Motivating Clients with Intrinsic Value

Note : This article originally appeared in the 5-PATH IAHP Professional Journal in Spring, 2016

Here's a really simple and effective technique to motivate clients to exercise, but it can be applied to nearly any behavioral change a client wants to make.

The technique works because it teaches our clients a very important strategy for motivation: to connect the dots between action (the what) and results (the why).

When we help our clients understand their motivation - the why, the change is more likely to become permanent and not just a passing fad applied when they have time or energy.

But it’s the quality of the motivating factor that is of critical importance and can often be the primary reason why clients stick with a behavioral change … or not.

Not all Motivating Factors are Created Equal

Not all Motivating Factors are created equal, and there are often many reasons why a client may want to change their behavior. We want to help our clients find a really good reason - a really good why.

There is a very specific component I look for when it comes to helping clients identify the correct why - and it’s called Intrinsic Value.

Intrinsic Value is value that is built-in to the element itself - for its own sake. Compare that with Extrinsic Value which is value of doing something that is external to the element.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Example Most of us brush or floss our teeth every day.

Ask yourself the following - do you brush or floss because your parents taught you to when you were growing up? If so, that reason is Extrinsic, and you may find you’re not as diligent about brushing or flossing as other people.

Or, is it because you realize it actually is good for your mouth and tooth health, that you like the feeling of clean teeth and gums? That reason is Intrinsic and you will do it for it’s own sake - even if you didn’t learn it from your parents.

It’s easier for us to do activities for their Intrinsic Value because the activity itself provides the value.

Example from the Hypnosis Office

Here's how with an example from my office this week:

A client wants to go to the gym every day, but even though it's on her calendar she just can't motivate herself to go and she’s perplexed why this happens.

This scenario is common, isn’t it? To some extent our clients know what they need to do, but have a hard time actually doing it. They’ve often forgotten why they’re doing something in the first place.

So I ask her: ”Why do you want to go to the gym?"

This is a critical question. Make sure your client doesn't want to go just because someone else (person, magazine, video, etc.) told them to. Or that they have a belief that they have to go to the gym daily to lose weight.

Both of those reasons are Extrinsic - they include a perceived value that is coming from outside the activity itself and in many cases, it is not even true, in which case, we know it’s merely a limiting belief.

However, in this case, she says, "Because when I leave, I feel energized and refreshed".

That is the why, and it's a good one too because it is the Intrinsic Value of going to the gym for her. Even if she hopes it helps her lose weight, or tones her body, she knows she will at least leave the gym feeling energized and refreshed.

To reinforce this with my client, I had her change her electronic calendar to read "Feel Energized and Refreshed" instead of "Go to the Gym". Now when she looks at her calendar, she's reminded why she's going and she gets excited about it.

Next, it was followed up with powerful hypnosis including Age Progression to further lock in the change.

When I saw my client the following week she reported going to the gym every day since and enjoyed it because she was looking forward to the Intrinsic Value - feeling energized and refreshed. She’ll likely get some Extrinsic Value along the way as well, but it’s the Intrinsic Value that keeps her going back day after day.

Helping our clients find the Intrinsic Value in the behavioral change they want to make is an effective and simple technique that provides great value to our clients along with excellent hypnosis work.