Positive self-talk not required

Some self-help gurus will tell you to create the right attitude, if you don’t already have it.

Stand in front of your bathroom mirror and repeat: “I am worthy of success!” Set your desktop background to read “Work hard now, reap rewards later!” Do ten pushups to “prime your nervous system”.

Such attempts at self-motivation have never felt right to me. They seem fake. Of course I like to feel confident and motivated (just like anyone else), but I prefer these feelings to come from within.

So how can we gain confidence and motivation without self-help guru slogans?

Focus on the inputs. If you get enough quality sleep, if you eat well, and if you move your body, you’ll automatically be more confident and motivated—without Jedi mind tricks.

Take care of your mind too. At work, take lots of breaks. Allow your brain to wander by going for a walk. Get comfortable feeling bored. Pay attention to what’s going on.

Taking this approach produces a quiet inner confidence and a sustainable motivation. Plus, you won’t risk someone catching you yelling at yourself in the bathroom.


— Peter

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