Do You Focus On The Pain Or The Gain?

focus on the pain or the gain

Words are really powerful and that fascinates me, especially the effect what we say to ourselves has.  It’s not just your own words.  The words around us also influence us and often do not have the effect we are looking for.  What if they prevent us from having our focus on the gain?

This month we have been looking at the toxic side of motivational quotes.  The short, often snappy phrases that we plaster everywhere to inspire us, spur us on and help us perform our best. With an analytical mind, questioning the effect they have on us might not yield quite the effect we are looking for.

One of the things that always puzzled me was my old gym.  It was a chain and like all chains the wall was full of corporate images, in this case full length posters with “motivational” sayings on them.  Obviously not that well thought out though, as in front of the line of cardio equipment was a big pink poster emblazoned with “No pain, no gain”

Before this poster was put up, I had worked out, cross trained my 5k and cycled 5k uphill, lost in my music.  I would dismount the cycle unable to properly stand my legs like jelly.  I would feel uplifted and full of happy endorphins.

Once this poster had lodged itself in my brain this changed. My cycle became a slog.  My legs would feel like lead before I even dismounted the bike.  Not really thinking about it, Winter turned to Summer and I decided to move my training upstairs where there was a big window. I instantly traded my leaden legs for endorphins and jelly.

It was about a week before I realised I had traded no pain no gain for an urban view, and that was what made my journey easier. Who wants to focus on pain when they work out?  Surely the focus should be on the movement and the feel-good factor you get?

A common experiment to demonstrate this is to ask you to think about animals, but at no point think about a pink elephant as an animal. What animal did you think of first, second, third?  Anyone not have elephants in there?

We get what we focus on.  If we focus on our goals, we will work towards them and push through the obstacles we face.  If we focus on the obstacles, then we lose sight of our goal.

For example, if you need to present your work to your team meeting but are feeling a little nervous. You will focus on the presentation from the perspective of standing up in front of the team.  If you focus on the work you have done then you do not have as much time for the nerves.  If you focus on the results you want to achieve, you reduce your focus on what you anticipate going wrong.

This is why it is important to tell your brain good things, to focus on the gains, and not to tell yourself it is going to be painful to achieve it.

If you would like some help finding your career plan, so you can get career unstuck then book a free clarity call now.

Not convinced motivational quotes can be toxic? Here are some other examples.

Are motivational quotes really helping you – or are they holding you back?  Check out this month’s first blog

Are motivational quotes making you mean?  Find yourself being judgemental of others or lacking your usual empathy?  It could be the quotes you have on your wall….read more here

Do you ever read a quote that has been put there and wonder “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”  You are not alone, here’s what happened to me…..

What The Hell Is That Supposed To Mean?

Could motivational quotes be filling you with dread?

Are Motivational Quotes Making You Dreadful?



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