What is Self-Motivation?
As explained by Positive Psychology, “Self-motivation is, in its simplest form, the force that drives you to do things.” It’s the drive you have to work toward your goals, to put effort into self-development, and to achieve personal fulfillment.
Self-motivation can be driven by intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, or sometimes both.
- Intrinsic Motivation: A kind of motivation that comes from sincerely wanting to achieve and desiring the inherent rewards associated with it.
- Extrinsic Motivation: The drive to achieve that comes from wanting the external rewards (like money, power, status, or recognition).
Research has shown that intrinsic motivation is a more effective and fulfilling drive than extrinsic, and has more successful outcomes.
Psychologist Scott Geller is at the forefront of research on self-motivation, and he explains when determining if you are self-motivated, there are three questions you can use:
- Can you do it?
- Will it work?
- Is it worth it?
If you answered “yes” to each question, you are likely self-motivated. Geller explains that if you believe you can do it, you have self-efficacy. If you believe it will work, you have response efficacy. And if you believe it is worth it, you have weighed the cost against the consequences and decided the consequences outweigh the cost.
Improving Your Motivation
If you answered “no” to the questions above, don’t worry! Self-motivation is made up of a set of skills that can be learned and improved upon. So even if you are not self-motivated right now, there are steps you can take to change that.
Mark Pettit, Time Management Coach and Business Coach at Lucemi Consulting, states that it is normal to go through times where we feel stuck and unmotivated. However, you don’t have to wait for inspiration to kickstart your forward progress. Self-motivation and progress are controlled by you. You just have to take that first step. One action will lead to another, and each action you take will lead to more achievements and success.
- Set SMART Goals: We just wrote an article on this topic! Click here to learn how to use the SMART goal setting guide to help you stay motivated.
- Simplify Your To-Do List: It’s really hard to stay motivated when your mind is confused and cluttered with all of the projects and tasks you need to do. Work on simplifying your tasks and carve out the unnecessary stress.
- Celebrate Accomplishments: The number one cause of procrastination is focusing on how far away your goal is. Start training your brain to recognize how far you’ve come and celebrate all the accomplishments you have made since setting your goal.
- Surround Yourself with a Supportive Circle: Whether it is family members, friends, co-workers, a workout group, etc., a good supportive system is key. Being able to discuss your goals with others, ask for support when you need it, and even offer support to others all helps to improve your motivation.
- Live a Healthy Lifestyle: Believe it or not, your daily habits can drastically impact your motivation. A nutritious and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and physical activity improve your physical and mental health, as well as keep your energy levels up- all of which is needed to feel motivated.
To learn more, click here!