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When you’re not playing to your full potential, and feel a block, it can be very, very frustrating. It’s during those times that everyone begins offering you motivational tips. You know they’re trying to help but it usually adds to your frustration.

Often it’s because you’re not feeling understood. And that’s true. Most people don’t like watching someone they know struggle. It makes them uncomfortable. So they’re motivation to see you resolve your struggle is basically self-serving.

You’re not looking for someone to rescue you. That only leads to dependence. During these moments you need to be uncomfortable, and understand the source of the struggle, before you can turn it around. Otherwise, it’s likely to return when a similar situation arises.

So forget the motivational tips. It’s just a band-aid. Let’s do something that’s really going to work, and give you the desire to reach beyond your comfort zone. The solution is to get inspired. Once you’re inspired then motivation kicks in. It’s an inside job!

Inspiration is an emotional response. So it’s not based upon logic. I’m sure you’ve experienced that drive to do something special or be like someone you admired.

You’re inspiration was connected to a vision. You knew it was going to be a bit of a stretch for you to reach your vision. And you were determined to do it anyway, despite the challenges.

It was Eric Weihenmayer who inspired me to share his message. He’s an amazing athlete, and I’ve been following his story of climbing the 7 highest peaks on each continent, ice climbing, solo sky diving, paragliding and currently training to kayak the Colorado River. He’s inspiring because he’s blind.

Any of those activities are difficult under ideal circumstances, but doing them blind increases the level of difficulty. What I really admire is that he’s not letting his lack of vision interfere or be a barrier. He’s like most highly driven athletes, pushing the envelope and testing the limits of what’s possible. By doing so, he’s setting the standard for other’s to follow his lead.

Weihenmayer calls the handicapped adventurers who follow him alchemists. “They’re turning lead into gold. And have figured out a way to seize hold of the storm of adversity.” It’s really the adversity which inspires him to continue doing what he’s doing.

But there’s more to what he’s doing and why it’s so inspiring. People, like Weihenmayer, who lead by example, have special qualities. And it’s those qualities, according to Kathy Ciprino a Forbes writer, which inspire us to dig deep too.

1. Innovation. When Weihenmayer decided to test the limits of what’s possible, he was forging a new road. His vision expanded beyond his ability to see. He had to invent the tools, and build the team, to help him test his physical limitations. The challenge drives him to take risks, fail and persevere.

erik-weihenmayer2. Invested. Weihenmayer shares his philosophy. He’s committed to showing others how mindset is everything. He walks his talk, and is fully committed to helping others reach their full potential.  Imagine how much more you would accomplish if you used your limitations as leverage for success.

3. Instructive. In between all of his great adventures, he’s sharing his message. Telling his story of trauma, setbacks and challenges is important. It gets us thinking about ourselves. Although he’s sharing his story, you’re thinking about you, your obstacles and how you can kick a little butt. We’re inspired by his transparency.

That’s why motivational tips don’t work for all situations. The reason to get out of your own way has to be personal. Inspiration is the source for your motivation to go beyond what’s comfortable. It’s the challenge of doing something special that’s going to get you all fired up.

Discovering the right mentor or role model helps you to reframe the situation. It literally creates a new visual in your mind. Instead of seeing something as impossible, now you’ll have a new visual. That’s because your focus shifts from the obstacles to the possibilities. All it takes is a slight shift in thinking, from negative to positive, and you’ll find yourself accomplishing what has been eluding you all this time.

Challenge: We all need role models, even if you’re already a pro. They show us what’s possible. Take the time to find someone that’s going to inspire you. You’re going to achieve more by focusing on the challenge than the problem. The truth is that meaningful inspiration gives you the boost to tackle your obstacles head on. You won’t settle for “no” without a fight.

Attempting to force a solution rarely works. Consider taking some time off away from the problem. Tuck it into the back of your mind. Then do something fun and enjoyable. Stepping away from the problem offers your conscious mind a break. But your subconscious mind is still on the job looking for solutions. Think of how many times you got the “aha” during an unexpected moment when you were probably detached from the problem.  A relaxed state lets your mind wander onto new ideas.

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