Need vs. Want

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One of the things I’ve observed as a Coach to countless Athletes, is the distinction between a “Need” and a “Want” and how it affects an Athlete’s motivation to succeed.

We are all guilty of saying, “I need to get in shape,” “I need to start working out”, “I need to start eating healthier”, and so on, but often than not, people fail, stop or give up.

The “I need” statement simply just identifies the problem instead of having to address it, which would require you to follow-though and be accountable. Saying “I need” deflects your own personal power as if it’s out of your control and reach. Even still, the subconscious mind receives the same dopamine response when someone acknowledges the “I need” statement. 

Person A- “I need to start working out again.”

Person B- “That’s awesome!”

Person A’s subconscious- “Fuck yeah, this dopamine feels good”

As a Coach, I challenge my Athletes by clarifying “You need to, or you want to?” Almost immediately it registers and clicks. Their “I need” instantly becomes “I want” and this simple change begins to reprogram their commitment, power and mindset. “I want” starts to define specific goals and becomes “I will”
“I will” accomplishes the goal and becomes “I am”
“I am” then becomes “I did’

Another example:  

“I need to start working out” (translates to I’m not committed, nor do I have the will power to stay consistent = non-existent, short-term gains). 


"I want to start working out” (translates to personal desire and an awareness to what’s needed to get there = movement forward) 

“I will go to the gym and workout” (translates to determination and willpower = shit gets done)  

“I am going to the gym” (translates to consistency and ownership = long-term goals) 

“I did” (translates to I followed my plan and have accomplished my goal = solid confidence)

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