Motivating the hell out of 2020

Motivating the hell out of 2020


Monday, January 20, 2020

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ANY woman who uses social media knows that this year we are facing our fears. We are putting positive thoughts out into the universe, we are using shea butter to moisturise our skin and hair, we are drinking water and glowing inside out, and we are leaving toxic people behind. We are queens and we are watching our energy — we are manifesting the hell out of 2020, sis! Period...ttt!

Manifestation is the new religion, and event organisers have realised this. Vision board seminars, inspirational workshops and empowerment conferences are becoming a big part of the social calendar for women. We willingly fork out hefty 'investments' to attend these events (and of course to buy a new outfit and put our best face forward). And there is value in them. We feel so energised and ready to conquer everything when we leave. They do their jobs — they motivate. But they can only take us so far.

Author of Kill Fear Now Krystal Tomlinson is invited to speak at many events that aim to empower and motivate women. She told All Woman that while she has found great value in these events, it is up to the individual to create the change they want to see.

“These seminars and events, if done well and with the right intention, create a community for women,” she said. “Too often we are caught in difficult circumstances — failure, disappointment, rejection — and we feel like we are the lone wolf walking on the path. These seminars create an opportunity for important storytelling for us to locate ourselves in the life of the rest of humanity — seeing another human being, hearing them tell their story, and recognising the similarity not just in the struggle but in the make-up of who we are.”

Tomlinson noted that these events, while having male patronage, are overwhelmingly attended by women because we have greater 'social permission' to talk about our difficulties.

“It's because women have shown themselves to be more open to the vulnerable type of conversations that are required in these rooms,” she said. “There are tear-jerking renditions and reflections on hard-earned life lessons.”

She pointed out that motivation is good, but change is individual.

“Motivation is very easy. It gets us gassed up in the moment; we start to feel like there is hope, potential and possibility,” she said. “But then we leave that room and go back into disempowering environments, toxic relationships and friendships, and unhealthy routines and habits.”

Psychotherapist and clinical sexologist Dr Sidney McGill, while agreeing that motivation can be a good way to kick-start change, underscored the need for women to know when to seek professional help.

“While motivation is great and everyone can benefit from it from time to time, it is important to recognise when there is a deeper underlying issue at play that motivation can't fix,” he said. “While coping mechanisms such as these can help to a certain extent, the effect is similar to constantly putting a Band-Aid on a wound that needs deeper treatment. It masks the problem temporarily, but it still festers underneath while you constantly replace the Band-Aids.”

Dr McGill identifies some common red flags which may indicate that you need to seek individual professional assistance

• “If something traumatic happened to you and you can't stop thinking about it, or if you constantly feel sad and tired and can't seem to get enough sleep, these may be signs that you need to get help,” he advised. “You may also find that you no longer enjoy doing the things that you used to enjoy, or that you overindulge in things that give you a temporary thrill.”

• “You might be overeating or undereating. You might be getting negative feedback from work, or your relationships with your friends and family suffer because you feel the need to isolate yourself. You may be constantly feeling like you have no purpose or are toying with the idea of ending it all, or what life would be like without you. These raise red flags, and you will need more than motivation,” he warned.

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