Hello February. Daylight saving time tells us it will be dark along with the seasonal grey cold. Winter may feel uninterrupted. Our school year is half realized. Some may be disinterested and disengaged from class. Others may have lost stamina to continue with new year’s goals. This might stem from nonexistent personal motivation. Without self-motivation, it can be altogether impossible to overcome tasks and challenges on a daily basis. Self-motivation is critical. We must understand it. We also need to know the impact that others have on leveling our self-motivation while identifying ways to further develop it.
What is Self-Motivation?
“Self-motivation is, in its simplest form, the force that drives you to do things.” - Skills You Need
Why does someone: train for a marathon, strive to achieve all A’s, show up for class, work hard for an employer, spend the extra time on a workout, or even get out of bed every day? It could be due to extrinsic motivation. This is when something external motivates the individual. Extrinsic motivators might look like getting a good grade, impressing an employer, satisfying adults, or working out because of the pressure from friends. Extrinsic motivation is important and effective. Yet, the motivation that drives someone to achieve personal goals is internal. Being internally motivated elicits feelings of “getting” to do something as opposed to “having” to do something. When someone “has” to do something, extrinsic motivation assists with goal attainment. Internal, or self-motivation, is more powerful than external motivation. Self-motivated individuals are more likely to achieve a personal goal, find greater satisfaction in the task at hand, have better work performance outcomes, experience happiness, and have a greater belief in their ability to succeed.
The Impact of Others
Our relationships are a key factor in improving self-motivation. If conditions are highly negative and deprived of a growth mindset, they can ultimately affect self-motivation. Changing our relationships may not be realistic, but we can try to place ourselves around positive influences.
Who we surround ourselves with will have sway in our lives. They can either be a source of strength for improving self-motivation or they can negatively impact it. Recent research found that just watching others talk about their motivational forces will have a positive or negative effect on the observers’ level of motivation. In one study, an experimental group that watched individuals chat about being self-motivated to participate in a game made the observers desire to do the same. The control group that watched individuals discuss not being self-motivated did not have motivation to participate. Negativity affects a person more profoundly than positivity. Those we surround ourselves with play a key role in our motivation. It is critical to be around positive people who are working toward goals that promote personal growth. Who are you surrounded by? Are they role models for self-motivation and productive changes?
One major predictor of self-motivation is self-efficacy. This is when you believe you can do something. Or not. If you believe you cannot meet the demands of a goal, it is unlikely you will be self-motivated to even attempt and complete it. People who have greater self-efficacy will set higher goals and will be more likely to meet their goals. Self-efficacy increases self-motivation. We can improve self-efficacy by: reflecting on past achievements, considering personal strengths, asking others to identify our strengths and achievements, setting achievable goals, and learning from others that possess strong self-efficacy.
Setting goals will be important for self-motivation. If the goal is too easy, we will not be as self- motivated to achieve it. If it is too challenging and unattainable, then self-motivation will suffer. The experience might lower self-efficacy. This results in lower self-motivation for the next task. Stress and anxiety increase when we overextend ourselves. It is essential to set a goal that complements our abilities.
Industrial psychologists Locke and Latham gained acclaim on their theory of goal setting. They gave new direction to the field and indicated that goals need to be clear and challenging with an element of personal commitment. Goals are to be simple. Individuals need ongoing feedback about their goals. This includes monitoring goal progress and its outcome.
Invest in strategies that will help you keep moving forward. Pursue what can benefit you from altering your mood.
Motivation guru, Tony Robbins, suggests that creating empowering beliefs, improving time management strategies, creating a written action plan for goals, looking to motivational quotes and role models, listening to music, spending time outside, quitting multitasking, physically moving, visualizing self-motivation, and practicing gratitude can all improve self-motivation.
Everyone experiences challenges with consistently growing in self-motivation. There are ways to overcome it. Define your goal. Remember that you are capable. Start playing your favorite tunes. Begin achieving!