bad, I should be ashamed, I don't know how.). It took about 4 weeks of inner work, getting in touch with needs, values and purpose before she could really source her motivation and sabotage.
She dismantled her beliefs around worth, lovable, and not knowing, and having explicitly stated values and needs, she dusted off the self love that was hidden by fear. She quickly got to a normal healthy weight, her skin cleared up, and with some breath work, she was able to clear the majority of the excess mucus from her lungs. (opening the heart helps the lungs too).
She had a personality type that was very susceptible to feeling rejected, and consequently, pre rejected herself before she could sabotage (reject) herself. (I know that's mental jiu jitsu, but it's really a thing : ). I say that because every personality type will have their own defenses against trauma, stress and confusion, this just happened to be her path to transformation.
Conclusion: If you're lacking motivation, or seek answers to why you haven't taken action, or sustained success, look into your trauma timeline, or triggers in general. You may be creating a dissociated trance without realizing it. If you'd like to read more on the topic, Trances People Live by Stephen Wollinsky is a fantastic resource. Personality Types by Riso-Hudson is another enlightening read. If you don't feel like reading and studying, finding your path the hard way, you can always book a free strategy and discovery call with me using the link below.
Peace, Much Love, Live Well!