The Hitting Stick Everyone Needs

Published: July 15, 2015
By: Faye Hollands

Don’t you hate it when you want something really badly but for some reason just can’t seem to muster up the energy or motivation to pull your finger out and actually DO something about it?!

In the end, that state of stuckness can be debilitating and it can take all the energy you have just to deal with the frustration alone.  I’ve been there, you’ve been there – hell, we’ve all been there.  But what sets us apart is how we deal with that sinking feeling and get out before you reach the point of no return…

Now this isn’t a post about how to boost motivation – I’ve written loads of those before.  This is about the power of being hit with a stick.  Seriously.

When you’re stuck at a red light, with no green light in sight, it can be really tough to nudge yourself over the proverbial line and build up any level of momentum to move forward.   So relying on yourself to suddenly become motivated isn’t always the best option. And that’s where the stick comes in…

Let me explain how this approach has worked, very well, for me.  At the start of the year I decided to run the Great Barrier Reef Marathon on 1 November.  As the months have gone on – and I’ve researched more and more about the race – I’ve started to realise how tough it is.  Then I got back from holiday recently and realised marathon training needed to start NOW if I was going to do it, but for some reason I found myself going around in circles, getting nowhere fast (metaphorically speaking … I wasn’t doing a lot of running at that point!).  I procrastinated over which plan to follow, and the demons of doubt really started to play with my head – cue a whole list of potential excuses including:

  • “can I really do it?”
  • “it’s going to be too hot, you’re stupid to even think about it”
  • “seriously, just pick an easier course”
  • “it’s not ideal timing”
  • “you’ve already got injuries, what are you thinking?”

….blah, blah, blah – you get the picture.

I was reaching a state of definite stuckness and the frustration was really starting to kick in.

At that point I decided to pick up the stick I knew I needed hitting with.  That stick came in the form of Jill Boltz, an former distance runner who won a silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, and in 1991 broke the World Best for 10 miles in New York.  In other words, she’s knows a thing or two about running!

I enlisted Jill’s help to write me a personalised training plan and to coach me through the next 15 week of training.

What happened after that was 1) an immediate sense of relief that I had support and wasn’t alone, but most importantly 2) I became accountable to someone other than myself.   Then I went out and ran a hard hills session late that night, in the freezing cold with high winds as my only company – not something I would normally do.  All because I’d told Jill I would.

One of the best ways to move forward when you’re stuck and can’t get motivated, is to find someone that can hit you with an accountability stick – quickly!  When you pick the right person, it’s amazing how that little extra expectation from someone else other than yourself, can propel you beyond the red light you’ve been sitting at for days, weeks, months, or even years!

So what goals do you really want to achieve that you’re stuck on right now?  And who could help you with them?  Accountability doesn’t have to be expensive – sometimes it’s simply a friend or family member giving you a friendly nudge, or joining an on-line group where everyone has the same objective and inspires you to move forward.

There are also many occasions where the investment into an expert is worth it’s weight in gold, especially when you consider the personal cost of staying stuck in an area of your life that’s critically important to you, such as your career or health for example.

It doesn’t matter what your goals are, just quit trying to go it alone, and instead find someone to collaborate with.  I’m sitting here with a renewed level of motivation and commitment to smash one of my goals because of accountability, and you could be feeling the same about yours.

And of course, if you’d like some extra accountability where your career or small business are concerned, you can book your free complimentary coaching session here and I’ll hit you with the coaching stick!

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email

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