I’ve recently started to run the Park Run 5K, it’s quite incredible that I’m actually at this stage as just over one year ago I wouldn’t have been able to run to the bar for last orders!
But I hate running. Oh yes, every step is pain!
So I as I’m running my first Park Run 5K I’m thinking, “This is so demoralising, there are people SO far ahead and I am SO sloooow”.
I’m beginning to wonder why I even bothered to run in Park Run, there’s no way I’m going to get a good time.
And yet, when I crossed the line I realise I’ve taken nearly 2 min off of my best ever time and I ran it in 28 minutes 10 seconds.
I’m absolutely astounded.
So now the question, where does our motivation come from?
In NLP we have a series of meta programs. These are programs or filters we all run in our mind e.g. big picture thinking vs detailed thinking… And one of those programs is called a “Frame of Reference Filter“.
An internally referenced person will draw motivation from themselves, they will know when they are doing well and don’t need other people to tell them. Many entrepreneurs are internally referenced, they go about doing what they do and stay motivated despite what others say.
An externally referenced person will draw motivation from others. They will seek affirmations from other people. They know they are doing a good job when they get confirmation from others.
I know that I have a tendency to be externally referenced. I know that I like to hear that I’m doing a good job from other people and I use the external world to tell me whether I’m doing okay or not.
Isn’t it interesting that during my first Park Run my external reference predisposition informed my internal dialogue to tell me I wasn’t actually doing such a good job.
It turned the whole 5K into a disappointing slog… Right up until the last minute when I realised that my internal dialogue was wrong and I’d actually run faster than ever before!
Wow, it was all in my head…
- So are you internally or externally referenced?
- Do you need other people to tell you you are doing a good job, or do you just know?
- How does this then inform your internal dialogue?
The first stage in utilising and changing how we think is to recognise these patterns in ourselves.
Now that I recognise that my external referencing leads my internal dialogue to speak negatively to me… I can choose to ignore it.
Or I can choose a different external reference, rather than referencing myself against other people I can reference myself against my own timings, my own pace, my own personal best.
Every day is a new day to learn something new… And isn’t that amazing?
I talk more about meta programs on my NLP personal development membership program, it looks at how we can use these basic filters to improve success for ourselves and our teams.