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Coaching Moms: Pain Avoidance vs Pleasure Seeking?

Coaching is about helping people achieve their goals, but what motivates people to work towards those goals? The principle of avoiding pain versus gaining pleasure suggests that people are often more motivated to avoid adverse outcomes than to achieve positive ones. However, while avoiding a negative outcome is important, one challenge with focusing solely on avoiding pain is it doesn't necessarily lead to satisfaction. Avoiding a negative outcome may provide temporary relief but doesn't lead to long-term happiness or fulfilment. Instead, it's important to refocus on what you want to achieve, what brings you joy and fulfilment, and then take steps to move towards that. By shifting the focus towards positive outcomes, people can find more satisfaction in their actions and feel more motivated to work towards their goals. The difference between avoiding pain and seeking pleasure is that one is reactive, and the other is proactive. Avoiding pain is often about responding to a situation that has already happened or anticipating a negative outcome while seeking pleasure is about actively pursuing something that brings you happiness and fulfillment.

This principle is especially relevant to new moms navigating motherhood's challenges. When a woman becomes a mother, she often has to deal with new responsibilities and challenges that can be overwhelming. She may have trouble balancing her work and home life, dealing with sleep deprivation, or managing the stress of raising a child. In this situation, the principle of avoiding pain versus gaining pleasure can come into play. For example, a new mom may be more motivated to avoid the pain of feeling guilty about not being with her child than she is to gain the pleasure of a few hours of alone time. This means that coaches who work with new moms need to help them identify and understand their pain points so that they can be motivated to make positive changes.

One way to do this is by focusing on the negative consequences of not taking action. For example, a coach could ask a new mom how she would feel if she neglected her own needs and didn't take time for self-care. The coach could help her identify the pain associated with this scenario and encourage her to take steps to avoid it. On the other hand, coaches can also help new moms identify the pleasure that comes with positive changes. For example, a coach could ask a new mom how she would feel if she had a few hours to herself and could relax and recharge. By helping her focus on the pleasure associated with this scenario, the coach can motivate her to take action.

It's important to note that the principle of avoiding pain versus gaining pleasure isn't an either-or proposition. In reality, people are often motivated by both pain and pleasure, and a good coach will use both approaches to help their clients achieve their goals.

In conclusion, the principle of avoiding pain versus gaining pleasure is a powerful tool that coaches can use to help new moms navigate the challenges of motherhood. By understanding their pain points and focusing on both the negative consequences of not taking action and the pleasure associated with positive changes, coaches can help new moms make the changes they need to thrive in their new roles as mothers.


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