What Is Self Motivation
Self motivation, you either have it or you don’t, right? What if I were to tell you that isn’t the case. I thought I didn’t have the motivation to write this article today, but it needed to be done, so I got up at 5:00 am and wrote. This was a little bit of self motivation. There was nobody there to kick me out of bed, make the coffee and open up my laptop. It was all me, brag….
But this doesn’t mean I can do it every day. Or does it?
What is self motivation?
Self motivation is a force that makes you do stuff. It’s a life skill, and if you care about your mental and physical well being at all, you should spend a little time thinking about how to keep up your self motivation. With that being said, here are some things you’ll learn with this article:
- Why it’s important to find your hidden agenda
- The two types of motivation
- How to set a goal for your motivation
- The importance of flexibility
Self motivation is a ‘life skill,’ which means you’re not necessarily born with the ability to be Mr. (or Mrs.) Motivated every day. It is something to be built upon and nourished throughout your whole life.
There are huge benefits to finding your self motivation sweet spot, as “people with self motivation tend to be more organized, with good time management skills and have more self-esteem and confidence.” Harnessing your ability for self motivation will give you all of these things, and then some.
Your hidden agenda
Ask yourself, what is my motivation? Every time you feel the need to do something there is a motive behind it—a hidden agenda to which you may not be fully aware. It is important to find your motive and why something is important to you.
Why did I get up at 5am to write this article? Because I’m on a family holiday, and in about 2 hours there will be two 18-month-old boys running riot around our cottage. This is the only quiet time in the day, and it means I don’t miss out on spending any time with my family.
This is my motive—my hidden agenda.
Types of motivation
To find out your motive you need to know the two main types of motivation.
- Intrinsic – performing a task for the satisfaction of doing it. This is usually something fun and personally challenging, which interests you. This motivator is all about love.
- Extrinsic – performing a task for a reward. Whether that is money, fame, power or praise.
I know things aren’t always this black and white, and your motivation will change from day to day. But understanding the different types of motivation will take you a step closer to finding out why you want to be motivated in the first place.
For example, my reason behind getting up at 5:00 am is intrinsic (I’m doing it to spend more time with my family), although there are extrinsic motivators in there too, because if I don’t write the article and submit it on time, I don’t get paid.
Tip – do you ever feel like a task is pointless? Take a second to think about your motivation. What are your intrinsic or extrinsic motivations for completing the task?
Write them down and think about why you are doing it. This will help you overcome the feeling of something being pointless. It will help reboot the system if you’re working on a passion project, as you remind yourself why you started doing it in the first place.
What is your goal?
Self-motivation is a glorious cycle of boosting self-confidence and self-esteem. Meaning, the more goal orientated you are, the more self motivation you have, which in turn builds self-esteem and confidence. This then gives the oomph to your self-motivation to keep going.
So where does it all begin, and how can you jump on this merry-go-round?
You need to have a goal.
This sounds incredibly simple, and it is, if you already have one. Personal goals give you both short-term and long-term motivation, whether it’s:
- Writing a book
- Learning to play the guitar
- Starting an online business
- Building your social media following
All of these things need self motivation to get the cogs turning. Having a goal in place gives you focus. It helps you to zone in on what skills you need to acquire, the things you need to learn, how to manage your time and best use your resources.
Having goals in place also shows you how much you’ve progressed. Recording your progression will keep you motivated and gives a clear record of how far you’ve come, whether it’s:
- Writing 5,000 words of your novel
- Learning 3 chords on the guitar
- Learning 10 phrases in a new language
Let life happen
Having goals in place is great, but restricting freedom isn’t. When thinking about where you want to go in life, and how to get there, remember life happens. Have an idea of where you want to be in ten years? Great, and by all means start paving the path to get there. But, don’t restrict yourself too much.
There are many different types of life goals to have, whether it’s:
- Career orientated
- Family orientated
- Your physical appearance
- Health improvements
These are all super important goals to have in order to keep improving, and moving forward. So implementing a long-term plan is great, but you also need to have short-term goals, or sub-goals.
Having short-term goals to tick off along the way keeps you flexible and changeable, whilst remaining focused on the bigger picture. They’re important as they:
- Give you specific time frames
- Keep your priorities in order
- Keep you present and focused
- Allow you small successes along the way
Start from the big picture goal and work backwards, setting yourself smaller, immediately achievable goals along the way. This will help keep you focused and motivated to complete the bigger task.
Whether you already have a life goal in place, or are looking to find one, optimizing your self motivation practices are imperative to success. Find that self motivation and start asking yourself the hard questions. By figuring out your agenda and setting yourself both short and long-term goals you are preparing yourself to succeed, harnessing your brainpower and productivity to live the best life you can.