What is Your Motivation?

whySomething is always motivating us.  If we are taking action toward a goal or being stagnate either way we are being motivated to do so.


I have clients that are motivated by various reasons: some simply want more money no matter the duties and others want to a new position where they feel they can contribute no matter if it comes at a salary cut.


There is no right answer in figuring out what your motivation is: it is a personal thing so therefore there cannot be a “wrong”.


Do what works for you and don’t apologize for it.


Sometimes my clients feel embarrassed to tell me their motivations.  They hem and haw and work around it afraid to say it out loud.  I’m good enough that I can normally figure it out pretty quickly and then bring it out in the open.


That’s when I coach on not apologizing for what you want and why you want it.


When someone makes you feel like you should apologize for your motivations that is on them – not you.  You want more money – ok then.  If someone tries to make you feel bad for that perhaps they are secretly upset because they do not have the opportunity or gumption to go make more money themselves.


That’s their problem – not yours.


Ladies I am going to talk to you directly for just a moment – because we are the worst.  Why feel bad if you want more money, more prestige, a bigger office, a better title – whatever it is go for it!  Don’t let someone make you feel less for wanting more.  That’s like dating the guy who “isn’t ready for a relationship so can’t we just keep it this way” and when you say no, you want more he tries to make you feel bad about it.  What are you going to do – stay in a relationship where you are not valued or respected just so he can go play around or not have to man up?  Just because we are the caretakers of the tiny humans and the world does not mean we do not deserve exactly what we want!  Dump the fool.  He’s not smart enough to realize the jewel standing in front of him – clear him out and go get that bigger office!


Ok gents – we are out of girl-world now.


Sometimes our motivations keep us from going after what we want.  Fear.  It’s a biggie.  It can be afraid of failure, afraid of rejection, afraid this job will end up stinking like the last one – whatever the case it prevents us from moving forward.


A little fear is not a bad thing, it helps us keep things in check.  But if the fear has gotten to the point that you either do not move forward or you start sabotaging yourself.  You start slacking at work, take unnecessary risks or just plain behave badly.  These acts are normally motivated by fear.


Still no need to apologize; but don’t let it control you.  Fear is an emotion, a feeling, a thought – and you can control your thoughts and emotions.  You replace them with positive action and that builds confidence.


It is imperative to identify your motivation.  Once you figure that out then you can begin taking concrete actions to either move beyond the fear or continue to make progress on your goals.  Motivation is the key that can unlock any door or keep you locked inside – what you do with that key is up to you.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



The Butt-Kicking Continues…

Earlier this week I had the revelation that I was stressing out about things that were out of my control and not controlling the things for which I had complete control. From that moment on it has been a week of kicking myself in the butt, with additional help from a couple of very dear friends.

Today the butt-kicking continues. I am a very analytical person…VERY analytical. It is a blessing and a curse. It is a great trait when helping my clients, I am able to dig a little deeper and get results because I am gently tenacious. How did my friend Ruthann put it once, like a dog with a bone, I don’t give up. Once I have an idea in my head I have to pursue it until I have seen it from every side, understand every aspect, every angle and can grasp the concept in entirety.

So this idea of having uncontrollable things control me and not taking action on those I can control was pretty much consuming me, and the analytical side kept driving the bus. “Why, why, why,” I was asking, trying to dig down deeper to find a reason for these actions, an understanding so I could correct it. And here’s what the butt-kicking side of me answered this morning: “Shut up!” and slammed on the brakes.

You see, this very direct and blunt side of me understands something that the analytical side tends to forget – not everything has a reason. I was actually putting off taking responsibility by trying to find a reason. I was delaying the process, creating an excuse. The butt-kicking side busted the analytical side. It was not a pretty scene; I think the analytical side actually cried. Yes, my world is very complicated.

Here’s the thing, you cannot always explain why people do the things they do, and that includes yourself. Seriously, have you ever said something and as soon as it came out of your mouth think, “What the heck?! Why would I say that?” I have. And you can sit there and try to figure out the whys and boo-hoo or you can get off your butt and just push through. Once you work though the struggle that is in front of you the answers might be a bit more clear. Or, they may never be shown at all but at that point it is of little consequence because you did the most important part – you pushed through.

So today, I am pushing – and pushing hard. The butt-kicking side has the analytical side on a very short leash. And although I still have a lot to catch up on I feel amazing. I catch myself when I start to get a bit overwhelmed and think I won’t be able to catch up on everything by telling myself that it took more than a day to get here it is going to take more than a day to get out. Butt-kicking side does have a bit of empathy.

As much as my friends wanted to help it wasn’t until my own butt-kicking side decided it had had enough and made an appearance that I was able to get back on track. If you find yourself overwhelmed and notice that your friends are starting to give you a bit of gentle butt-kicking; perhaps it is time that you turn it over to your own butt-kicking side and take control. Because no matter how well-meaning your friends are, it is only you and you alone that can drive that bus; you just have to decide what side of you is going to take the wheel.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Polish, Inc.