Get to Know Why Self-Motivation Is a Skill
If you want to know everything about self-motivation, welcome!
What do you want? Are you ready to answer this question right now? What are you doing right now? Pretty stupid question, you’re reading this self-motivation article.
But why are you here, reading this? Are you looking for something?
Deep down, consciously or unconsciously, we’re all traveling our unique path. One way or another, we desire success and abundance. However, success is a very broad and subjective term because we all have different intentions and goals. Success has requirements.
Happiness, health, family, money, a greater contribution—whatever it may be, we want it. As we become adults and responsibility becomes an active feature of our lifestyle, we’re immediately introduced to various unpleasant feelings and states like fear, disappointment, confusion, regret, procrastination, comfort zone, anxiety, doubt, and so on.
And still, we’re not giving up. We want better. We want more. We want to succeed and we want to be free of disempowering emotions that keep our days dark. In short, we want to succeed. And so, most of us came to realize that a greater future cannot arrive unless we do something about it. We must start.
Doing something implies action, while action implies motivation. But what prompts motivation? Here are two scenarios:
Scenario A: You have to do your homework/work reports because those are the requirements for getting rewarded/keeping your job. You’re really not in the mood, you have no passion for it, though you clearly understand that you absolutely need to get it done. So, you begin the task, you work hard, and you get it done.
Scenario B: You have to take a course because you acknowledge its importance to your future. You’ve set this task on your own, and you can’t wait to get started. As you work, you feel confident, proud of yourself, and productive.
In which circumstance are you more efficient? What’s the scenario that would make you feel truly fulfilled? What’s the scenario that speaks the most to you?
I’m really willing to bet that Scenario B is way more appealing to you than Scenario A may be, considering that both bring rewards and benefits after completion.
What’s my point?
Scenario A represents external motivation, while Scenario B represents self-motivation. As you’ve confirmed yourself, self-motivation is the most effective tool that you can leverage to reach your objectives and design an abundant future.
Since we ultimately want more positive experiences, better results, more satisfaction, and fulfillment, we should channel our time, attention, and energy into cultivating high levels of self-motivation, a resource that can take us far and grant us what we desire the most.
What exactly is self-motivation?
You’re probably aware of the meaning behind “self-motivation,” though I’d like to fill in the blanks in case you’re missing any.
Self-motivation is the primary force that drives you to take action. It is the spark that encourages you to work effortlessly to reach your goals, the flame that keeps burning even after you’re physically tired, and the drive to surpass challenges in order to become a higher version of yourself.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation
An important remark is that there are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. The intrinsic motivation is the drive to accomplish something because you want it in a genuine, intense, and passionate way.
For example, if you truly want to stop being financially broke and take control over your finances to increase the quality of your life, that’s one way of saying that your motivation comes from within.
The extrinsic motivation is the motivation to do something because external rewards are promised. For example, if you have a stressing (but well paid) job that eats most of your nerves, time, and joy, the only motivation that drives you to wake up and go to work is the extrinsic one.
The common rewards provoked by extrinsic motivation are recognition, status, money, power, and other similar things. Even though the rewards are present, we often don’t feel fulfilled at the end of the day.
Examples of Self-Motivation
To better understand the difference between external motivation and self-motivation, here are some examples:
- An average sportsman who shows up at practice every day because he has to and he has to make the ends meet somehow is not self-motivated, while a sportsman who lives for that sport and dedicates his entire self to growing his skills and improving his performance is self-motivated.
- A professional who is working too many extra hours to get praised by his colleagues is not self-motivated, while a professional who takes massive action to reach new objectives, overcome impossible challenges, and seeks constant growth is self-motivated.
- The person that hits the gym only because the doctor said so and because the friends are insisting too much is not self-motivated, while a person who carefully plans the gym hours without missing a session is self-motivated.
As you can clearly notice, self-motivation is your drive to get something done because of powerful and personal reasons. When you follow that drive and allow it to take control of your behavior, your entire life will change for the better.
If your motivation is triggered by external factors such as satisfying other people or fear of consequences, you’re probably lacking self-motivation.
The Psychology of Self-Motivation
A well-known psychologist, Scott Geller, famous for his intensive research on self-motivation, suggests the following three questions for identifying whether you’re self-motivated to do something or not:
- Can you get it done?
- Will it work?
- Is it worth your time, energy, and attention?
If you answer “Yes” to all three questions, your self-motivation is present.
First, believing that you can really achieve something shows the presence of self-efficacy. Second, if you see you are able and willing to perceive your end result as a success, you have response efficacy, which is the strong intuition that things will turn out to be fine. Third, strongly believing that a goal, task, or assignment is worth your time means you’ve clearly assessed the positive and the negative effects and decided that the positives outweigh the negatives.
Scott Geller defines the 4 key “C” words that constitute the bases of self-motivation:
Consequences. In order to be self-motivated, you must take action in order to reap the positive consequences instead of doing something only to calm the pressure of negative consequences.
Choice. When you do something because of your own will and choice, you feel a sense of autonomy. The feeling of independence offers a boost of self-motivation.
Competence. Go back to the three questions. If you’re answering positive to each of them, you’re likely to feel competent and ready to tackle your challenges.
Community. Having the support of family, friends, and other people you respect is crucial to maintaining higher doses of self-motivation.
Is self-motivation a skill that can be mastered through practice?
Obviously, self-motivation is a precious resource that grants a lot of benefits. Now you may wonder—is it possible to become truly self-motivated and stay that way?
The answer is absolutely yes.
Self-motivation is a complex skill that is driven by more character traits and personal skills. It is a muscle that can be exercised and developed in time, through constant practice. Consistency is key to any mastery, especially when it comes to taking action.
Insightful Tips and Tricks to Skyrocket Your Self-Motivation
I’m willing to bet that you’re self-motivated to gain self-motivation. A paradox, right? Let me help. Here is a list of tips and tricks that should help you increase your self-motivation right away:
- A skill (like self-motivation) can be improved only if continuous learning is present. To step up your game and improve your willpower and drive to act, keep learning and implementing relevant knowledge.
- If your thoughts and emotions aren’t aligned, you’ll hardly take action. First comes the thought, then follows the emotion. If these two elements are aligned, it means that you are more than ready to make something happen. If they’re not aligned, perhaps try an introspection and identify the cause of the conflict.
- Follow a bigger purpose. Don’t seek shallow things like a lot of money, big houses, or social recognition. In the end, you’ll realize that doing something good for others out of altruistic reasons is more satisfying than anything else.
- Acknowledge the fact that you can shape your reality any time you want. It starts with a strong intention, the courage to make a firm decision, and the ability to walk into the unknown, believing that you’ll do just fine!
Self-motivation is the best investment you can ever make throughout your life. Cultivate it, grow it, maintain it, and master it, and the word impossible will fade away from your radar. Consistent action grows your personal power, AKA the ability to get things done and to cause massive change inside and outside yourself. Sometimes holidays cause the loss of motivation that is why so important to stay motivated in different ways and pay more attention to this period.
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If the first steps towards a greater self-motivation feel painful and hard, remind yourself that every remarkable result has a price. If you’re willing to pay it, you’ll get what you want. If you don’t, you won’t. Simple as that!