Do you know where you’re going to?

There are basically two kinds of motivation. The first is “away from”, as in “get me out of here!” The second is “towards”, as in “I want that!”

Each has its place, that is, each is useful in certain circumstances. “Towards” is what you use when you decide you want a degree in some subject, or you want a date with that hottie. “Away from” is terrific in emergencies. It’s how you automatically get your hand out of the fire, or get away from the menacing guy with the knife. But even there, what do you do immediately after? You probably call 911 to get help. And that is a “towards” — toward help, toward healing.

The problem comes when you only have one sort of motivation, especially when you only have “away from“. Don’t’ we all know a complainer who says (s)he’s going to leave that awful job, but then doesn’t because (s)he can’t figure out what to do instead?

Here’s why. When you only know you want to get away from something, you don’t know where you want to go. Think of your conscious mind as the driver of a car, with the unconscious as the car itself. The car has energy, and machinery and will take you where you want to go — but the driver has to decide where to go and how fast. The car doesn’t go anywhere on its own. If you hit the gas pedal and just tell it to get away from here — it can drive you into a ditch, or a wall. But if you steer it to the nearest McDonald’s, it will take you there. If you steer it to the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey, it will take you there, too, even if you’re in San Francisco. So your conscious mind must have a “towards” mindset to get where you want to go.

Now, the unconscious has a motor, but it also has a fuel line that will block up of its own accord and starve the motor for fuel. The block here is usually fear, often fear of the unknown. This fear really is fear of losing safety or security. Why should the car use all that energy just to leave the nice, warm, dry garage? What’s in it for the car? (This is what people generally call “self-sabotage”. It isn’t self-sabotage at all, it’s that part of you wants to stay safe, which means sticking with the known.)

The key to getting the car to go it is to short circuit the fear (pardon the mixed metaphor — add a second fuel line?). Here are a few ways to do it:

1) Check – is fear reasonable? Sometimes that’s enough to work around it
2) Find ways to help the unconscious feel safe
a) get all the information you can by reading or asking others
b) visualize yourself doing it
c) try it out (why do you think so many infomercials offer “risk free” trials?)
d) make the positives/”towards” so great that the fear/”away from” doesn’t matter. If someone told you that you’d get
paid a million dollars to bungee jump one time – would you do it?
e) Ask yourself if the fear is really about what’s going on now. Many times it isn’t, but is instead about something
that happened in the past. If this is the case, sometimes just knowing that is enough to shift it, but sometimes you
need hypnotic help to do that. After all, you can’t fix the past by dealing with what’s going on today.

Be clear where you want to go and you can almost always get there!

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (, who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.