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Here’s Why You Can’t Motivate Yourself

Updated: January 23, 2017

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  1. Oh my gosh, Caitlin!!! This post is EXACTLY what I needed!! After I finished proofing all the transcripts I stopped because I didn’t think I would be able to pass the test. You suggested I buy Margie’s workbook to get more practice with the grammar rules that were new to me. I’ve managed to put that off for several months now by telling myself that I’ll just fail in the end, that it’s too difficult to do at my age, and that I only want to work in addition to my “regular” job to prep for retirement four years from now — so what’s the point? I did finally order the workbook a few days ago, but this post came at the perfect time for me! Thank you soooo much for the help you keep giving us!!

  2. When it was clear I wouldn’t/couldn’t finish the transcripts in 60 days, I bought the rest of the course, which bought me time, which made me relax perhaps too much. However, since the New Year, I have made time each morning for about an hour–occasionally less time–of proofreading and studying. The end is not in sight, which takes the pressure off so that I can absorb the information at my own rate.

  3. What a great post and very timely! So much what I needed to hear!

  4. I really needed to hear this today !!! I have so many areas that I need to fix! Weight, getting through PT1, decluttering my house, you name it!
    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Pick ONE thing and do just that. Then tomorrow, pick another thing. Get in the habit of doing one thing over and over no matter what.

  5. Very powerful post! Such truth! I’m the girl who does tons and tons of reading and research before I just launch out and DO something. I want to make sure I have dotted every “i” and crosses every “t” and that it seems safe to go ahead and take the leap. But a lot of times I do so much research that I become easily discouraged or so overwhelmed with information that I just stop in my tracks! I’m making the effort to stop researching so much and just DO! Thanks for the post!

    1. We do that to be safe, right!?! And we forget that by “DOING” we learn… sometimes a lot more than we learn when we research, eh?!

      1. Yep, perfectionism (infamous euphemism of “fear of failure”) is a culprit to action much of the time. I, too, am a culprit of it. ??‍♀️

    2. Yep, that’s me, too! I research myself into a tizzy and get “analysis paralysis” with everything! And I end up stuck in the mud with my wheels spinning but getting nowhere. This post is what I needed to hear today. I’ve got a huge amount on my plate right now, and I need to stop analyzing and getting side-tracked. As the Nike ad says. – Just Do It!!!

  6. That is one great blog post! I really appreciate your words, and it is so true. Thanks for sharing your struggles and results, and for the paradigm shift is has given me.

  7. hey Caitlin i’m also struggling to loose the unwanted fat so i’m going to try to commit myself everyday thank it really helps.

      1. I love Jessica Smith. She has a youtube channel that I watch. She has some free videos on it.

  8. Getting up in the dark to work on my creative practice five days/week! Believe me, this morning I wasn’t feeling it at all. But when my timer went off, I was so pumped and didn’t want to stop. That feeling of accomplishment first thing fires the rest of my day! Thank you so much for this post, Caitlin. You hit the nail directly on the head–not motivation, but self-discipline!!

  9. What a wonderful post!! Motivation is so over-rated (as a first step) and I agree 100% that self-discipline is the way to go!

    I read your Facebook post and think you’ve hit that nail bang on the head as well 🙂 Dieting rarely works in the long run – it’s got to be a lifestyle change with the expectation that it will last forever & slow and steady wins the race in body & business changes 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m moving sooooo slowly right now, but I don’t hate my life and the changes are so sustainable. That is so important!!

  10. My sentiments exactly!!! I greatly appreciate you willingness to share your vast knowledge of this subject. I have looked forward to your daily lesson. I can’t wait until I am able to take the full course! I too am trying to plan ahead for retirement. Your introductory course has been the plan of action I need to get me started in the right direction. Again, that you for allowing me to see what your program entails!

  11. I recently quit my job after 10 years with no new prospect in sight. TERRIFYING! I can’t afford to be unemployed, I have a family, and mortgage, car payments, etc., and I have no large savings account to fall back on. My goal is to create a working atmosphere for myself that is both profitable, and good for me. To work from home. I did always believe that motivation is where it all began. I love this new insight, and plan to implement it for as many things as I can. Instead of thinking of myself as unmotivated, I will turn that way of thinking around; I will think of myself as self disciplined and self responsible. I have always tried to motivate myself by saying things like “I can do this”, now I will say to myself “I am doing this”.
    I am doing this.

    1. YEEESS!!! We can just forget motivation for the most part. Appreciate it when it shows up… but when it’s not there, we do not mourn. We MOVE 😀

  12. Thank you so much! First thing on my self-discipline agenda is to stop limiting myself to only observing and start participating. I always read the comments on blogs, articles, etc, but never contribute myself! Maybe because of sheer laziness or thinking my thoughts are unimportant, but time to start moving forward with something. Thanks for the “motivation” to start cultivating self-discipline and along with that conquer the fear of failure or rejection.
    Thanks again and “here I go”!

    1. What an awesome step!! I am glad you left this comment. I need to get better about commenting on content myself 🙂 I don’t do it enough, probably for the same reasons as you 😉

  13. No Caitlin, I’m afraid that is not my problem. I lost 150 pounds in 6 months by walking. I weighed over 300 pounds on my 5 ft frame and woke up on my 61st birthday unable to walk. God told me to “get up and walk” I said but I can’t. God repeated it twice more so I dragged my body out of bed and walked around the bed. Each day I walked a few more steps until I walked out for six miles and came back. I didn’t that each day for six months and weighed less than 150 pounds. I’ve stayed there because I’m comfortable at that weight and look like a cadaver at less so motivation and procrastination are not my issues. I am now manic and over stimulated by my active mind. I work at putting the lid on daily.
    I loved your story but that is not mine. I am reading a great book called. Brain Rules. I highly recommend it. By John Medina I think. You will like it a lot. Let me know.
    Peace and Blessings,

  14. Perfect timing, Caitlin! I find myself drowning in a cesspool of inaction these days. I am behind on my part time desk job and feeling like it doesn’t matter if I follow up on that complaint because they won’t be happy anyhow. I haven’t touched my sewing business because I don’t have time. I have to find a new doctor for my husband. Guess what I haven’t done yet – because Workers Comp just runs in circles. I haven’t looked at a single email from the “black hole” job sites I signed up with. I need a full time job or a viable way to add enough income for medical insurance and filling the paycheck gap when my husband retires in July. I picked one thing to do to pursue the job hunt last week and didn’t do it for fear of failure. I am pretty much not showing up to life right now.

    The list is overwhelming, but, thanks to this post, I will – pick one thing, write it down, do it before the end of the day, and make a big fat check mark next to it. Then I will repeat the process until I am back on track.

    1. YES!! Awesome. I sometimes call it my (pardon my French…) “bare-ass minimum” for the day. I will do that ONE THING. ONE THING. And if I get nothing else done, that will make a difference.

  15. There is actually a difference between discipline and commitment. Discipline says “I know I should do this.” Commitment says “I am committed and will do it.”
    Commitment is key to making things happen. Discipline is the knowledge you should do something but there’s always the question of should I do it?

  16. Hi,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. Sometimes, we are aware of the facts but just not able to make up our mind to accept it and follow. We need to hear the same from others. While reading this post, soon after the start, I was about to shift to something else, but then it sounded true and I wanted to complete it, I decided to read it all in one go. I am feeling very positive now and this gave me a target to complete.

  17. Needed this today… I flew through the course up to the practice transcripts and then got overwhelmed, as we were in the process of moving. Haven’t gotten back on track, and I really need to start earning some additional income. I need to make a commitment to working on the practice transcripts every day and get this done! Thanks!

  18. Boy, did I need to read this today!
    You are absolutely right. I have been waiting for motivation to “strike” me; it really does not work that way. When you talked about exercise, you hit me between the eyes. For years I worked out at a specified time about 5 days a
    week even when I didn’t want to because it made me feel so good
    Discipline and action made it work for me. Why I haven’t used the same principles in the proofreading course is beyond me. Thanks for your timely article!
    Mary Richmond

    1. So glad it was helpful, Mary!! It is so crazy how our minds work for one thing and convince us it’s different for others… it’s really all the same when it comes to getting things DONE, isn’t it?!

  19. I definitely needed this reminder. This method has been working for me since the beginning of the year, in regards to yoga and meditation, even if it’s only a quick meditation and one pose. But I’ve stuck with it, and often I do more. Now, if only I can apply this to the rest of my life and build my committment muscle!

  20. Preach it, sister!
    I had the ridiculous idea to go back to school and pursue a masters degree a few years back…with a full-time job, newborn child, legit commute, and a household to run. You know what finished that degree? It sure as hell wasn’t motivation that got my @$$ up at 5am every morning to study during the only free time I’d get in a day. It was my own SELF-discipline 😉

  21. Hey, Caitlin! Great article. Personally, I am definitely afraid, but my biggest challenge is internet access. I live outside of the US and sometimes, at my home, the internet is down for weeks at a time!
    Yesterday, I came up with a plan of checking the internet early in the morning. If it is not working, I have friends who are allowing me to use theirs while they are at work. Why don’t I go to a cafe? My finances are seriously limited and I have to conserve as much as possible.
    In a few months, I will be returning to the US. With a completed course, I will be prepared to make money right away. That’s my motivation.

    1. Good for you!! I know how being abroad with crappy internet can seriously affect my work mojo — you have great friends!!

  22. Self discipline is easier said than done. It is certainly key to success, though. For me, I need less distractions so that I can get a grip on self discipline. And yet, compensating for distractions is part of self discipline. We’ll see how I do.

  23. I really appreciate you writing this post. It is motivating (pun intended)! Thank you!!!

  24. Hi Caitlyn,
    This article hit the “nail on the head” for me. I have things I want to do and pursue. Zilch action, making up all these excuses in my head.
    I will definitely take heed and live the life I’m supposed to. SMILE
    Thanks so much!

  25. Crap. You hit the nail right on the head with this one. And thank you for doing so. Now that I see what is really happening I will be able to “do it anyway”. This removes the cycle of excuses.

    Thanks for this timely post!

  26. I feel like you wrote this post about me. I have to really work at not procrastinating. I find it helpful to keep a schedule for things that I need to do (exercise, school, work). On the days that I stray from my scheduled blocks of time, I will always find something that I’d rather be doing, and I run out of time for my “need to do” tasks. I know that I will always feel bad about not exercising, working enough, or spending enough time on school, and keeping that in mind helps me stay disciplined/committed.

    I am going to save the link so that I can come back to this post at times where I might feel like giving up.

  27. Great post! Hard work = success. It’s showing up and doing the work, whether you feel like it or not, that gets results. That’s self-discipline. The only way to fail is to quit showing up.

  28. Gah, I SO NEEDED THIS TODAY, CAITLIN!!!!! I NEED to get past the inaction and get my butt into GEAR! I need a schedule where I chip away a little bit every single day no matter what. I have goals, #stlucia2018, and I refuse to miss out when I have this sitting in my lap waiting only for for me to make it happen.

  29. Your post is just what I needed. I tell myself all the time that I’m not motivated and that’s why I don’t exercise or try making new recipes or even start your course. It’s almost like I’m justifying it to myself that I can’t get it done because I’m not motivated. So much negativity in that thought process. Now, I might say I’m not motivated, but I AM SELF-DISCIPLINED and I will get it done. My negative thinking has been holding me back from enrolling in your course. Not anymore! Thank you for your enlightening post! I can do this!

    1. Right there with you!! Make a sticky note or even a full sheet of paper and post it where you’ll see it every day to remind yourself of that fact 😀

  30. Hey Caitlin…Hope you are doing great!

    This post was awesome!! It was just perfect for me. The one thing I am gonna start doing right away, is, reading more books to help me move forward in life and career. I must say, this post certainly gave me a lot of useful insights. ‘Showing up’ is certainly yielding results for me, as I am also working out everyday for the past 6 months and am feeling great! So, I can understand your thoughts perfectly.

    Thanks a ton for the time you invest in churning out wonderful articles like these!

  31. Perfect timing, thank you Caitlin! I’m one of those who got going in the course, then stopped about halfway through the PTs. I felt overwhelmed with a full time job, a part time job, and other studies. On top of that, we were planning our leap into location independence starting the end of November. Now that we have achieved that, and I only have a part time job commitment, there are no more excuses, no more stories to write in my head. Just yesterday I re-committed to finishing the PTs and the rest of the course. This is the perspective I need to have. Just take action and I will see results. Simple.

    1. Yessss! So awesome. Sometimes it’s hard to see the possible results beyond the obstacles/work it takes to get there. They block our view. But the reality is simple… do the work to overcome those barriers, and you’ll see results!!

  32. I’ve been meaning to ask you, Caitlin, if we might have been twins separated at birth ?
    You certainly got the best stuff (I can only wish that I had had your wisdom when I was your age 30 years ago), but I have to say that your self-talk is an echo in my life script.

    Reading your article just now, I was reminded of a recent conversation with my very wise yoga instructor. I had been sharing with her my doubts about my ability to successfully complete the PA course and launch my own freelance PA business. She said, “Listen to and inwardly digest very carefully, Treesie, this Buddhist mantra: “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” I have framed that mantra and hung it next to my bed so that it is the first thing I see when I open my eyes every morning.
    I have another copy of that mantra hanging next to my computer (I’m looking at it even as I type), and as I work through the units of Module 2, my eyes read and digest it as often as my flagging confidence needs to.

    What you think, you become, Treesie.
    What you feel, you attract, Treesie.
    What you imagine, you create, Treesie.

    I CAN do this !

    1. I feel quite silly asking this, but are y’all able to see my comments in this section of the course units?
      I’m just a tad concerned since I’ve never received any replies to my comments/questions.
      Please don’t think that I’m the student raising her hand and waving it wildly in order to get the teacher’s attention or that of my fellow students.
      Truly, there is no need to respond here other than to figuratively nod your head.
      I’m really not channeling Horton in Whoville town square!

      1. We do see them 🙂 And I love all of them. I’ve just trained my support teamsters to have laser vision for the question mark, and since your comments don’t contain questions, it probably didn’t flag for ’em. I certainly appreciate your comments and I know the other students do too. There’s an option to subscribe to new replies, so if the other students to whom you’re replying don’t receive those notification emails or didn’t subscribe when commenting themselves, they may not see your comments.

        1. Thanks, Caitlin !

          I thought I’d asked a question somewhere, but either I must have been dreaming, or I saw an answer to my question before posting mine!

          I will check the options to subscribe to new replies!

          Thanks again for your response as well as for this course.
          I am enjoying it immensely !

  33. I want to add something to this excellent post. This Vox piece (link below) about self control really hit me because this is what separates the people who say they will do something from those who actually do it. Caitlin, your post reminded of this piece and I hope this is a useful addition to your train of thought and not a derailment. 😀

    In short: to accomplish goals we should set up habits so we don’t have to employ self control and we have to find ways to make the process fun:


    For example, when I get up in the morning I put on my gym clothes and I walk to the gym. I do this every day. I may be too sore to do much more than gentle stretching on a particular morning, but I don’t give myself the option to opt out. Life will force me to opt out due to illness or injury enough as it is. In this way I don’t have to muster motivation because this is a life habit. No self control required.

    I believe that this is what you mean by showing up and doing instead of waiting for motivation?

    It’s also important to remember that when we slip up it’s not a moral failing and not a reason to give up!

    1. Yes — HABITS! I had to get up eeeearly for a dentist appointment this morning and did not get my morning workout in. I missed it and found it SO HARD to do any activity in the afternoon. I realized I’d built up a habit I enjoyed in the MORNING… but not one I’d enjoy in the afternoon. Lol.

  34. GREAT post! This definitely applies to my life right now. I’ve been on Weight Watchers and have been learning this lesson for the past couple months. You’re only going to see results when you take action. It’s funny how it seems like a simple equation (1+1 = 2), but we turn it into a calculus problem! Lol 🙂 My action has caused me to be down 13.8 lbs in 2 months, and I’ll never stop. Now this program is getting me excited in a whole new area of my life. Thank you for your supportive posts! This program is awesome!

    1. That is AMAZING!! More than 13 lbs — that’s a LOT!! Congratulations 😀 I am so glad you’re enjoying my program and your new lease on life 😀

  35. Thank you for this post on motivation. This is what I have been needing. It’s something I’ve known in the back of my mind but not something that I’ve really taken to heart and examined.

    And it tells me that, though I am capable of doing legal proofreading and transcription, what really gives me joy is writing fiction. Writing fiction is what I plan to do every day, to one extent or another. It’s what I think about every day, throughout the day. But I am not consistent with it, and your post was the kick in the butt I needed. Now I know what to do and the attitude I need to have. Many, many thanks.

  36. Motivating post! I made goals for just January this year, all intended to be done daily. I do find it easier to commit to daily goals instead of random ones or only on certain days. The main one I’m focused on currently and will continue after this month is writing 500 words per day, every day.

  37. Thank you so much Caitlin! It’s like you knew exactly what I needed to hear. I have been stressing over no motivation , no desire and wondering if I’m good enough to do this work. Thank you for the virtual kick in the tail! It made me realize I’m not the only one who feels like this!

  38. You nailed it Caitlin. Your post and blog is helping me overcome my fears for the first time in years. This is an eye opener. I’ve always wanted to be translator, interpreter and am good at proofreading. Never dared to pursue my dream. Thank you!!

  39. Hi, Caitlin!

    Wow! What a wonderful lesson. I have actually been terrified of success because it will be a huge change and I have a hard time with that. I took a message you sent to me to heart and went ahead with publishing my novel. I didn’t stop there, either; I set it for release in mid-March and it’s been selling quite nicely already.

    You are absolutely right about motivation. I can have all the motivation, advice, well-wishes of by support system, and even my own get-up-and-go as soon as my eyes pop open in the morning, but it is my action that makes me feel like digging in and doing more and keeping it going for good. It’s opening my emails, learning my lessons and writing every day that makes me happy. I love being productive because then I haven’t wasted a day.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I wish you well in all of your endeavors as you have helped me in mine!


  40. Great article. This is the second article I’m reading this week that talks about self-sabotage, so I feel like I’m getting a message! 🙂 And I agree with what you said about picking one thing. That’s been something that’s always worked for me. Honestly, I’m having a bit of trouble picking one thing right now because there seem to be so many things! But if I had to pick one, at the moment I would say giving time for creativity. I’m now off to do some writing! Thanks for the post!

  41. It’s definitely hard to pick one thing! Good luck with your writing! 🙂

  42. This is a terrific article and very true. For a time there, I found myself watching motivational videos on YouTube to help get me going, but I never did. Finally, after feeling down and out, I realized I needed to make a plan, stay focused and execute the plan. The hardest challenge, that I’m still learning, is accepting set backs that happen along the way and continuing to push forward. It all comes from within. Belief, hard work and consistency.

  43. Thank you so much for this post, Caitlin. I needed it. I’m desperate to quit my soul-crushing job and work from home. Sometimes I feel so paralyzed by fear and indecision that I can hardly get anything to work toward that goal. Thanks for reminding me that it’s up to me to take action even if it’s scary or hard.

  44. Thank you for this post. I retired from my 8-6 job in Dec 2016 and had a plan to relax for six months while I researched options for a home business. I have researched the heck out of MLM and DS brands. I found your program a couple months back and worked through the introduction. I am still researching, procrastinating, talking myself out of any opportunity. It’s time for me to kickstart my plan, jump into your program and use self discipline to get me to my goals. Thank you again for this timely post!

  45. I loved this post! This is what I needed to get me going. I have been soooo unmotivated. I am going to make posters and put them up in my bedroom(work area).

  46. Show up! I absolutely loved reading. I also looove that it’s so practical! Thank you

  47. I felt the same way when I read this post! Simple + practical = RESULTS! 🙂

  48. Thank you so much for this post, Caitlin. This is exactly what I needed to hear! I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have a HUGE issue staying motivated to accomplish things in my life, and I am often so afraid of failing that I don’t want to really try. If I don’t try, then I didn’t really fail, right? Like you said, it doesn’t take feeling constantly motivation. It takes a conscious choice EVERY day. I just got married in December and still am in the process of unpacking boxes… upon boxes. I am going to commit to unpacking 3 of those boxes before February 1st AND to doing a little bit of work on the general proofreading course EVERY day until it’s done.

    1. Setting goals and accomplishing them makes you feel so good! Sometimes I put even the smallest tasks on a to-do list just so I can cross something off and feel accomplished. 🙂

  49. This may sound somewhat peculiar, but I felt as though Caitlin was literally standing at her pulpit before a wide-eyed congregation and delivering an outright rousing sermon! I kid you not.
    Frankly, as I absorbed every word of her “sermon”, there it suddenly appeared: the bare-naked truth as to why I’ve been so lackluster with a lot of my goals and I really appreciated the way she conveyed her advice which struck such an awesome chord. Her tone was resounding and the message was spot-on! The paradigm shift literally struck me like lightning. And trust me, I am a big consumer of self-help and motivational content, so I was doubly impressed with her simple , but powerful message. Kudos to you Caitlin! I had it wrong all this time, but now it’s so brilliantly clarified…thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  50. Thanks so much for sharing your story. For me, my hindrance is coming home from work and sitting down on the couch. I’ve decided to use my DVR and watch my shows in the morning as I’m getting ready. Hopefully that will help me stay focused on the evening so that I can complete my courses.

  51. I haven’t stopped my studies. I take them with me to work. So I can work on them there, when I have free time. My issues are that my mom was in a nursing home/rehab for rehab. She got sick and has been in the hospital for several days now. I’m not making excuses. These are just facts. I work on the average sixty hours a week in the emergency room at a local hospital, when I get off work i go visit my mom, then I go home to sleep for a few hours. I study on my days off and will continue steadily moving forward. I have no doubt that I will succeed. I need to hear words of encouragement as well. I appreciate the posts and all the guidance that you provide. Life will always sends obstacles to overcome, With determination, I know I will succeed. Thank you for all you do.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that your mom has been sick. Kudos to you for persisting with your studies during your free moments. Any movement forward is better than no movement forward — you’ve got this! 🙂

  52. Oh man, this was exactly what I needed to read today. I just sat down to (finally!) get back to work on your proofreading course (which is amazing, btw) and decided to search your blog for a little motivation/procrastination first. Low and behold, I found this post. Your insights are so right, and just what I needed to hear. I’m committing myself to working on your class a little bit every weekday. Thank you so much!! now, onto action …

  53. You are so wise, Caitlin. What I like about this most is that it makes me take responsibility. I am so good at being accountable to other people, but when it comes to being accountable to myself, I let it go. I have to say, in my normal daily life, I am usually fairly self-disciplined overall, BUT if something is new in my life, —- a class, an exercise routine, a volunteer project, etc — it’s easier to brush off when it’s NEW, . Nobody likes changes or challenges, even when they lead to great things — the very things we desire! I need to remind myself that the new things in my day that are leading to the achievements or goals I desire are only going to happen with my commitment to them. Does that make sense? It’s almost like i tell myself, “Well, it is okay because I wasn’t even doing this a week ago…”. You are absolutely right… I have to commit at the onset, AND it has to be with specific goals. (Daily, and at least 30 minutes, an hour, whatever…). Thanks for making me stop and think about this!

  54. Wow, how did we become convinced that motivation was the first or the key or the only thing that we needed to reach whatever goals we set for ourselves? I’m so glad to know that I can throw away this false horse-carrot-stick belief. Thanks for this, it has made my day.

  55. So. Many. Things! There are so many excuses! I’m glad, but also saddened that I’m not alone in this. Can everyone imagine how amazing the world could be if everyone in it would keep SHOWING UP and DOING IT ANYWAY?! Ugh… So much fail that doesn’t need to be there!

  56. This is an amazingly simple yet hard to grasp concept, and you have hit the nail on the head!!! I love this. I have tried so many things, with such fear of failure, and this is just what I need to succeed. I have tried to find the secret to success – I knew I was missing the key,and you have given it to me. Thank you so much.

  57. This is genius. You hit the nail squarely on the head as concerns me and most of my adult life, which is a field scattered with the fragments of unfinished projects, inclusive of a website I have been working on (and off) for years and three musical instruments which I own, but cannot play. In your piece, you pinpoint the problem very precisely; I have always relied on motivation, and motivation solely. To exacerbate the problem, I am not even a passionate person; I do not have passions, I have interests. I am attracted to those things that pique my interest, I get off to a strong start, then, inevitably, at some point, an obstacle presents itself, the pique peaks, and I am left holding the pieces (or dusting them off, in the case of my electric piano).

    This is where your article has been a major revelation for me. It was not so much an “Ah-ha!” moment, as an “Of course!” moment, which causes you to scan your past and realize that that was OBVIOUSLY the problem the entire time, but you were blind to it. (It could have been a “kick myself” moment, too, but I do not like to kick myself, because it hurts.) For someone like me, it is a message of great hope, Caitlin. Hope of being able to finally finish things once started and to complete new projects undertaken. The first one being your General Proofreading course, of course! I do not need to rely on motivation or “the spirit to move me”. I can substitute self-discipline for that. I can do self-discipline. I mean, I am by no means a master at it, but I can do that. This is very empowering.

    I just wanted to sincerely and truly thank you for this gift.

  58. As a recently retired teacher after 29 year of teaching, I totally agree with you, Caitlin. Self-discipline is definitely necessary for success. The regular planning and assessment of instruction (taking consistent action) in order to get the desired results (increase in student achievement) was not always something my fellow teachers and I felt like doing, but testing data consistently showed it helped produce the desired results. I love how you explained what it takes to be successful in such a clear and simple way. Thank you! I plan on taking action to do some type of exercise every day in order to become more physically fit.

  59. I consider myself pretty disciplined in nearly every aspect of my everyday life EXCEPT when it comes to running a business. It's not about discipline for me or that I don't do the work involved; I like work. But I'm afraid to ask people for their business (crazy, right?!). I want to be more financially independent but I'm afraid of putting myself out there publicly on social media or contacting potential clients personally. Again and again I will put that off fearing they will say 'no'. I firmly believe that if you don't ask the answer is always 'no', but the asking…yikes! So, when I complete your course (not 'if'), conquering that fear and developing the discipline it takes to market myself will be my greatest challenge!

    1. I can relate to this so much! You’re not alone, Diane — I can promise you that 🙂 Conquering fear has been a daily battle for me over the years. Identifying it, though, is the hardest part. Knowing that it’s fear standing in your way — and that fear usually isn’t reality at all — has helped me a lot. The course is designed to improve your confidence through practice and implementation. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever experience fear, but you’ll have the confidence to push through it.

  60. I went from working a full-time job in retirement and long-term care to having no job and being on EI…tough times and I had to move cities. However, the one thing I do pride myself on is my self-discipline. I am highly motivated to become a stay-at-home, work-from-home employee just for me. I am done working 11 to 7 and 10 to 6….and taking orders from people that have told me I would make a better boss. I have a true love for reading and art so I decided that I needed to change things for myself. Every morning even if I don't feel like it, I get up walk my dog, grab a coffee, tour a little email and Facebook…and then I study for at least 3 to 4 hours….I am done before noon and have the rest of the day…but I still feel like I am not doing enough to get myself where I want to be. I feel like I should be doing more each day…and yet I know also I need a tiny break! I am on this wonderful adventure of learning how to proofread and maybe some data entry skills! My typing is getting much better! But I think proofreading is where it is at for me. You, Caitlin, are a true motivator for all of your students or just the people like me who are trying really hard to become a student! I am really enjoying your book, Work from home, you have a way with words that make me want to learn so much more. Thank you

    1. Thank you so much, Tanya!! Your comment motivates me 😀 I can totally relate to not feeling like I’m doing enough. Our society brainwashed us into believing we have to be “human doings” vs. human beings! Somehow I managed to attach my perception of my own worth to what I accomplish instead of having inherent value just for being me. It’s a daily battle to “unlearn” those things as we grow… and it’s not easy at all!

  61. This is awesome advice! I’m going to use it to ensure I finish the course soon, but also need to do my transcript. I recently retired, only because I literally couldn’t be there anymore. Micromanager boss ran me off. Even though I’m thoroughly enjoying the course, I need to quit being inactive and do my resume so I can have $ rolling in, as we can’t afford to lose most of my income.

  62. Building my proof reading business by doing the course work, encouraging others in the FB group and reading other relevant material.

  63. Taking 30 minutes each day for self-care….meditation, deep-breathing, stretches, etc. As a mom, it is hard to put yourself first at times. I need to make "me time", and not feel guilty.

  64. I am going to take action, I am going to commit to 30 minutes of exercise daily and at least 1 hour a day studying and doing course work to finish this course.

  65. I can't help but laugh! We came to the exact same conclusion. Castle Murdock, my new company, has six values. Discipline is one of them! I was writing the script for my first ever YouTube video and I said just about everything you did before I even read your post. Discipline will continue to push forward even when hope, courage, and, yes, motivation fails you.

    When I got fired from my last job (dishwasher at Thanksgiving Point), I wanted to break down and cry. But I didn't. There has always been a part of me that is constantly pushing. I call it The Dragon. In that moment I thought I was doomed because that job was my last hope of survival, but before despair could take me, I felt The Dragon beating the drums of war, telling me this was not the end. It was a beginning! The beginning of my life as a freelancer who calls his own shots. The beginning of a much more fulfilling life.

    Since the day I left my old job behind, I continue to use discipline to find success. I made a commitment to not sleep in past 9 a.m. I started a new diet. This diet does not focus on weight loss, but energy conservation. I have ADHD, so doing a detail oriented task for long periods of time takes a lot out of me, but this diet helps with that. I eat a keto breakfast, then a low carb lunch, and whatever I want for dinner. That ensures I don't get sleepy from heavy meals. And I do a small workout every morning–again to get a boost of energy to start the day. It's worked wonders so far.

  66. I have three things I tell myself when I don't want to face something:
    Suit-up and show up!
    Do the next right thing.
    You promised yourself that you would . . .

    These are three very helpful mantras!

    1. I love that! Especially " you promised yourself you would". Going to use these 3 to get me out of my funk. Thank you!

  67. This post is just what I needed to see. I love how REAL you are, it makes everything so relatable!
    I plan to show up every day, for this course, for my future success, and for my family. I also plan on continuing my daily yoga/workout routine. It's what gets me going in the morning, whether I want to or not. 🙂

  68. Every time i tried to do something but i stopped because of failure of success. While reading this article i realized that i should try everything that i want because action leads to success. Thank you for motivation.

  69. I have been told in the past that I was one of the most focused students that one of my professors had ever seen. The main problem right now is that I have to get up so early to go to my job, I am afraid that it will slow down how well I do in the course.

    1. The General Proofreading course is designed for you to go at your own pace on your schedule! So don’t worry yourself! You’ll do great!

  70. I am going to finish what I start no matter what obstacles come my way.

  71. Get out of bed every day no later than 8:00am.

  72. This post was exactly what I needed today. I arrived at the public library to use a computer and I started to not go in. I thought I could put working on the course until tomorrow. But then I told myself I was right here and all I needed to do was walk into the library and begin work. That's exactly what I did and now I'm seeing results. Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Starting is always the most difficult part!! The momentum is what keeps us going and we don’t get that UNLESS we start. Good for you, Judy!! And remember it’s about progress, not perfection <3

  73. A very true blog post! I go through this over and over, that when I try to do the thing that feels immensely difficult everyday (because of fear and insecurity), I just stop and do not continue at all. Thank you for this opportunity to keep going. Hopefully, on the near future, I will enrol in your course as I am highly interested in becoming a proofreader, and am going crazy just thinking how am I am going to get myself out there, get clients and have work from a part time to a full time career! Thank you 🙂

  74. Caitlin, Thank You so much for this post. Today has been an extremely stressful day for me, but after reading this post(which I almost didn't) I was reminded of why I wanted to become a proofreader.

    What I have decided to do, is to work on the General Proofreading Course at least once a day Monday through Friday until I have completed the course.

  75. Very informative; HOWEVER, my fear is NOT fear of failure — it's fear of SUCCESS!

    I have done some very mean things in my younger self before I was able to understand that I was actually suffering from PTSD because of both of my abusive parents; however, my children suffered.

    Despite my children's forgiveness and acceptance of me, me accepting me is very hard to do.

    1. Low self esteem is really hard to overcome. I will fight for others but rarely for myself so I understand where you are coming from.

  76. My future is what I will take action on even when I’m not motivated

  77. This is the first time reading your blog! It's amazing and perfectly timed.

    Drinking more water. My goal is a gallon a day. Discipline is definitely the key! I've been successful before and reaped the benefits of better sleep, feeling more alert, and multiple other things.

  78. I find myself completely relating to this. Before I read this, I did realize I need self-discipline and can achieve doing a task every day, proving to myself that it is possible. Currently, I have consistently done Duolingo for 1 year except for 2 days and I am getting back into working out every weekday.
    After reading this blog, I realized this is exactly what I have done. I start something, but then tend to stop and get frustrated with myself for not continuing. I need to stop making excuses for the other "goals" I have in mind. I am going to keep doing Duolingo and work out every weekday. 2 new tasks I am adding to the everyday list are to read a chapter in a book, and do 2 hours of coursework.
    I just feel relieved seeing this post. Everything you wrote is something I have felt and gone through. Proofreadanywhere is something I was nervous about, yet felt right. I am excited to learn more and grow. Reading this is seriously just perfect as I start on this new journey!

  79. Thanks for the reminder. 🙏 These are all things I've heard before, but when I get into a slump, I definitely need to be reminded! 🎯

  80. Wonderful lesson! Thanks so much!!
    I’m taking action first on going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 7 am. Second…I’m taking action on this course….to work on it every day Monday through Saturday… doing a module or so each day, working 4 hours a day on it.
    I’ll keep you updated on how it goes!
    Thanks again!! Alicia

    1. I LOVE THIS! There is no way you can’t succeed with that kind of discipline and dedication. Super excited for you, Alicia!

  81. Wow! This is a super potent piece of writing, and I wouldn’t want to say it’s motivational; I’d rather say it is absolutely compelling.
    I would commit to every step of the training to becoming a successful proofreader.

  82. Your words are so true – and timely for me. I need to earn some money to help pay for my husband's residency in Memory Care. I look forward to taking action and increasing my self-discipline – exactly what I need! Thank you!

  83. I have just started your course but I am also finishing up my working from home job next week. I set my hours to work each week and got up even when I wanted to hit the snooze button – because it was my job.

    This course is now my job so I will keep on with the hours set by each day. This way I plan to set up my own business in the shortest time possible. I am about to write my business plan and will factor this course into the setup time frame.

    Thanks for the great blog!

  84. Wowowowow! I love every thing I just read.

    This is really what I need right now because I am going through a little bit of a transition in life. The part that really spoke to me was when you said, “You can’t trust motivation, but you CAN trust self-discipline.” Holy guacamole, what an amazing line.

    Something that I would like to take more action on in my life is yoga. I have the time to spend at least 10 minutes a day on my yoga mat, all I need is the action!!

    Thank you so much Caitlin for all of this lovely information.

    1. You are SO welcome, Cara!! I know that the transition times are the hardest to stay motivated, too, because we aren’t used to the new circumstances that don’t exactly come with a user manual!!

  85. The synchronicity of this post. Wow! I was just talking with someone earlier today about this very topic, motivation. Now I know its just discipline, self-discipline that I need. Taking action will get me results. And seeing the results of my actions will help me to stay focused & motivated. Motivation to continue taking actions is the self-discipline.

    Thank you so much for this reminder Caitlin.

  86. Read my emails. Sometimes it is very hard, especially when I'm tired, to walk through the living room (with its couch and soft pillows and tv) down the hall to my office where my computer is set up.

  87. Thanks for the encouraging post. I have a fear of the technology aspects of proofreading and am afraid I will not pass my test to graduate. I also have a fear of not being able to secure clients. I will continue to study. How do I send my proofread essays to you to be able to take my final exam?

  88. Many things to add to this list that get shoved to the side because i don't show up! Including this proof reading class. I'm going to reread this daily and start showing up! I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for hitting the nail on the head in my life too!

  89. Thank you so much for this post, Caitlin! I am definitely in the vicious cycle of inaction, but I didn't want to acknowledge it until I read this. One of my biggest goals is to lose weight, but I keep making excuses about not feeling like it, or I'm too scared to face my asthma even though I know there are exercises I can do without triggering it. I'm also scared to "stick my neck out" into the world to get my voice heard and face seen to make money from home. I'm hoping that as I go through the proofreading course some of that fear will go away, but I also know that I need to take my own action. However, knowing and doing are two different things. I also want to create art for people, but I'm scared that I'm not good enough even though I'm currently in the process of getting an art degree. So thank you again for this post! I will most definitely do the best I can to switch to the Cycle of Success!

  90. This is exactly what I need to hear today. Now, it's time to take action.

    Thank you!

  91. Thanks, Caitlin! I was stuck in my cycle of inaction, losing motivation in the midst of 'being busy' and planning but never actually 'starting' and 'doing the work.' Tonight I decided to break that cycle and show up every day to get started! That email was the catalyst I needed!

  92. I could not have read this at a better time! I’m just starting the proofreading course, and doubts were creeping in. Motivation is/was a huge concern of mine. Thank you very much, Caitlin!

  93. Wow! Did I ever need this! I have been in positive thinking groups, motivational groups, and read all sorts of motivational posts, but this is truly what I have been missing. I'm ready to show up, EVERY day!

  94. I am taking a scoping course and this proofreading course. I will show up by studying one of the courses on alternate days.

  95. I'm going to SHOW UP! I have wanted to lose weight for a while. And you are right about being afraid of failure. I am a 30+ year legal assistant with great skills. I can do this.

  96. I think for me, I have always known the importance of self-discipline, but I perpetually beat myself up for failing at consistency and, ultimately, my self-discipline. There are several things I have told myself I would do and have "started over" time and time again. Learning Japanese, working out, stretching, and a general overhaul of my health, starting my own business so that I no longer have to be an easily replaceable cog in someone else's machine are only the top nagging desires. Although the items on this list of my dreams are all tangible, the one thing I am going to take action on is the conscious effort to silence the barrage of contemptuous slander I unleash on myself daily. That in itself requires a great deal of self-discipline because although logically I know that inaction causes me more stress, I am still easily deceived by my fear-filled lies about myself. As I just purchased this course yesterday, I have only been able to complete one module. However, I am eager to read all of your confidence resources as well. Ten years ago, I was in a position where I loved the product I intended to sell but had no voice or belief in myself. I wasted a lot of money to do absolutely nothing. I refuse to make that mistake again. Thank you for this umpteenth chance to take control of my life!

  97. This rings true for me. I have shown up to work almost every day the last 26 years because that is what needed to be done. Life circumstances have forced a change and it’s nice to show up daily for something that is for “me”. I am on day 4 of the program and ready to practice on essays. I am committed to making this work 😊

  98. I go for morning 10 Km walk and I think I will continue with it to my last day on earth .

  99. Thank you for this post! Self discipline is something I have struggled with for my entire life.

    First, I am going to take action and complete the self help exercises provided in the books you generously included with my enrollment.

    Second, I am going to take action today, and every day, to become a successful proofreader.

    After I have accomplished being a successful proofreader I plan to move on to editing but the ultimate goal is to become a published author.

    I am very excited to embark on this new journey and look forward to becoming apart of the Proofread Anywhere community.

  100. I will work on my lessons on how to do General Proofreading, until I finish, so that I can help our bank account and get out of debt.

  101. Thank you for the motivation boost, Caitlin! I’m determined to complete the course and get my first job before the end of the year.

  102. Thank you for your insight on motivation and laziness. I definitely see the patterns in myself and am going to work on my new proofreading business everyday. I’m even going to start going for 30 minute walks every day, even when I don’t feel like it.

  103. Everyday I will rely on myself and myself only, I will be disciplined and show up to your course 2 hours every morning for 30 days, no excuses.
    Afterwards, I will be persistent and consistent in applying all I've learned for proofreading through practice. I will not give up until I master it and feel ready to move up to the next level.

  104. Fear of failure gets me every time. Dropping off after starting out is me— that’s me. But not always.

    I see things through, too. Glad I started with General Proofreading first.

    What I’ll do every day is read part of a lesson. There will be days when I won’t get through a whole lesson.

    I can also download an audio book on punctuation and listen to some of it daily.

  105. Thank You.

    It all makes perfect since. This is what my parent taught us a thousand years ago. They called it forward motion.

    My take action (Show up or forward) motion is to not only work on my modules but to work on cleaning and rearranging my house.

    Thanks again I really enjoy the way you write.

    As if you are talking to a friend.

  106. True, it is hard to stay motivated, and interested. It’s called habit and routine. You must have a daily routine to accomplish these necessary things.

  107. This really was a helpful blog post no matter the goal we're working on. Thank you for the words of wisdom <3

  108. So much of what you said hit home. I will be showing up for my morning walk with the neighbor, even when I don't feel like it.

  109. The beauty of this post isn't just what's written in it, although one word was all it took to get me off my lazy butt; it's the TIMING!

    I am at a point where I needed to read the word "self-discipline" just 1 more time before I actually start taking serious action. It just made me realize how much of a lazy bum I am, and how much I kept on 'failing myself'.

    No more!

    Thank you for the assertive, yet kind words.

  110. I am able to act consistently until fear gets in the way. I am old enough now that I hope I can overcome my fear. I'm retired and do not need this as income so hopefully that will help make the changes less fearful. Working on all of this diligently every day. Lots of reading and learning.

  111. Everything in this post resonated with my entire life! I have had full training as a bench jeweler, yet have never sold a thing. I kept telling myself no one would want buy my work. I have just started your class, so with that I'm trying to start a solid "habit stacking" routine in the morning. A workout, actually eating breakfast, and an hour or two of class. First time in a long while that I feel confident about the future.

  112. Good morning! I just bought the course but haven’t started yet. So today I’m going to start with 30 mins of coursework and build up from there. I have a lot of self doubt…so pushing that aside and showing up! Thank you for this reminder! 🙂 -Maile

  113. A very timely post. This is just my second day and already things are interrupting my schedule. I will make some time for quiet meditate to determine my focus and drive for proofreading each day.

  114. I’m 70 years old, but a young 70, so my doctor tells me. I have a few health issues, but nothing serious. Since I suffer from severe anxiety, I have an exercise regimen that I do every day, more for the anxiety than weight loss.

  115. Thanks Caitlin! I love your enthusiasm for helping. I'm going to be sure to get up & stretch on my off-days from working out. It's been too easy to skip those stretch days – Thanks!

  116. This information really hit home in many ways. Since I work in an accounting office in the day I plan to spend at least one hour every night initially to start the lessons. On weekends I can do more.

  117. Thank you Caitlin. This is awesome. Right on the money. Just what I needed to hear.

  118. I’ve started water aerobics 3X/wk and it’s really hard to just go do it. I always feel good afterwards… proud of myself for getting much-needed exercise, for doing something for me, for being an active 72yo. You are so right when you say it’s about discipline.

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