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Are you doing what you do for the right reasons?

When I was playing sport, I have to admit performing well was a combination of being about the internal satisfaction that brought, helping the team perform well but also to a degree about being recognised as a good performer.

It certainly wasn’t all about being recognised, I was certainly never the best at any sport that I played, but there was an element of me that appreciated being appreciated.

As my coaching developed, it became about the teams I coached performing well, and developing the players’ skills, their knowledge of the game and their ability to make good decisions under pressure.

Of the two phases of my sporting life, I must admit that the longer lasting satisfaction came from the coaching. To see players take the skills you had taught them and implement them week by week brought a tremendous amount of satisfaction, and at times even though the team didn’t win every week, the development continued on a regular basis.

As I have progressed into adventure coaching, the same applies. I still get a buzz out of climbing a mountain, that never goes away, but there’s little about it that is important to me in terms of being recognised for having done that. I don’t mean that I don’t care when someone tells me they like what I have achieved, it’s still important to recognise praise and respond to it when someone offers it.

What I really prefer to do is to focus on the achievements of the clients – for some it’s a new challenge to conquer, a new mountain on their list of achievements. For others, it may be their first time attempting such a feat, it may even be that they have never walked 15kms in one go before, and that should be acknowledged and celebrated as a great achievement.

Everyone has some sort of mountain to climb – whether it’s physical or metaphorical.

For some it’s taking the steps to join a gym, or to go out to a bar with friends if they’ve been separated for a while, or to go to the supermarket on their own if they have social anxiety disorder.

There are all sorts of battles being fought by all sorts of people on a daily basis.

Some people get stuck though in needing the extrinsic motivation, pats on the back from others.

Some people get caught up in telling everyone what they are going to do, but don’t actually make those things happen.

Others pass through this stage and find happiness in doing things to feel good about themselves.

There are those who waver between the two depending on the situation and the context they find themselves in.

Why do you do what you do?

Your weekend Parkruns, your CrossFit sessions, your food preparation pics on social media?

There’s nothing wrong with doing any or all of these things, but do you know deep down why you do them?

These are pretty cool things to do, they’re certainly going to help you be healthy and get you around motivated people. They’re not a bad thing at all. But why do you do them?

And if you are not doing something active, not following a healthy diet, not committing to your goals, or in the case of our business, not following through and turning up to an event you committed yourself to – why are you doing those things? Or why are you not doing those things that would help you achieve them?

Are you recycling the same story about why you can’t/won’t/don’t do them?

Are those reasons even valid?

Have you said them out loud and listened to them as they would sound to someone else’s ears?

That’s a trick I’ve taught myself.

I’ve had to, because there have been plenty of times when I’ve not done the things needed to achieve a goal.

But to say them out loud, to someone else, puts a whole new spin on it.

You can justify those reasons to yourself in your mind, because you think nobody else will hit you with a hard truth about them.

Say them out loud. See how they sound.

Do they still hold weight?

Do they sound a little lame?

Written by

Matt Jolley has been coaching fitness and sports for over 25 years. He has led several treks to complete the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea as well as operating a multi day trek along the Great Ocean Walk several times a year and also runs a Bali Fitness Adventure and a Lombok Trek Adventure - encouraging everyone to take on a challenge and grow from it

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