The Art of Demotivation
The art of demotivation centers around your ability to demotivate yourself toward wanting certain things or specific outcomes. It is the opposite of motivation, which is getting the impetus required to chase your desires.
Practicing the art of demotivation requires that you flip motivational advice on its head. All those managerial rules about not demoralizing or disempowering employees? You’re going to use that to your advantage.
Why the art of demotivation works?
- You learn to control your emotions.
- You slam the breaks on your bad habits.
- You cut negative influences from your life.
- You free yourself to concentrate on the things that matter, not on the obstacles in your way.
Here’s how to make the art of demotivation work for you.
An object in motion stays in motion
You don’t need to cut bad habits; you need to slow them down.
One of the more popular concepts in self-help today is the idea that work comes before inspiration. You get things moving, and then motivation will come and keep you going.
The same is true for bad habits. You get things in motion, and you can’t stop.
- You try to eat just one.
- You have one cigarette.
- You grab one beer.
- You go to Starbucks instead of the gym, just this once.
What you do is far more critical than what you don’t do. And getting started is more important than anything else.
Once you’re in motion, it’s hard to stop, but you can. Just slow down.
If you get three burritos every time you go for Mexican fast-food, try getting two this time. If you’re still hungry, have an apple and some nuts. Next time, slow down a little more with only one burrito.
Put some friction on those objects you have in motion.
Use negative self-talk to your advantage
Memes and quotes that motivate you to greater achievement, that create the sort of behavior that will make you more successful in all that you attempt to do in life? You’re not going to use any of that.
In the art of demotivation, you’re going to do just the opposite.
Find or make up negative quotes or memes that judge behavior. The effects of negative self-talk are widely known to derail your attempts to get better at something.
Sounds effective in stopping you cold, doesn’t it? Why not use that to your advantage?
As an example, say you want to lose weight. Rather than positive messages that your mind knows are fake, like “carbs are bad” or “my caveman ancestors didn’t need it, so neither do I,” try something like this:
“What you eat in private you wear in public.”
That’s pretty negative, right? But it makes you think twice about running for the pantry, doesn’t it?
Here’s another for someone who’s trying to quit smoking:
“You’re friends hate how you smell becaues you smoke all the time.”
That one gets even worse if your friends have actually said something like that to you. If you’re single, make it instead about how kissing a person who smokes tastes like licking an ashtray.
This point may sound harsh, but there’s a reason negative self-talk regarding self-esteem ruins any attempts at happiness: it’s effective.
Find friends who don’t have similar behaviors
This may sound like a motivational point, but rather than finding that annoying person that eats perfectly all the time, we’re going to find a friend who hates Starbucks (or whatever your weakness is).
We are who we hang with.
If you spend your time around people who don’t like what you like, your natural people-pleasing tendencies will kick in, and you’ll stop the behavior.
Frequently, your new friend will have a few positive traits that enrich your life. Just be careful not to make friends with new bad habits to adopt.
Waste time doing something unproductive
Being productive is hard. Do you know what’s easy? Napping or binging Netflix (unless those are the behaviors you’re trying to demotivate).
If you try to replace a piece of chocolate with a workout, you spend the whole sweat session thinking about how you still don’t have chocolate.
You need to distract yourself with something you want to do, not something you have to motivate yourself to do.
If you don’t want to go out with negative friends, watch movies instead. If you want to avoid porn, go to the bar for a beer and a nice juicy burger.
Sometimes, indulging one bad habit helps to slow the momentum of a worse bad habit, which is, of course, relative. In cases like these, the art of demotivation is practiced in several steps.
Let’s slow down and work the kinks out
That’s really what the art of demotivation is about.
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”— Bruce Lee
In our case, the unessential we’re hacking are bad habits.
Use the tools that motivational speakers use to encourage good behavior to discourage bad behavior by doing the opposite in those instances.
Life is about yin and yang. A negative can create a positive if you use it properly.
This is the art of demotivation.
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