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Why Authenticity and Connection Are Your Best Marketing Strategies


Why Authenticity and Connection Are Your Best Marketing Strategies



About 3 years ago, I coined a phrase – Authenticity is the Best Marketing Strategy.

I was struggling to understand online marketing and I was used to the traditional marketing approach.

In case you’re not sure what traditional marketing is, it looks something like this:


“We deliver exceptional outcomes to exceed your greatest expectations.”

“We give you personalised service to help you achieve your goals.”

“We focus on helping you to achieve your goals in a way that suits your lifestyle.”

You can spot traditional marketing a mile away, It uses big-company statements (we) with logic-brain promises (achieve your goals) and have no hint of you, the business owner in them.


Well, times have changed.

Think of a famous business in your industry and I bet you the business name is somebody’s actual name.

Like Michelle Bridges. Jenny Craig. Tony Robbins. 


Here’s the difference: 

  • Traditional marketing uses logical, objective language. It feels impersonal.
  • Authentic marketing uses emotional, subjective language. It feels personal.
Most of all, when you the business owner can be authentic AND heartfelt, you will create a connection….which builds trust, rapport and a greater chance of getting a new client. 

How to Be Authentic in Online Marketing

If you have spoken with me before, you know that I say all things marketing come from a deep understanding of your ideal client. 

When you understand your ideal client, then you speak their language, and connect with them much easier. This is true in both offline and online markets. 

But in the online world, you are dealing with an audience who may have never met you in person. 

It’s harder and it takes longer to build trust and connection when you’re online. 

That means you need to know your ideal client and tell stories that they totally relate to. 

I’m not talking about knowing their age range, number of kids, and top 3 frustrations. I’m talking about knowing their deeper stuff…the kinds of things that might come out of a really thorough, deep-diving vision session.

Stuff that might surprise or delight them, and which will deepen any existing connection with you really quickly.

A Recent Example

As a solo business owner who lives “in the sticks”, I get inspiration from a few people I have grown to trust, admire and respect in the online space over the past 3 years.

Here's a recent example of how I experienced a deeper connection with someone I've been following because of her authentic approach to marketing. 

Read this story, see how it pans out, and think about how YOU could connect with people like this to get more engagement and new clients. 

How could you apply this formula in your own business?

The Business Magician

I’ve been following Keri Norley, Business Magician for the past 3 years. 

I initially saw her posting in a Facebook business group and started following her because she’s a mindset coach and I loved her powerful, inspirational posts. 

She posts more than just powerful inspirational posts – she also shares parts of her own story. 

That got me curious enough to subscribe to her newsletter.

Pricking Up My Ears

In the past year, Keri’s stories have made me really sit up and listen because I relate to all the things she’s sharing about her personal life.

Keri started a weight loss journey earlier this year and this is a core area in my business, so I was keen to understand how she was navigating this.

More recently, she has started talking about gymnastics and learning how to do handstands and the splits. 

It’s been a secret dream of mine to be able to do both of these things as an adult, so it suddenly feels like all other emails have left my cluttered inbox as I watched her progress with keen interest.

A couple of weeks ago, Keri posted a video of herself doing a handstand, and a photo of her doing the splits.

I was blown away. She did it! 

And....maybe I could, too.

So last week I wrote Keri an email to express my admiration for her persistence and results…and to ask her HOW she did it.

The Connection

Keri has thousands of subscribers on her list, and she’s undoubtedly busy. I didn’t expect a reply, but I wrote this short email to her simply to express my admiration and gratitude for sharing:

Hi Keri
I love this. And funnily enough, wanting to do the splits has been a lifelong dream. My brain says...you can't do that. Did you really do this in such a short time? Amazing. INSPIRING! 

Best wishes
Melanie.

Think about it – would you want a potential client on your list or who likes your FB page to reach out to you?

Would you want to attract people with your authenticity?

I know I would. And Keri does it so well.

So it was no surprise that Keri wrote back, detailing what she’d done to improve her flexibility and how it had happened for her. It was a detailed email that gave me the exact steps she followed to achieve the outcome I wanted.

And this is how her email finished:


I know so much of it is to do with my mind.  :-) 

You got this girl.  Like I said in the post... JUST START. Let it be the metaphor in your life... overcoming that fear... what else can you do, right?

MWAH!
Keri

I felt pretty touched that she'd taken the time to reach out, and there was a real sense of rapport, support and connection.

Would I now recommend Keri to others, or buy a service from her? YES! Because I feel like I know her, and I like her, trust her and now have connected with her. I'm a loyal fan. 

Do you want more of those?

A Powerful Lesson

You can engage people in a heartbeat by being authentic, honest and heart-felt, using emotional language and describing a journey, and by connecting with them.

As a side note, I had a real 'aha' moment when I reflected on this experience.

I thought of Roger Bannister, the first man to run a four-minute mile, on 6 May, 1954 in Oxford, UK.

Until that date, nobody believed it was possible to run a four-minute mile. Nobody had done it.

After he set that record, it was just 46 days until somebody else ran a mile in under 4 minutes. The belief barriers had been broken, and pretty soon, more people were doing it.

So I realised this: in business and in life, the most successful person believes in themselves enough to take a risk and face fears and overcome their obstacles to success. 

Everyone else is waiting for someone else to prove that it can be done.

Don't wait until your marketing is perfect. Quit comparing yourself to others who are more experienced or seem to be doing better than you.

Just speak from the heart, consistently and conscientiously. People will relate to you, they will be curious, and follow you. 

Maybe they'll go on a journey just like I did with Keri Norley.

Have you had an experience like this, where you really connected to someone? Post in the comments below and let us know how it panned out and what you can apply to your own business.

The Underside of Wellness


The Underside of Wellness

We assume that we work in a field that has appeal to anyone on this planet. Who doesn’t want to improve their health and wellness?  What could possibly be bad about working towards this outcome?

Well, think again.  Wherever there is a strong argument for one approach, there will be someone who argues against it!  (Remember the fitness movement and the articles and books sending the message that “Exercise can kill”?)

Of course, freedom of speech, sharing ideas, playing devil’s advocate etc. are all good things so when I came across the following interview, I listened, (non judgmentally) and attempted to filter out the learning or awareness that came out of what Dr. Spicer had to say.  

Dr Spicer was interviewed on Life Matters radio program and was promoting his book The Wellness Syndrome where sure enough, the main message was “Wellness is simply the latest obsession”. I will sum up Dr Spicer’s comments (and a bit of his rationale) and then counter them with a few of my own.

  • Wellness has become something else to worry and feel guilty about (consider the bloggers whose daily routine is something we can never aspire to).
  • Wellness trends are associated with abstinence and possibly self punishment.
  • Wellness encourages too much self-obsession (think of all the ways we have of monitoring everything we do.
  • Wellness behaviours are time stealers and take up huge amounts of our day.
  • Corporate wellness programs are becoming a way of discriminating against new employees who are not fit and thin.
  • Organisations are taking the view that a successful CEO must be able to run a marathon or climb a mountain and  productivity and wellness are inaccurately linked.  
  • Pressure is being put on employees to train.
  • Wellness is becoming a cult.
Yes you are probably thinking, “wow”! but let’s face it there are some things we recognize as being, if not problems, potential problems and this is what we must be aware of and accept that some of what he says could have merit.

However….

First, all the above points are referring to extremes.  

“Bloggers who have huge followings and expound living the perfect, rigorous healthy life with rules around everything could well make people feel somewhat inadequate.”   
My response – choose who you follow!  We need to take some responsibility over what we expose ourselves to.  What motivates that blogger?  Are they boasting or helping?

“Wellness behaviours are cultish and like religious rituals.” 
My response – anything taken to extremes can be sinister.  If a ritual is a habit, then that sounds like a positive way of incorporating a few new ones into our daily routine.  Becoming aware of what we do automatically is the first step to changing it.

 “Corporate wellness has become a way of discriminating.”
My response – taken to extremes yes, but high energy that comes from being well is definitely associated with productivity.  Anything that our society can do to encourage healthy behaviours as being the “norm” is a good thing.  If an individual does not want to consider their health as important, go and find an organisastion who doesn't care about this aspect of their employees’ lives.

Dr Spicer’s final comments are about the backlash that the wellness movement is having.  “Dude food” is increasing where people can eat as much as they want and eat real, high fat meals.”
My respose - Hey, if that’s your choice, it’s your body.

 “People are looking for meaning rather than happiness.”
My response – Agree (finally) - and we need to be.  If we search for happiness, it will elude us. If we try and find meaning in our lives, the incidence of depression will decrease.

 “The rise of neo-stocism – the belief that gains can only be made through pain and suffering and fight clubs, extreme work outs, tough mudders etc. are now becoming very popular.”
My response – there will always be people who want these things. Let everyone find what works for them.. There are plenty of softer “wellness” options out there!

In conclusion, I respect many of Dr. Spicer’s views but worry about the way people might interpret his message as encouraging a total lack of regard for whether we have healthy lifestyle habits and a continuation of the growth of lifestyle related illnesses.  

At least we’re doing something to try and slow it down.

The recording of Dr Andre Spicer was found at this link 

https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pg9G1mr82G?play=true



4 Signs You’re Blocked in Business and How To Get Unstuck


Being blocked is a big challenge for the solo business owner. It means you have obstacles that wear down your energy and stop you from getting things done. 

You're so busy scrambling to do a thousand little tasks at home and in your business, trying to remember a kajillion details, and feeling desperate to be productive and tick things off your list at the same time.

And in terms of your business, that means you're potentially stagnant, caught in a cul-de-sac.

Here’s a typical week for the blocked entrepreneur, showing you 4 signs you’re blocked in business.....and a simple exercise to help you get UNstuck.

The 4 Signs You're Blocked In Business

Sign #1 – the week starts great, but declines into treacle.


Working from home, you find that the weekend is relaxing time off. Monday is cheerful, Tuesday gets busy, Wednesday becomes hectic and then it’s suddenly Thursday afternoon and once again, you feel overwhelmed and like most of the week has gone, yet you’ve achieved nothing.

NOTHING!

(Although your washing and vacuuming are done.)

But you had a lot to accomplish at work, and now you’re somehow behind.

It’s like you started the week sprinting freely on the tarmac and now somehow, you’re wading through treacle.

Sign #2 – you’re a zombie

In your state of anguish, your become almost catatonic, unable to work effectively and productively, scrambling around at mindless, unimportant things in a vain attempt to get SOMETHING achieved.

But all you’ve really done is delete and answer some emails.

Sign #3 – you feel a bit ripped off

By the time 6pm rolls around, you turn off your computer PC for another day and lament the fact that it’s dinner next, then bed.

You feel ripped off because you haven’t had any fun, exercise, downtime or a decent break. It feels like you’re just working all the time for no tangible outcome.

Sign #4 – your sleep is suffering


You are in bed by 10pm but you know you will be waking up five hours later, mind racing, coming up with ideas and concepts, solving problems and maybe worrying about one or two things that you had trouble solving that day.

After lying awake doing this for four or five hours, you will eventually give up hope of a restful night and start work early….probably to repeat the pattern all over again the next day.

Are You Blocked?

If at least two of these signs resonate with you, then you’re on the way to being blocked.

What’s happening is this: you are getting bogged down in unimportant stuff, losing focus, and becoming anxious.

You are so wound up in this emotional stuff that you’ve lost touch with reality, simplicity and the tools you know will work to get you on track.

Know Yourself, Know Your Clients

It's no surprise that your clients struggle with this stuff, too. That's why they're coming to you in the first place!

They end up feeling this way too after their busy week of work, kids, friends and chores….who can cook a healthy meal or exercise on TOP of all that running around?

If you can help yourself get unstuck, then maybe you will be better positioned to help your clients.

Here are some questions you can use to coach yourself and get unstuck, so you can become energized and productive again.

All you need to do is set aside 30 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time to work through these without pressure or distraction.

Create that time, schedule it in, and do this work. It WILL be worth it.

Simple Questions To Get Unstuck



  1. What, specifically, is overwhelming me?
  2. What’s different on the days that I’m feeling energized, powerful, calm and productive?
  3. What have I really, truly achieved this week? (make a list)
  4. What was my trigger for feeling overwhelmed, busy or anxious? (if you can’t work it out, start keeping a mood/feelings diary)
  5. What happened two steps before that trigger?
  6. What will I do next time I see that trigger or roadblock coming up?
  7. What is missing in my day, that causes me to choose to lie awake at night ruminating?
  8. What are the things I need to do during the day at work, to ensure I get a good night’s sleep?
  9. What is it about my environment or habits that I can change to help me put my mind at rest and allow me to feel calm?
  10. What are the rituals/time requirements I need to put in place, so I can plan and execute tasks more effectively and feel productive?
  11. When do I need to do those things?
  12. What are the specifically steps I need to do, and how do I create the space for that?
  13. How do I know when my week is at comfortable capacity (in terms of responsibilities/tasks) – what does it feel like?
  14. What is the absolute minimum I will be happy to achieve each day at work?
  15. What mental state do I need to create each day to set me up for success – and how do I create it?


What have you learned?

Hopefully by now, you have some inkling of what’s going on for you.

At some point in the week, your energy and enthusiasm seem to turn to dust. These questions aim to help you work out when, why, and what you can do about it.

Perhaps you are a bit like your client who is overenthusiastic and busting to get results NOW. They are so excited that they want to exercise 7 days per week, drink 3L of water per day and eat 21 perfect meals with absolutely no alcohol. 

Check in with yourself and see what's driving you, and what's blocking you.

Your emotional states of enthusiasm and love of your business help to propel you forward.

Your logical reality is what will hold you on a steady, sustainable, productive and fulfilling course.

Both of these need to be nurtured. The trick for you is to work out the structures that will help you combine these two in absolute harmony.

Need help with managing your productivity and energy at work?

Contact me for a 15-minute chat and let’s see if I can help.

Motivation is not all equal



Here we go – 2017 is underway and we all love a fresh start. The new year can give us the opportunity to begin new projects, to make changes, to wipe out any of the less uplifting parts of the previous year.  But what do we need to actually make a change?

There’s no getting away from it – that overused term – “Motivation”!  And if you want to know more about it, there is no shortage of material, books, articles, speakers etc. to fill you in. But really what does it mean to be motivated? The essence of motivation is energy.  Energy to drive us forward to make that change.  Yet motivation can also come from many different areas – some more powerful than others.

Let’s keep it simple and look at two sources. Controlled motivation and autonomous motivation.  Both can be helpful but one more than the other.
Controlled motivation comes from outside.  Often from another person, who may well have the best interests in mind for the person they are pushing to make a change. Health professionals have traditionally been the people who provide “controlled motivation.” They provide all the facts, the dangers and the wisdom of their superior knowledge to convince their clients to make a change. When someone is influenced by this type of motivation, they tend to “comply” with someone else’s desires.  You may have heard this referred to as extrinsic motivation, but “controlled” suggests that there is a third party involved.  Frequently there is an element of fear inherent in the urge to change.

Autonomous motivation has quite a different feeling about it.  This is when a person is motivated by interest, desire and choice. They have a sense of control and value over the change they're about to make.  They are energised in a different way and often feel a sense of excitement about the challenge ahead.  Health and wellness coaches work in this space... Their job is to “unleash” their clients’ own motivation to change.

Why is the latter so much more powerful than the former?  As human beings, we have certain drives that are universal and one is the drive to control our own destiny to be “autonomous” and “self-determining”.  Although the support of a coach or other person may be of great help, ultimately we will become more flexible and creative, persistent and successful when we are driven from within.  

How we do tap into this type of motivation?  Simply by reflecting on the importance of the change we wish to make.  Time spent uncovering our real reasons to change is time well spent and an investment in the outcome of our efforts.  All too often, we rush in to do what others have propounded as being the “right” way to live.  Why not stop and ask yourself:
  • What will this change mean to me?
  • What will happen if I continue the way I am living?
  • What else might change if I am successful?
  • What does the change represent to me?
Then we’re armed with what we need to move forward.  But only then!

Two Words


The new year is well and truly on us and before we know it, we are into the swing of things and are now wondering where the holiday went. But most of us take some time, if only a moment or two, to ponder what lies ahead. What do we want for 2017?  Do we have new directions to travel in? New challenges to enjoy?  Notice I have not once said the word “goal”... Not that there is anything wrong with having goals, as long as we don’t get caught up in a mad rush to achieve them.  

What I prefer to do each year is to find two words that I can focus on that mean something significant to me at this point in time.  And I let those words “colour” my  plans and way of living.  So, for example, my two words for this year are, “Balance” and “Freedom”.  I won’t indulge myself by explaining what they mean to me, but I think you’ll get the general idea. 

So why am I sharing this?  Because I think it is just another creative way of working with clients at a time when most of them are busy, they've set new years’ resolutions (that often are broken by now) and planning to make major changes in their lives, which suggests that things are really not going well.  The reality is, we have all spent the last year growing, learning and experiencing a variety of things.  Hopefully, we have ended up with more information about what we want, what we don’t want and are feeling fairly clear after a nice rest and reset that Xmas and New Year can often give us.  Choosing two words keeps it nice and simple, creates a feeling of control and gives us clarity around what we need most. 

What are your two words?  How do they apply to your life?  How can you bring more of those two elements into your world?  Share this with your clients.  Have fun with them as you invite them to do the same. Spend time talking about what those words mean for your clients.  Coaching does not always have to be delving into the dark stuff.  There is always room for laughter and lightness; for fun and anticipation; for a sense of the unknown whilst feeling grounded in who we are and what we stand for. 

Go lightly into the rest of 2017 and make it a wonderful year. 

Helping our Clients Define Success



Inevitably, our clients want to move forward - in a direction that they may have struggled with in the past. In fact they may even have failed in that area. So their drive is to succeed this time, which is why they have a Wellness Coach.

Our job as a Wellness Coach is to help them define exactly what it is they wish to achieve and of course to help them get there. But first, conversation around this concept of “success” is essential. Closely related to the idea of achievement is the notion of  ”ambition” and an exploration of both terms can reveal interesting insights for both ourselves and our clients. 

Some people describe themselves as ambitious and others may not relate to the term. The word is often associated with competition and succeeding at the expense of others, but if we accept that a better and more accurate definition is “a strong desire to do or achieve something", surely we would like our clients to become more “ambitious” around their goals? Words can do strange things to our interpretation of life. Success and ambition are really very personal constructs and relate purely to what a person truly wishes to obtain in their life. So to be motivated and enthusiastic about working towards goals is a great thing as it can lead to success, but in this sense, “success” is not about “winning”, neither is ambition.

The first question to ask a client is “what makes you fulfilled and happy in life?”  By doing this we can uncover a person’s core values.  So let’s take a look at a few examples. They may identify strongly with any of the following:

  • Imagination and creativity;
  • Kindness and compassion;
  • Lifelong learning;
  • Building relationships and connection with others.
These are all values and also strengths and if we can recognize what really drives us, we can then set goals accordingly and ensure that the steps along the way give us opportunities to incorporate these core values.

The next question is, “How do you measure success?” The answer to this could be anything, and you may hear responses such as:

  • How much fun I have in life;
  • How peaceful and calm I feel;
  • How much I can contribute to the world.
These bigger picture questions and answers can help shift someone’s mindset and help them identify changes they would like to make that may be somewhat different from what they thought they wanted, or at the very least affect the choice of the ways in which they choose to move forward. When we work with clients to help them define the steps they wish to take, we must never forget to explore their bigger world view first.

Reflections on being a "Well" Being


Having just spent a wonderful weekend at the Noosa Sports Festival recently I feel inspired to write a few lines about the experience. 

You see the weekend was all about physical effort and challenge. I went along entered into one of the two cycling events, feeling a little concerned about whether I was really up for it!  Not that I was worried I wouldn’t finish, but I just didn’t feel I had the killer instinct that is so important to “do your best”. So my friend and I decided that we’d do it “for fun”.  And fun we had. 

Surprisingly, after comfortably riding our way over the 85k distance, stopping when we felt like it and having the odd conversation with people along the way, we still earned a respectable place in the finishers.

But what really struck me was that the focus on the physical effort and competition side of things was almost secondary to the mental satisfaction of the whole weekend. Once again, this idea of physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing merged together in my mind.

Whilst the effect of the (relatively small) amount of training we did for the race no doubt had a positive effect on cardiovascular fitness, the biggest buzz came from the mental and emotional benefits of the weekend. Enter our good friend Seligman with his definition of what makes a good life:

P ositive emotions. Yes we experienced plenty of those. Excitement, humour, awe at the scenery, elation and pride at the finish line.

E ngagement. No doubt about that. Focusing on covering the distance produced plenty of flow – the sense of absorption and absence of thought.

R elationships were strengthened with the people we went away with, the people we met up with and of course, the people we competed with.

M eaning. What was it all about? What value did I place on the event? Much more than I had anticipated. I had forgotten how joining in a community event like this creates such a strong sense of camaraderie and a statement about how physical fitness is such a wonderful thing to have.  Being outdoors and experiencing scenes of nature that I might not have seen otherwise, was another bonus. Testing myself to the small degree I did reminded me of the satisfaction that comes from having something to strive for.

chievement – no doubt about that feeling. It didn’t matter how many people were in front of us, there were plenty behind. And yes, passing riders felt much better than begin passed. The sense of satisfaction at having completed the distance, but more than that, having met my goal of having fun and not feeling wrecked at the end, were all immensely satisfying.

Just another example of how physical and mental wellbeing can be and should be completely inseparable.

Three Things that Drive Us


The subject of motivation is a long, complex and incredibly interesting one. Even defining what motivation is can be tricky.  As the word's meaning is  derived from the verb,  "to move" it suggests that it is all about action and drive.  Yet, at its purest form, we can also relate it to what gives life meaning, or what we strive for.  Current literature contains some great ideas on what people, in general, really desire.  

There are three elements that keep cropping under different names that seem to be very important. One of them is, the need/drive for:

Control of our own life.  
Sometimes, called self determination, sometimes, autonomy the sense behind is that we really want to be in charge of our own destiny - in the future and on a day to day basis.  When this control is taken away from us, and things go wrong, the "victim mentality" can easily set in.  At least if we make a bad decision, it was our own responsibility.  Self responsibility is what is needed for people to make choices that create good lives for themselves - or ones they have chosen.  

Control is taken away when we are not consulted on important decisions - at work or at home.  We feel we have no say.  When experts keep telling us what to do without taking into account our personal feelings.  When rules are made that we don't understand.  There are lots of times we feel bypassed and this create despondency and a lack of, well, motivation!

How can we regain this feeling of self determination?
By making our own decisions instead of looking to someone else to choose for us. In the area of health and wellness this happens constantly.  We know what we should eat, what we should (or shouldn't) drink, what's good for us, what's bad for us, what to avoid, what rules we should live by in we want to live long and well.  Yet, many people feel dis empowered by this constant stream of advice.  Time spent working out what we want and why we want it will assist us in making choices based on current knowledge, but that work for us.. And if they don't work, then we can can try something else but we are continually taking responsibility for our own lives.  Responsibility simply means, "the ability to respond" and that suggests we have a choice. And that choice gives us what we truly need - a feeling of control.

The second element that really gives us that push to move forward is the need/drive for is Mastery or Competence.

Not only do we like to be self determining creatures but we also like to good at things! If we are not given the opportunity to expand our knowledge and abilities we will often stagnate, become demotivated and at times cease to grow.  This is an inherent characteristic in the human psyche and it is a shame that more employers didn't realise it!  Essentially it means we seek to improve ourselves all the time - Maslow called it "self actualisation". So what does this mean in our quest for better health and wellness?

Two things:
If you are someone who is working towards an outcome, it is important to find something in the plan you have made that gives you that chance to become proficient at at least one of the changes. So say, for example, you have decided to cut out meat for a while; enrolling in a vegetarian cooking class could not only help you stick to the non meat diet, but give you a sense of accomplishment as your cooking skills improve.  This will be more satisfying and help you stick to your plan than if you were simply say, cutting out meat!

As a client or a trainer, we need to have goals to work towards.  Not only do we get a feeling of having done what we said we'd do, we also can get a sense of competence if that goal has some element of challenge in it.  So when we do decide to set a plan for the week, or quarter, try and include something in it that you have to either learn something new or overcome some resistance or fear.  Playing a sport, doing a new class, running a certain distance are all good examples but you can be as creative as you like.

Fact remains -  we like to do things well and be good at something.  We don't have to be the best but we do like to have a degree of proficiency that will feed our sense of self worth and accomplishment.

The Third and biggest drive we have as human beings is the desire to "belong" 

This is also referred to as having a sense of connectedness or, its most basic form - to be loved.  They may seem like very different things but the reality is the underlying emotional need that is being filled is pretty much the same - just diluted a bit.  So what is a sense of connection or connectedness?  Well if we look at the opposite - a sense of isolation - it becomes clear.  We want to feel that we have bonds with people around us.  That someone cares about us;  that we "belong" to a community of some sort.  Whether this is at work, at home, in our neighbourhood, in our gym, or even online (think Facebook), this need is evident.  All our theorists in the area of motivation agree on this important element that drives us and gives us a feeling of life satisfaction and wellbeing.  Without it, we exist alone and it is easy to succumb to depression and sense of lack of meaning.  There may be the rare individual who simply loves his or her own company 24 hours a day,  but they are few and far between.  People require love  and approval to bloom.  

What does this information tell us about our lives?  Do we have groups that we belong to and where we feel accepted and appreciated?  Do we feel part of something bigger than just ourselves?  Do we have people to share our experiences, to support us when we are down and to celebrate with us when we succeed?  If we look closely at our lives, we find that these groups are incredibly important to us.  So as we work towards greater health, is it surprising that support groups, team sports, health club timetables draw us in and often keep us going when times get tough.  We do not exist in a bubble and we derive meaning from our relationship with others.  

Let's keep those groups alive by recognising their importance and connecting with the people in them.



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