Are Motivational Quotes Holding You Back?

are motivational quotes holding you

Everybody loves a bit of Monday motivation…but are motivational quotes holding you back from your career goals?

What we say to ourselves and where we put our attention are as important as what we tell our colleagues, clients and employers, but what if these actually stop us from getting there?

Anyone interested in their personal development will see the Monday Motivation, Wednesday Wisdom or Weekend words, and may even subscribe to a quote a day in their in box…I even used to post one a day in the early days, but whilst some are fun, and may give you a quick hit of feel good, they are not as innocent as they seem.

Firstly, they may not actually align with your true values which can cause you to wobble in your convictions.

Secondly, they can convey quite toxic messages rather than useful ones, but because they come with an inspirational graphic, you totally miss the toxicity.

For the coming weeks I will highlight some of my least favourite ones and show why they are not as motivational as they seem.

This week’s quote is “Reach for the moon, if you fail you will land amongst stars” It sounds so aspirational right?

It maybe for some of you, as it is just what you need to hear to push you slightly out of your comfort zone, but it can also put the attention in the wrong place.  This quote is about failing, rather than reaching your goal. So yeah, we would all like to shoot for the moon. We would like to attain our wildest dreams, so much so, many of us are paralysed by overwhelm. We have so much we want to do, we aim so high, but we have no idea of what we are doing to achieve this.

Then we start setting goals or obligations to ourselves that we cannot achieve. So, we let ourselves down.  We break our promise to ourselves once, then twice and then it becomes easy to let ourselves down in a way we would never do to anyone else.  Isn’t that just crazy?  We will let ourselves down whilst moving heaven and earth to meet our obligations to others.

No, it is not the fault of the quote, it is our responsibility.  The quote just serves as the medium through which we set ourselves up this way.  When you read it in its cold form you realise it is not as aspirational as it sounds. You realise motivational quotes are holding you back.

I am not saying throw away all inspirational quotes, as they are quite useful, I have a quote from Isabelle Lafleche on my desk.  I am saying be careful what you are telling yourself as you may not be having the impact you think you are.

Maybe choosing a more inspiration quote that puts your attention on your ambition would be better…The secret of getting ahead is getting started by Mark Twain, Do your work with your whole heart and you will succeed there is so little competition by Elbert Hubbard or without some goals and some efforts to reach it no man can live by John Dewey would serve you better.

It is so important now more than ever to be sure of what you are telling yourself as you do not want to become what is holding you back.


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