I think that creating Roleplay Rescue has demonstrated the efficacy of the classical Motivation Model admirably, at least for me. What do I mean?
Before beginning anything new, people may feel unmotivated – nervous, a little bit skeptical even. Once you get started, though, you get into the swing of things and your motivation typically goes through the roof.
Once your motivation reaches an all-time high, you’ve reached what psychologists call the “Honeymoon Stage”. There’s no turning back! You’re on a roll! This lasts anything from a few hours to days, weeks, or (as in my case) even for several months.
Then comes the Plummet. The honeymoon ends. Reality sets in. Motivation decreases. This is completely normal. Until you reach the Lapse.
The Lapse is where people tend to get stuck. Thoughts are distorted and we tell ourselves all manner of negative things: “I’m a failure!” or “This’ll never happen!” and “This is a waste of time!”
The truth is, however, that the Lapse is the place where psychologists tell us there is the greatest opportunity for learning and growth. We can get stronger. Better.
If we can see our way through the Lapse, we will enter the normal pattern of Surges and Slips – the ups and downs of regular motivation. We’ll have highs and lows because motivation isn’t constant. Our desire to act ebbs and flows.
I just Plummeted. Again.
Work has given me a beating. I’m physically ill for the first time in more than a year. Games have been postponed. I look in the mirror and the thought-distortions scream at me.
The question is whether I am ready to stare down the Lapse and learn from this cycle. Relapsing into old patterns of thought and behaviour are all part of healing… I know this. But it’s never easy.
I tell myself all manner of negative things: “I’m a failure!” or “This’ll never happen!” and “This is a waste of time!”
But it does help to know that it’s part of the natural rise and fall of motivation. It’s healthy for me to remember that I have been further down the rabbit hole before and still climbing back out. On top of it all, it’s worthwhile to remember that you have people around you who love you and care for you enough to give you a helping hand.
What is needed is permission to feel what you feel. This emotion is what I am experiencing and that’s ok. It’s also true that it will pass. Come back to the relapse plan – talk about it. Express it. Understand that feeling crap doesn’t mean that things are actually crap. My thoughts are distorted.
From there, I can focus on taking some small actions. Maybe tomorrow I will roll some dice.
Let’s get started!