You are not only responsible for what you’re doing, but also for what you’re not doing – Lao Tzu

It’s not your fault or maybe it is.  You are suffering from motivational withdrawal. You have withdrawn from fully engaging in the life you have.

Go ahead, I’ll wait for your rebuttal. Take all the time you need.  Send me an e-mail, tell me why I am wrong and full of it.

I’m sure you will make some good points and defend yourself.  I know I would. Here’s the thing, I’m still calling bullshit.

I’ve told myself the same story many times.  I’ve fooled myself into believing it was true as well.  It’s called self-protection.  We tell ourselves what we want to hear because being brutally honest with ourselves might be too much to bear.

Raw vulnerability with ourselves is the only way to get real and begin to fully engage in the life we have. I am not suggesting you bare all your innermost thoughts with every stranger you meet. I am suggesting you need to become more vulnerable with yourself.

Motivational withdrawal is hiding from ourselves.  

Humans need emotional connection. Failure to emotionally connect leads to irritability, restlessness, impatience, frustrations, anger, blame, etc.

Think about the last time you experienced one of theses feelings. Who was the person who caused you to feel this way? Why did you feel this way? What was missing in this interaction the would have caused you not to feel that way?

Conversational disconnection is generally caused by not being emotionally connected to the conversation the same way as the person we are conversing with. Overly emotional connections feel personal and fiery. A lack of emotional connection is cold and distant. Neither extreme is ideal for building a healthy relationship with ourselves or others.

It’s more than not being connected with our conversational partner.  We have these feelings because we are not in touch with our own emotions.

Reflection in a mirrorThere can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community. M. Scott Peck

Our conversations show our emotional struggles. They alert us to learning opportunities and more pressing warning signs.

Ignoring our emotional state of being can push us into more serious states of isolationism, depression, and helplessness. Any motivation we had to stop and reverse this downward spiral quickly dissipates and it becomes increasing difficult to dig ourselves out. Overwhelming negative energy fuels our motivational withdrawal.

We can avoid this downward spin by being vulnerable with ourselves. We must seek to deeply understand our emotional response and triggers. We will find immense value in exploring the unanswered questions our emotions raise.

Awareness comes from recognizing our resistance symptoms. Knowledge gives us some positive energy to help us become aware of our potential motivational withdrawal.

Life mirrors our thoughts, emotional feelings, and actions. 

Positive energy comes back to us through positive experiences. Negative energy acts the same way.  You have the power within you to choose what type of energy you use to engage life. How we focus our energy dictates how are take action.

Think about the last time something intensely bothered you, a time when you were angry or frustrated with certain people or situations. Who were you mad at? Your boss? Your spouse? Friends? Family? Some stranger who has set rules to follow? What happened that caused you to be upset? Why did that bother you? How did your response contribute to your heartache? What could you have done differently?

Can you see how life mirrors our response? In this case, the reflection we see is something inside ourselves. Our attitude and behavior is being mirrored back to us so we can become aware of opportunities for growth. Our reflection is our clue to take action. Healing will begin when we address the cause of the pain we are suffering.

The action we want to see in the world begins with us. Where we focus our attention is where we focus our action. What we complain about is what we feel ourselves. What we push others to do is the action we need to take for ourselves.

Engage with the life you have and building from there is the only way to overcome motivational withdrawal.

Fully participating in life means we are present and active is all aspects of our life. It means we take responsibility for our actions and inactions. It means we are nurturing and taking care of our physical body, emotional being, and spirit. It means we are being compassionately vulnerable with ourselves.

It’s time to stop focusing on another person’s behavior and start focusing on our own. It’s time to stop making excuses for our inaction and begin taking action. It’s time to take responsibility and own our behavior.

We either own our life or give our ownership to everyone we meet. Which life do you prefer to live?

Consequences will result no matter what we decide. Not making a decision is the same as making a decision.

I feel more powerful and free when I am following my decisions. I’ll bet you do as well.

It’s time to stop letting others make decisions for you. It’s time to take ownership of your emotional feelings. It’s time to stop seeking answers from the outside and look inward. It’s time to be vulnerable with yourself.

What keeps you from fully participating in the life you have?