Every person has goals and needs they want to achieve and fulfill. Setting targets is usually the easier part. Unfortunately, not everyone goes ahead and achieves them primarily because they cannot be motivated long and consistently enough.
Motivation is a significant predictor of success better even than ability, salary, and intelligence. Of all the different forms of motivation, self-motivation is the most crucial. Learning how to motivate yourself to be successful is a strong determinant of whether you achieve your dreams or not.
What is Self-motivation?
Self-motivation is essentially the internal force propelling your actions. It is internal motivation driven by inborn needs like autonomy, psychological relatedness, and competence.
Unlike external motivation, self-motivation gets you doing what needs to be done. You do not depend on outside influence, whether from people or situations.
You do something because you genuinely want it, so you stay motivated because of your interest. Self-motivation comes from proper self-assessment and a desire for continual self-improvement.
There are four elements of self-motivation, which illustrate why it is vital to your success.
- A personal desire for achievement
You can consider the internal drive for achievement as personal empowerment or ambition, but more importantly, it is about mindsets. There are two kinds of mindsets fixed and growth mindsets.
People with fixed mindsets do not believe they can change their ability, and hence their self-development is limited.
On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe they can improve their skills or abilities by making sufficient effort. As a result, they succeed in their endeavors at a far higher rate than people with a fixed mindset.
- Commitment to goals
A lot of evidence points out the importance of goal setting to your wellbeing. It is also crucial to your self-motivation. Part of satisfying your needs has something to aim for. Goals provide you with a sense of where you wish to be. Once you understand your plan to get there, it keeps you motivated.
Having initiative gives you the chance to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. It involves having both good risk management ability and courage. The courage allows you to overcome your fear of the unknown as you start on new opportunities. On the other hand, risk management ensures you pick the right opportunity, which is the appropriate risk level for you.
- Optimism and Resilience
These two aspects are closely related but different, and both crucial to self-motivation. Optimism is having a positive outlook on life. Resilience, on the other hand, is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks. Optimism builds resilience, and the two keep you motivated even in the face of adversity.
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How Motivation Helps in Achieving Goals
1. Motivation offers clarity in goals.
When you are motivated, you look to achieve a vision or goal. Your desire to change and become better pushes you towards that goal, and it helps you define your goals clearly so that your efforts are directed effectively towards the change you want to achieve. Motivation offers clarity, which allows you to focus better on your goal.
2. It makes prioritizing easy.
When you know what you want and are working towards it, you learn to prioritize for it. You will design your tasks daily to allow for more time for your goals according to their importance.
Proper prioritizing is key to you achieving the set goals.
3. Allows you to overcome obstacles
Your path to achieving your goals will not be straightforward. There will be setbacks of different forms from failure, lack of resources, or unplanned accidents. If you are self-motivated, you will see these obstacles as something to be overcome and not the end of your path. Self-motivation allows you to persevere and find ways to rise above adversity. Without it, then you give up on your dreams and goals.
4. It allows you to overcome fear.
There is always the fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and fear that you can make your dreams come true and completely transform your situation. Achieving your goals calls you to change your mindset, and daily practices.
The new person you seek to become may be frightening, and the fear of the unknown can be crippling. Self-motivation helps you get over the fear and set out to achieve your goals.
5. Motivation boosts your commitment.
Commitment is a critical part of achieving your goals. The problem, though, is staying committed to a goal when it seems so far off or when you are worn out and when you have other competing aspects. Thankfully, self-motivation keeps you committed to the goals. It allows you to consistently put out the best of your efforts, which leads to success.
6. It improves your performance.
To achieve your goals, you need to improve your performance. You will need to find something that you want to do, which will keep you motivated to improve your performance levels.
This may require devoting more hours to the task or learning new skills. Either way, when you are internally driven, doing so becomes easy, and you are willing to go the extra mile to achieve the goal. With improved performance comes success.
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7. Leads to better time management
Procrastination and poor management of tasks and deadlines hamper your chances of achieving goals. Without motivation, it is very easy to keep procrastinating tasks and avoid doing the important things first.
With motivation, you can stick to a plan and focus on getting your priorities. You can manage your time better since you are more efficient, and as a result, you get to do more, getting you to your set targets faster.
8. It increases your energy levels.
Being worn out physically and mentally can hamper your efforts to get to your goals. Because you are doing something you are passionate about and your motivation is internal, you are hardly worn out, which allows you to spend more time on the task and even have new insights.
The autonomy that comes with self-motivation leads to higher adrenaline levels, which give you the extra attention and physical strength you need to see out tasks.
How to Increase Self-motivation- Psychology
Self-motivation focuses on the drive that comes from within. You are the one setting the standards against which you will evaluate your performance.
One of the foremost psychologists in this field, Scott Geller, outlines the psychology of self-motivation, which informs on the areas you should focus on to increase self-motivation.
First, to know whether you are motivated, you need to answer yes to three questions.
First, can you do it? This is a question of self-efficacy. You need to believe that you have the resources, including time, knowledge, or means to do it. The second question is, will it work? Which is a question of response efficacy. If you answer yes, you believe the actions and behavior change you do will lead to the desired outcome.
Finally, you need to ask yourself if it is worth it. This is a motivational question emerging from weighing the cost and consequences of doing and not doing the action and decided that doing the tasks or achieving the goal is far much worthwhile.
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According to Geller, the following are the areas to focus on when improving self-motivation.
1. Competence: When you feel competent at doing worthwhile work, you are far more likely to stay motivated.
2. Choice: The more sense of autonomy you feel over your actions and the result, the more you are self-motivated. The choice should start by picking what the desired outcome should be and the plan to attain it.
3. Consequences: You must genuinely want the set goal to stay motivated and not simply avoid some negative consequences.
4. Community: Finally, you need the social support of similarly motivated individuals so that the positivity and motivation bounce across, and you boost each other. It builds into your self-belief and proves handy during moments of setbacks or whenever you doubt yourself.
Benefits of Self-motivation
Beyond helping you achieve your goals; other benefits of self-motivation include;
1. Cultivates self-confidence
Self-motivation gives you more control over the progress of your goals. The sense of accomplishment that comes from even the small steps and overcoming barriers and obstacles adds assuredness to your personality. You can trust yourself and can be bold in taking on new which increases the confidence you have in yourself.
2. Promotes personal growth
One of the elements of self-motivation is to have a growth mindset. As you set your goals and attain them, you become better than you were while starting. It also spurs you on to do more and reach out for newer goals.
With every new goal, you grow to undertake bigger ones, and more importantly, you become transformed.
3. It inspires others
Self-motivation is infectious and inspiring. Your positivity and motivational personality, and approach can rub off those around you. This is true both in your personal and career life. It elevates people around you or at work to get their tasks and projects going and ensures you have a team around you that is eager to and motivated to perform their duties.
4. Increases your general satisfaction
Although success in your set goals is the root of motivation, the desire beneath it is your happiness. The sense of achievement fills you with joy as you attain the new state and become better than before.
If you were targeting to lose weight, find a new job or start a business, once you achieve the objective, you will feel happier, and with each goal achieved, you experience a higher sense of contentment.
5. Allows you to be decisive
However, self-motivation helps you overcome this problem and be quick in your decision-making. In turn, this allows you to take advantage of opportunities whenever they arise.
6. Achieve your dreams
At the end of it all, the benefit of self-motivation is the realization of your dreams. Not only that, but doing so much sooner, which allows you to do even more. Self-motivation places the process and effort you need to achieve your dreams in your control.
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Pros and Cons of Self-Motivation
- It depends on you giving you much control
- You are doing what you are passionate about
- It comes from a desire to improve
- Is not reliant on external rewards
- It makes it easy to overcome obstacles
- It can be difficult to sustain
- You need excellent self-awareness to do things you want
- It only works when it is something you really want or are passionate about
Self-motivation can be developed and improved like a skill. There are several exercises and practices you can use, but the following five are essential.
1. Identify what you want and what motivates you.
Self-motivation requires sufficient self-awareness and introspection. You need to identify what it is you most want in all spheres of your life. Have some reflection regularly to define what you want in terms of health, relationships, family, career, business, education, and other things. Your underlying desire will fuel your success.
2. Set smart goals
Once you have identified the result you want in each area, you have to set goals which will be your plan to SMART goals(Aff.link), especially ones that are specific and a good challenge, provide sufficient motivation to attain them.
3. Celebrate small wins
You should also take time to celebrate your small wins. Your mind gets a boost when you acknowledge the achievements you are making. Therefore, start small or break your main goals into smaller segments so that you do not get overwhelmed or feel like you are not moving.
Even daily tasks can be split into small parts, and with the accomplishment of each, you acknowledge the progress made.
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4. Keep learning
A crucial aspect of being competent is to know more than you know presently. Some of your goals and part of attaining what you want may seem difficult or challenging because you lack the relevant knowledge. Learning new skills pertinent to your area helps you not only move forward but also set new boundaries.
5. Keep good company
Self-motivation can be challenging to sustain, especially when you meet setbacks. That is why you need to check the negative influences around you as well as distractions. Keeping good company allows you to share inspiration and motivation with others and keeps you focused on your goal.
You need to find people who are also self-motivated, including mentors and friends, even if the goals are different. The company also helps you be accountable, adding to your focus.
You can change your life.
You have to identify what you truly want that is worth you giving your all. Opportunities for self-growth exist all around you, and with self-motivation, you can change your life.
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