My family and I love to watch the Olympics. It is so inspiring to hear the stories of athletes who have overcome such odds and challenges that would have made most of us just give up.

They have often overcome physical injuries, financial difficulties, lack of sleep or even their childhood to achieve victory!

The motivation, dedication, resilience, and creativity is on another level.

It is amazing how motivated, creative, and resilient an addict can be to get their drug or substance of choice.

On the other hand, once in recovery, it is equally amazing to me how that same motivation, creativity, and resilience is nowhere to be found.

It is lost or forgotten; because oftentimes, the creativity and resilience was only associated with the addiction or drug of choice.

It takes time, hard work and intentionality to begin think, feel and act differently.

What motivates an Olympic athlete can be found in all of us, even addicts.

Before we look at what motivates addicts and their partners, let’s look at what demotivates many.

Generally, people will list things, such as the following:

  • Codependent Personal or Professional Relationships
  • Health Issues
  • Financial Struggles
  • Fear of the Future, Fear of the Unknown or Fear of Change
  • Pride or an Unwillingness to Ask for Help or Take Responsibility
  • Failures from the Past as well as Guilt and Shame
  • Mental Illness, Mood Disorders or Personality Disorders
  • Active Addiction or the Failure to Overcome
  • Traumas
  • Poor Attitudes or a Victim Mentality
  • Limited Personal or Community Resources
  • Failed Goals or Dreams

Now, this list is not comprehensive.

You may have examples of your own that would fall under these categories, or your demotivators may be entirely different. However, you get the idea.

When I ask people the opposite question about what motivates them, it is always interesting because they begin to list the same things.

They quickly realize that what demotivates one person can motivate another.

Here are some things I have discovered that motivate people:

  • The desire for love and having healthy personal or professional relationships
  • The desire to overcome sickness and health issues
  • The hope for financial freedom
  • The adventure or journey to overcome fear of the future, fear of the unknown or fear of change
  • The ability to overcome pride and an unwillingness to take personal responsibility
  • The ability to realize failure is an event, not a person!
  • The humility it takes to ask for help to overcome mental illness and the ability to recognize many have done this before
  • The courage it takes to try again to overcome an active addiction
  • Finding the truth and overcoming the lies of past traumas
  • A positive attitude and a victor mentality
  • Being your own advocate and being innovative when resources are limited
  • Remembering forgotten goals and dreams give you life and passion to live

Its all about perspective and attitude.

It has been said that some of the most successful people in the world fail more often than they succeed. However, they also get back up more often than anyone else.

Failure is not a means of quitting.

It is a means of motivation.

Millionaires often file bankruptcy numerous times.

They are risk takers, and they can and will succeed in time, as failure has taught them what does not work.

They see, envision, and imagine their success many times over.

Even after success, doubt is the number one thing that plagues everyone.

“Can I do it again?”

“Was it just luck?”

“What if next time I fail?”  

You will fall. You will fail, but this is how we learn and grow.

Be grateful for failure, as it is one of your greatest teachers.

It’s not a matter of if you will fail, it’s just a matter of when.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, get back up, take an inventory of what you learned, and start again.

Failure loses its grip each time we get back up, as success is now that much closer.

You now have information, and information is power.

Use it to your advantage.

Failure is a state of mind about what you think others think about you.

Failure demands labels and expectations others have put upon you.

Shake them off.

Let them go.

Finish the race on your terms.

Cory Schortzman, Executive Director

Cory Schortzman, Executive Director

Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.

Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.

Kerry’s books include: Ashes to Beauty the Book and Ashes to Beauty the Workbook

Co-authored books include: 101 Blogs to Transform your Life, Volume I and Offended Deceived Addicted