What is the ‘juice’ that motivates us and gets us into action? Is it the passion for something we want to experience or create, or is it the fear that something will or won’t happen? Is it the excitement of being fully alive in the moment, or the avoidance of some devastating emotion? How is it for you? Which dictates the focus of your energy, pressure or pleasure?

So many of us are driven by unconscious limiting beliefs and the negative emotions attached to them. We may not even be aware of ‘why’ we feel the way we do. We just do. Our motivation lives in our body as well. For many of us, it lives in the center of our body around the solar-plexus region. This is the energetic center for willpower and action. The energy that lives here seeks to move ideas and emotions into tangible manifestations in our lives. If we are motivated by fear, this area can tend to feel contracted, tight, numb or weak. If we are motivated by our passion, our energy arises as authentic and exuberant expression. In this case, this area is relaxed, yet firm and ready to respond to what it encounters. There is no need for it to be constantly ‘defended’ or deadened against anything.

I recently became aware of the fear of disappointment living in my ‘gut’. The fear that others will be disappointed by me, the fear that others will disappoint me, and avoiding the experience of disappointment in whatever ways I could. Often, I avoided this experience by controlling others or by defending and justifying myself. As a very sensitive person, who often feels other people’s feelings, I was confused at times as to whose feelings I was actually feeling!

As I sat with the feelings and let them give me their message, I realized that the disappointment I looked to avoid was my mother’s disappointment. One of her most dominant emotions was disappointment, and I was terrified to create more of it for her. I became aware of how this avoidance has been my driving motivation in every area of my life since I was quite small. I became whoever I needed to be with my family to keep them from feeling disappointed since I always thought their disappointment was about me (I must have been the reason they feel disappointed!). This is how I took responsibility for other people’s experiences instead of my own. I did the same thing in my relationships with men, with friends, and at work. On the flip side, I expected to be disappointed by others, felt I had to do it all myself, and I was motivated to not feel that, so I would jump in and do things for others, or try and control how they did them, so I didn’t have to experience the emotion of disappointment. I would often find myself taking over for them so they couldn’t disappointment me doing it their way.

It’s been quite an eye-opener and I’m grateful for the insight. Now I’m working on recognizing, releasing and replacing that motivation of the fear of disappointment. I’m having honest, loving and authentic conversations with those close to me about where I feel disappointed in how things are, and I’m doing it even if they feel disappointed by me. It’s THEIR disappointment and I’m not responsible for it. I do not need to hide how I feel or what works best for me to avoid their experience of disappointment. I do not need to take over for others when they offer support to make sure I don’t feel disappointment. I am no longer 3 years old and my ego doesn’t need to ‘hide’ the disappointment from me anymore. I am the one that can support my inner child now by holding space and allowing the disappointment from the past to release and be free. I am the one that can take care of my needs by saying yes to what feels good and no to what doesn’t consistently in my life.

As this old energy flows out, and the middle of my body is relaxing, a new energy of motivation seems to be taking its place. It feels like gentle bubbles moving up to the surface from deep within. It feels like play and delight and wonder. It feels like curiosity and interest. THIS is the motivation that can co-create anything we desire, and it feels so much better than the fear- based avoidance I was using as my motivation before.

What is motivating you today?