Lesson #2: How to motivate yourself to get into the kitchen

After looking at the “Why” in cooking, and the value system, it is important to focus on an essential point in any activity: motivation. Sometimes we are motivated, sometimes we are not. Like the weather, it's changeable!

The reasons for motivation

Concretely and simply, motivation is what pushes us to do something or achieve a goal. Often confused with an emotion or a state of being, it is true that we often speak of motivation as a holy grail to obtain: either “I am motivated” and this allows me to take action, or I consider myself “unmotivated” and I procrastinate, I cannot achieve my goals. A bit as if motivation were the missing piece of a puzzle and responsible for our success… or our inaction.

Finally, we are entitled to question this very broad definition of motivation: “what pushes one to do something”. But what is this “thing” that “pushes” us to action? Where does this momentum, this inner movement come from?

You should know that with action comes motivation, that is to say that very often, action precedes motivation, especially at the start of new resolutions. This may seem very counterintuitive, and yet…

For example, someone who cooks little or nothing and says to themselves “I want to start cooking” for this or that reason (eat better, feel better about themselves, save money, etc.) but I lack motivation , I don't know where to start, I don't want to spend 3 hours in the kitchen because I'm tired… In reality, here, we see clearly that what “motivates” is the objective (the reason) and not necessarily the action as such at the beginning.

Our brains are calibrated to obtain immediate rather than delayed rewards

Like when we start a new hobby and we don't know much, we feel lost, frustrated… The guitar for example, at the beginning, we are not very talented, it sounds false, we have the sore fingertips with the strings, you can't play much… It's not always fun at the very beginning, and it's even more difficult for some when it comes to getting back to playing. something they have already done and mastered before, because we say to ourselves “I have to start from scratch”. Except that we never start from scratch! It's like cycling: you can't forget it.

It is also interesting to remember that our brain is calibrated to obtain immediate rather than delayed rewards. So, even if I want to start cooking, what can be perceived as a constraint or an effort (finding a recipe, taking out the ingredients, cleaning up afterwards) is immediate, and the reward deferred (the pride of having it in fact, the reward of eating and sharing our dish).
Conversely, if I decide not to cook, order something, or make a prepared meal, the reward is immediate (pleasure, comfort, saving time, etc.), but the constraint comes later (the internal dialogue of self-criticism and judgment: I'm useless, I can't motivate myself, I should have cooked, I regret… even health problems which can develop if the diet in question is not healthy and that this behavior is daily: bloating, reflux, cholesterol, deficiencies, etc.).

It's a vicious circle because this self-judgment will contribute to undermining self-esteem and self-confidence, and reduce our ability to take action next time. We end up saying to ourselves “I'll never get into it anyway, it's not for me”, thus reinforcing the belief – erroneous and limiting – that on one side there are people who cook, and on the other, those who don't cook.

The more we identify with a certain group, the more our unconscious will seek to validate this belief in reality

The problem with identity beliefs is that the more we identify with a certain group, the more our unconscious will seek to validate this belief in reality. Indeed, as the unconscious needs consistency between what it is and what it does, it will prevent any new behavior that could call this belief into question. This gives rise to what some call self-sabotage (“I want to do this, but I can’t, I feel blocked”).
In reality, the term self-sabotage is incorrect, since the unconscious does not sabotage itself, on the contrary, it gives you exactly what you want… It implements behaviors in accordance with your beliefs!

So, if I think that I am not someone who cooks, then my subconscious will say that it is not possible that I “really” start cooking. And even if I manage to cook from time to time, I will continue to justify this by telling myself “it's not because I cook once a week that I'm someone who cooks”, “it's not not enough”, “it’s exceptional”, “I’m not like those who cook” etc.

Discover the complete file
Episode 1. Lesson #1: Why can't I start cooking?
Episode 3. It's decided, I'm starting to cook: Boredom and the power of transformational language
Episode 4. It's decided, I'm starting to cook: Failure and learning by level


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