Key to motivation…I don’t know, do you?

There is a flaw in what I do. I cannot provide motivation in a jar…if I could I swear I would sell it for a song! I mean, let’s be honest, nothing gets done without it, so its value really is unlimited. I wrote in my first blog that ‘active involvement (in anything…like life) requires being motivated’. So what does it mean when you are not?  I have heard the phrase, they are just lazy…yup, and maybe they are. But what if they’re not, then why do some individuals choose not to be more involved, more independent, in living their lives?

What if up until now your family member, your participant, your client, has not had to initiate motivation because they have been helped, rescued, or protected to the point they are comfortable and see no need to do more when there is always someone to do it for them??

In the comfort of home, surrounded by loving family, I have witnessed participants resist being encouraged to do more for themselves…and it’s not due to lack of ability. The reality is that many participants have abilities and skills they have learned with the supports around them…but in many cases there seems to be a point where the initiative and encouragement stalls.  Frequently it appears to be around those skills related to areas such as making independent choices and navigating life beyond the home.

Fear…families, and even support workers, fear that something will happen, that a mistake will be made, tends to be the most common reasons given. In answer to this I use again the words of Susan (a parent who participated in my second blog), where in regards to her son making choices, both right and wrong, she said “(its) a part of growing up and learning… I went through it, why would it be any different for him?” I am not being dismissive when I say; all parents and care givers have fear.  I am recognising that it’s there…the question is how do you combat it so that you are not holding back the potential of an individual?

Face it, if an individual (who has the ability) is motivated to take on the challenges of life…learn to use a city bus, get a job, go to college, learn to cook, be in charge of their own money…a lot of mistakes can be made…but so can a lot of living.

I don’t pretend to have the answers…only you, the family, the support worker, THE INDIVIDUAL whom this is all for, can find the answer to their own unique situation. But please, take a minute, read my second blog or one of many articles online regarding individuals who live with a developmental disability, and the things they can and have accomplished. Because people are amazing…if they are motivated!

Tami Schaafsma ~

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