Self-Motivation Explained + 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself

What is Self-Motivation? 100+ Ways to Motivate Yourself (Definition + Quotes)

To demonstrate this point, let’s consider two scenarios you’ve likely experienced:

  • You have something you have to do . You’re not excited or passionate about it, but you know you need to get it done. This feeling of obligation motivates you to work hard to complete the task;
  • You have something you get to do . You’re interested in your task—you might have even assigned this task for yourself rather than receiving it from someone else—and you are happy to put in the time and effort to complete it.

In which scenario are you more effective? In which scenario are you more efficient? And, in which scenario do you feel the most fulfilled?

I’m willing to bet that your answer to each of those questions is Scenario 2.

It likely won’t come as a surprise that doing something for its own sake and for your own purposes is likely to be more fulfilling, enjoyable, and successful than doing something to meet external standards or to please others.

The feeling described in Scenario 2 is that of being self-motivated . Read on to learn more about self-motivation and why it’s the most effective kind of motivation.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients create actionable goals and master techniques to create lasting behavior change.

This Article Contains:

  • What Is the Meaning of Self-Motivation?

3 Examples of Self-Motivation

The psychology of self-motivation: how are self-efficacy and motivation related, the importance of self-motivation, is self-motivation a skill and can it be developed through training, how to foster self-motivation in the workplace, research on self-motivation.

  • 17 Activities, Exercises, and Worksheets for Self-Motivation (PDF)

5 Meditations to Promote Self-Motivation

Self-motivation quizzes, questionnaires, and tests, apps for increasing self-motivation, popular podcasts on self-motivation, 22 quotes and messages to ignite self-motivation, 6 images to inspire self-motivation, 15 recommended movies to get yourself motivated, ted talks, speeches, and videos on self-motivation, 7 books on self-motivation, a take-home message, what is the meaning of self-motivation.

Above, we explored a basic example of self-motivation, but here’s a succinct definition of the concept:

“Self-motivation is, in its simplest form, the force that drives you to do things”

(Skills You Need, n.d.).

It’s the drive you have to work toward your goals, to put effort into self-development, and to achieve personal fulfillment.

It’s important to note here that self-motivation is generally driven by intrinsic motivation, a kind of motivation that comes from sincerely wanting to achieve and desiring the inherent rewards associated with it.

Self-motivation can also be driven by extrinsic motivation, the drive to achieve that comes from wanting the external rewards (like money, power, status, or recognition), although it’s clear that intrinsic motivation is usually a more effective and fulfilling drive.

Self-Motivation and Emotional Intelligence

According to emotional intelligence expert Daniel Goleman, self-motivation is a key component of emotional intelligence . Emotional intelligence is the measure of one’s ability to recognize and manage his or her own emotions and the emotions of other people.

Self-motivation’s relevance to emotional intelligence highlights its role within our ability to understand ourselves, relate to others, and succeed in reaching our goals .

Goleman states that there are four components of motivation:

  • Achievement drive, or the personal drive to achieve, improve, and meet certain standards;
  • Commitment to your own personal goals;
  • Initiative, or the “readiness to act on opportunities”;
  • Optimism, or the tendency to look ahead and persevere with the belief that you can reach your goals (Skills You Need, n.d.).

What is Self-Motivation? examples

  • A man who goes to work every only as a means to pay the bills, keep his family off his back, and please his boss is not self-motivated, while a man who needs no external forces to make the trek into work every day and finds fulfillment in what he does is self-motivated;
  • The student who only completes her homework because her parents remind her or nag her, or because they ground her when she fails to complete it is not self-motivated, but the student who completes her homework with no prodding because she wants to learn and succeed in school is self-motivated;
  • The woman who only goes to the gym when her friends drag her there or because her doctor is adamant that she needs to exercise to get healthy is not self-motivated, but the woman who likes the way exercise makes her feel and schedules time at the gym whether or not anyone encourages her is self-motivated.

As you can see, self-motivation is all about where your drive comes from; if your motivation comes from within and pushes you to achieve for your own personal reasons, it can be considered self-motivation.

If you are only motivated to achieve standards set by someone else and not for your own internal satisfaction, you are probably not self-motivated.

It’s possible to be self-motivated in some areas and not in others. For example, if the man from the first example is not internally motivated to go to work but is sure to make time for his marathon training, he is not self-motivated when it comes to work but might be self-motivated to run.

presentation on self motivation

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Psychologist Scott Geller is at the forefront of research on self-motivation, and he explains that there are three questions you can use to determine whether you (or someone in your life) is self-motivated:

  • Can you do it?
  • Will it work?
  • Is it worth it?

If you answered “yes” to each question, you are likely self-motivated.

If you believe you can do it, you have self-efficacy . If you believe it will work, you have response efficacy—belief that the action you are taking will lead to the outcome you want. And if you believe it is worth it, you have weighed the cost against the consequences and decided the consequences outweigh the cost (Geller, 2016).

Speaking of consequences, Geller considers “consequences” to be one of four vital “C” words that underpin self-motivation:

  • Consequences: To be self-motivated, you sincerely have to want the consequences associated with the actions you take rather than simply doing something to avoid negative consequences;
  • Competence: If you answer all three of the questions above with a “yes,” you will feel competent in your ability to get things done;
  • Choice: Having a sense of autonomy over your actions encourages self-motivation;
  • Community: Having social support and connections with others is critical for feeling motivated and believing in yourself and your power to achieve (Geller, 2016).

Much of Geller’s work on self-motivation is grounded in the research of psychologist and self-efficacy researcher Albert Bandura . In 1981, Bandura set the stage for Geller’s current conceptualization of self-motivation with this description:

“Self-motivation . . . requires personal standards against which to evaluate ongoing performance. By making self-satisfaction conditional on a certain level of performance, individuals create self-inducements to persist in their efforts until their performances match internal standards. Both the anticipated satisfactions for matching attainments and the dissatisfactions with insufficient ones provide incentives for self-directed actions”

(Bandura & Schunk, 1981).

From this quote, you can see where Geller’s three questions come from. Believing that you can do it, that it will work, and that it is worth it will drive you to match the internal standards you set for yourself.

We explore this further in The Science of Self-Acceptance Masterclass© .

The DARN-C acronym is a commonly used tool in motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing is a directive, client-centered treatment that enhances intrinsic motivation to make positive life changes (Miller & Rollnick, 2013).

The DARN-C acronym stands for desire , ability , reason , need , and commitment , which builds the basis of change talk.

1. Desire indicates precisely what the client wants and wishes for. This desire is the motivating factor for change. 2. The ability component of motivation is necessary because clients must believe that they can change, so a realistic perspective on how achievable this change can be is needed. 3. The reason for the change can be motivated by current pitfalls, benefits of a changed future, or aspects of both. 4. The need indicates the urgency of the change without specifying the underlying reason. The needs that arise during motivational interviewing questions reflect the importance of the shift to the individual. 5. Lastly, commitment is about specific actions that the client will take to change, an understanding of how to convert intentions into concrete action plans.

presentation on self motivation

As you have likely already guessed, self-motivation is an important concept. While pleasing others and meeting external standards can certainly motivate us to get things done, such efforts aren’t exactly labors of love.

In other words, doing things because we feel we have to do them or to gain some external reward is enough in many cases, but it doesn’t invoke the passion needed to drive innovation and excellence.

It’s fine to use external sources to motivate you in some areas, but external motivation is less likely to leave you feeling personally fulfilled and finding deeper meaning in your life .

Not only do we generally do better work when we are self-motivated, but we are also better able to cope with stress and are simply happier when we are doing what we want to be doing.

Is Self-Motivation a Skill and Can It Be Developed Through Training?

The answer is a definite “yes.”

Self-motivation is driven by a set of skills that are within your control. Read on to learn how to use this to your advantage.

12 Tips and Skills to Motivate Yourself Today

The Skills You Need website lists six vital skills that form the foundation of self-motivation, and they are all skills that you can develop through sustained effort:

  • Setting high but realistic goals (e.g., SMART goals);
  • Taking the right level of risk;
  • Constantly seeking feedback to figure out how to improve;
  • Being committed to personal and/or organizational goals and going the extra mile to achieve them;
  • Actively seeking out opportunities and seizing them when they occur;
  • Being able to deal with setbacks and continue to pursue your goals despite obstacles (i.e., resilience).

Further, there are six things you can do to maintain your self-motivation:

  • Continue learning and acquiring knowledge (i.e., develop a love of learning);
  • Spend time with motivated, enthusiastic, and supportive people;
  • Cultivate a positive mindset and build your optimism and resilience;
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and work on them;
  • Avoid procrastination and work on your time management skills;
  • Get help when you need it, and be willing to help others succeed (Skills You Need, n.d.).

14 Strategies for Students to Increase Their Self-Motivation to Study

Students are particularly well-suited to reap the benefits of self-motivation, but it can be hard to be self-motivated in the current educational environment.

Luckily, there are some things you can do as teachers, parents, and adult mentors to help students become self-motivated. In addition, there are plenty of strategies that students can apply themselves.

Here are some ideas for how to encourage self-motivation in students:

  • Provide students with as much autonomy and freedom of choice as possible (e.g., give students a choice in their seating arrangements or a range of options for their final project, and implement problem-based learning);
  • Provide useful feedback, praise hard work, and deliver critical feedback using words like “and” and “what if” instead of “but” to encourage student competence;
  • Cultivate a high-quality relationship with your students by taking a genuine interest in them, acting friendly, staying flexible, keeping your focus on the end goal of learning, and not giving up on them;
  • Encourage your students to think about, write about, and discuss how what they are learning is relevant to their own lives (Ferlazzo, 2015).

And, here are some ways that students can bolster their own self-motivation:

  • Attach meaning to your studies and take personal ownership over your knowledge and learning;
  • Create a plan: Map out your semester, your month, your week, and even your day;
  • Build a routine and apply time management skills to become more organized and productive;
  • Identify several comfortable study environments (they should be quiet and have few distractions);
  • Get enough sleep, eat nutritious food, and exercise regularly to stay healthy;
  • Tame “time monsters” like the internet, video games, or unproductive time spent with friends;
  • Avoid multitasking by choosing one subject or task to work on at a time and focusing all of your attention on it;
  • Take planned—and well-earned—breaks to stay refreshed and motivated;
  • Connect with a support system of friends and family who will encourage you to do your best;
  • Talk positively to yourself (Buckle, 2013).

You may find it much easier to encourage self-motivation in the workplace than in school.

After all, everyone in the workplace is there because they chose to be there, not because they’re required to be there by the law or by their parents. Employees might have vastly disparate reasons for being at work, but it’s unlikely they were compelled to work for their specific organization against their will.

As a manager, there are many ways to foster self-motivation in the workplace, including:

  • Giving your employees one-on-one attention, feedback, and recognition;
  • Ensure your employees have opportunities for meaningful advancement as well as training and education opportunities;
  • Set the example in terms of tone, work ethic, and values . Be a role model for positivity, optimism, and hard work;
  • Cultivate an uplifting and motivating culture that encourages employees to want to do their best;
  • Foster socialization through teamwork and team-based activities, projects, and events;
  • Stay as transparent as possible and open yourself up to questions, concerns, and ideas from your employees. Implement an open-door policy to ensure your employees feel heard (DeMers, 2015).

Writers Nick Nanton and J. W. Dicks at Fast Company offer some further strategies to ensure that both you and your employees stay motivated:

  • Sell your mission statement to your team as you would to an investor. Ensure the people working to meet that mission understand it and buy into it;
  • Foster a culture in which each employee has a specific job and a specific role with the organization, and give them room to grow and opportunities to implement ambitious new ideas;
  • Focus on inspiring your staff instead of just motivating them. Inspired employees will inherently be motivated;
  • Show your team recognition and appreciation for the hard work they do;
  • Share your passion with your team and lead from the front by developing a positive mindset and displaying a positive attitude (2015).

Techniques to Motivate Yourself at Work

You can also take control of your own self-motivation at work. Some good techniques for becoming more self-motivated at work include:

  • Finding work that interests you (This is a vital tip—it’s much easier to be self-motivated when you are passionate about what you do and fully engaged in it.);
  • Request feedback from your boss or colleagues to learn about where you can improve and to enhance role clarity;
  • Learn a new skill that is relevant to your role (or your desired role);
  • Ask for a raise. Financial incentives are generally considered extrinsic motivation, but if you’re happy with your position, being paid what you think you are worth can be very self-motivating;
  • Remind yourself of your “why,” the reason you do the work you do. When you are doing meaningful work, you are more likely to find fulfillment and stay self-motivated;
  • Volunteer your services to others (This is especially helpful if you have trouble defining your “why.”);
  • Take a vacation to allow yourself to rest, recharge, and come back refreshed and ready to work (Stahl, 2016).

The research on self-motivation clarifies its vital role in helping us achieve our goals. Check out the findings on two important and related topics below.

Self-Discipline and Self-Motivation

While self-discipline and self-motivation are two distinct concepts, self-discipline is vital to maintaining self-motivation. It’s not enough simply to be self-motivated—to achieve your goals, you need to couple self-motivation with self-discipline.

A study of online learners showed that even though they might all be considered self-motivated (since they are all taking a voluntary course with the goal of learning), those with self-discipline were the most likely to succeed.

Those who were highly self-disciplined displayed higher competence at the end of the course, fulfilled more external tasks, and were more effective in achieving their goals (Gorbunovs, Kapenieks, & Cakula, 2016).

Self-Motivation and Weight Loss

Very often, self-motivation is a key component of weight loss. Research on the connection between the two is quite clear.

In multiple studies, researchers found that participants who reported greater autonomy support and self-determined motivation were more effective in losing weight, more likely to keep the weight off for longer periods of time, and more positive about their weight loss journey (Teixeira, Silva, Mata, Palmeira, & Markland, 2012).

When we have our own closely held reasons for wanting to lose weight—and these reasons are based on personal fulfillment rather than meeting external standards—we are much more likely to find success.

16 Activities, Exercises, and Worksheets for Self-Motivation (PDFs)

17 Activities, Exercises, and Worksheets for Self-Motivation (PDF)

Check out the activities, exercises, and worksheets below to find ways to enhance your self-motivation. Or, share these resources with your clients to help them get self-motivated.

Quick and Easy Motivation Techniques

Some techniques and exercises are more difficult than others. If you’re looking for a quick and easy exercise or activity to boost your self-motivation, try these:

  • Listen to motivational music, like: a. Bill Conti’s Gonna Fly Now ; b. Paul Engemann’s Push it to the Limit ; c. Queen’s We Will Rock You ; d. Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone ; e. ACDC’s Thunderstruck .
  • Watch a motivational movie, like: a. Forrest Gump ; b. The Pursuit of Happyness ; c. Life is Beautiful ; d. Rain Man ; e . The Family Man .
  • Read books that boost motivation from authors like: a. Napoleon Hill; b. Brian Tracy; c. Tony Robbins; d. Jim Rohn (Mueller, 2012).

Stronger Motivational Techniques

If you need techniques with a bit more power, you can try these:

  • Set wisely chosen and deeply personal goals that you are excited about working toward;
  • Schedule rewards for yourself when you accomplish your goals (or when you make steps toward your goals, for the larger ones);
  • Visualize yourself achieving and fulfilling these goals;
  • Create a vision board with your goals, aims, and dreams in mind, and post it somewhere you will see it often;
  • Pay attention to your “hierarchy of needs” (à la Abraham Maslow) and ensure you are meeting your lower-level needs (including physiological needs like food and sleep, safety needs, social needs, and esteem needs);
  • Consider using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), the study linking neurology, language, and programming to understand human experience and motivation;
  • Envision what could happen when you reach your goals, as well as what could happen when you fail to reach your goals;
  • Incorporate things you are interested in and engage your curiosity when setting and working toward your goals;
  • Make a commitment to someone or something to ensure your future self will find it difficult to change plans or put things off (Mueller, 2012).

Self-Motivation Workbook (PDF)

This workbook is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to develop self-motivation.

It contains 23 pages of self-motivation information, activities, and exercises to help you find the drive within yourself that’s needed to achieve your goals.

You’ll find sections like:

  • What Makes People Self-Motivated?;
  • Lack of Energy or Self-Motivation?;
  • Making Decisions;
  • Don’t Make Excuses;
  • Be Clear About Your Decisions;
  • The Three Decisions That Will Shape Your Life;
  • The NAC Concept of Pain and Pleasure;
  • Transforming Yourself.

Please note that you will need to register with to download this workbook. You can find more free motivation tools and worksheets here .

Exercise: Build Self-Efficacy

Building self-efficacy is one of the best ways to develop your self-motivation. It might sound difficult or complex, but there are three simple activities you can do that help get you there:

  • Ensure early success by choosing activities or steps that you know you can do;
  • Watch others succeed in the activity you want to try—this is particularly effective if the person you are observing is similar to you and/or close to you;
  • Find a supportive voice, like a coach, counselor, friendly manager, or mentor to encourage you and give you feedback (Mantell, 2012).

Set SMART Goals

As noted earlier, setting SMART goals is a great way to enhance your self-motivation.

When you set these goals, make sure they are:

  • Measurable;
  • Attainable;

Creating goals for yourself is one of the best things you can do to build a foundation for self-motivation. And if your goals are SMART, you are much more likely to find it easy to motivate yourself.

Getting Motivated to Change

This PDF from Texas Christian University’s Institute of Behavior Research offers many useful handouts and worksheets on motivation, along with some instructions for how to use them and suggestions for implementing change-focused counseling and coaching (Bartholomew, Dansereau, & Simpson, 2006).

It breaks things down into four parts:

  • Motivation 101;
  • The Art of Self-Motivation;
  • Staying Motivated;
  • Making It Second Nature.

All four parts contain great resources, but the Art of Self-Motivation section includes some really useful handouts and worksheets, including:

  • Motivation and Change handout (page 28);
  • Taking a Hard Look – Pros and Cons (page 29);
  • Target Log (page 30).

Some of the resources in this PDF are targeted to people who are recovering from addiction, but it’s easy enough to alter and adapt them for more general use.

Click here to access this 63-page resource.

Meditation can be a great way to help maintain your self-motivation.

Try these meditations to help you stay self-motivated:

  • Mountain Refuge’s Meditation for Self-Motivation ( 20-minute guided meditation from Meditainment);
  • Meditation to Help Stop Procrastination (guided meditation from Jason Stephenson that’s about one half-hour);

  • Guided Meditation—Motivation (11-minute guided meditation from Minds with Integrity);

  • 10 Minute Meditation for Motivation and Building a Positive Mindset (10-minute guided meditation from The Mindful Movement);

  • Guided Meditation—Increase Motivation and Confidence (nine-minute guided meditation from Michael Mackenzie at Project Meditation).

There are several fun quizzes and questionnaires you can use to explore your level of self-motivation. They aren’t all rigorous and validated instruments, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful.

Self-Motivation Quiz From Richard Step

You can find this quick five-minute quiz from Richard Step at this link . It includes 45 questions rated on a three-point scale (with Rarely, Maybe, and A Lot as the three options).

You can take it with a focus on your life in general, or you can narrow your focus to one of several areas, including:

  • Academics and schoolwork;
  • Business ownership;
  • Career growth and change;
  • Creativity;
  • Entrepreneurship and self-employment;
  • Faith and spirituality;
  • Family life;
  • Fitness and health;
  • Friendships;
  • Future vision;
  • Goal setting and completion;
  • Helping other people;
  • Hobbies and casual interests;
  • “I was asked to take the test”;
  • Just for fun or curiosity;
  • Leadership and management;
  • Life purpose and passions;
  • Marriage and relationships
  • Money and wealth;
  • Psychological research;
  • Retirement and legacy living
  • Self-discovery and development;
  • Shopping and spending;
  • Teaching and training others;
  • Teamwork and team-building;
  • Trauma recovery.

Your results from this quiz will help you determine what makes you tick and what your main motivators are.

Motivation Style Quiz

If you want to learn what type of incentives you are most responsive to, this quiz from Martha Beck at can help. It includes only 10 questions with five response options each, so it’s a quick and easy way to discover your motivation style.

Your results will be presented via a score on the five different motivator types:

  • Connection;
  • Accomplishment;
  • Enlightenment;

Scores can range from 1 to 10, with higher scores indicating that something is a greater motivator for you. Anything with a score of 6 or higher can be considered one of your major motivators, while anything below 3 is only minimally important. Your main motivational style is the component with the highest score.

Along with your scores, you will see descriptions of each motivation style to get an idea of what your “type” is like.

The Self-Motivation Inventory

For a slightly more research-backed scale of self-motivation, you might want to consider the Self-Motivation Inventory. This inventory will help you determine your level of self-motivation and whether you’re driven more by internal or external motivators.

It includes 30 items rated on a scale from 1 (less true) to 5 (more true), dependent on how well you feel each item describes you.

A few sample items include:

  • I frequently think about how good I will feel when I accomplish what I have set out to do;
  • If asked about what motivates me to succeed, I would say that the number one factor is a sense of personal fulfillment, that I gave my all and did my best;
  • When I think about the reward for doing something, the first thing I think about is the sense of accomplishment or achievement;
  • On several occasions, I have given myself a consequence for making a poor or less optimal decision. For instance, if I chose to eat an extra helping of dessert, I tell myself to work out an extra 10 minutes at the gym;
  • Even if something makes me feel slightly nervous or uncomfortable, I typically do not have much trouble getting myself to do it.

When you have answered all 30 questions, total your responses for your overall score. Your score will place you within one of the following categories:

  • Total Score 113-150: highly self-motivated;
  • Total Score 75-112: somewhat self-motivated;
  • Total Score 38-74: slightly self-motivated (perhaps in one or two areas, but not overall);
  • Total Score 0-37: not at all self-motivated (more externally motivated).

This inventory was developed by Milana Leshinsky and Larina Kase, and you can find it at this link .

If you’ve committed to becoming more self-motivated and working toward your goals, these seven smartphone apps can help you get started and maintain your drive:

  • DayOneApp : This journaling app allows you to add pictures, local weather data, and geo-location to each journal entry (iOS and Android);
  • MyFitnessPal : This food- and exercise-focused app helps determine the calories and overall nutrition of the food you eat and records your exercise activity (iOS and Android);
  • Headout : This app shares exciting, last-minute deals on fun experiences, including nearby activities, events, and tours. Make sure you make time to rest and relax in addition to all the work (iOS and Android);
  • : This app acts as a sort of digital coach by posing powerful questions that will help you narrow down your desires, set goals, and stay open-minded and on track (iOS and Android) (Boss, 2016).

If you’re a fan of podcasts, you might be happy to know that there are plenty of motivation-related podcasts available.

Here’s just a sample of the podcasts out there focused on this topic:

  • The Daily Boost: Best Daily Motivation ( website );
  • The Accidental Creative ( website );
  • Inspire Nation—Daily Inspiration, Motivation, Meditation ( website );
  • The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes ( website );
  • Cortex ( website );
  • The Tony Robbins Podcast ( website );
  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin ( website );
  • Beyond the To Do List—Personal Productivity Perspectives ( website );
  • The Charlene Show ( website );
  • The Ziglar Show—Inspiring Your True Performance ( website );
  • Courageous Self-Confidence ( website ).

Check out other great podcasts that are focused on improving your motivation at .

Sometimes you just need a quick boost to get self-motivated, and quotes are a great way to get the spike in motivation that you need. Among this list are 17 quotes collected by Lydia Sweatt (2016). Give these quotes and messages a read next time you’re lacking in motivation.

“The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.”
“Most people can motivate themselves to do things simply by knowing that those things need to be done. But not me. For me, motivation is this horrible, scary game where I try to make myself do something while I actively avoid doing it. If I win, I have to do something I don’t want to do. And if I lose, I’m one step closer to ruining my entire life. And I never know whether I’m going to win or lose until the last second.”

Allie Brosh

“Always choose the future over the past. What do we do now?”

Brian Tracy

“You are your master. Only you have the master keys to open the inner locks.”
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

Norman Vincent Peale

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Walt Disney

“Where there is a will, there is a way. If there is a chance in a million that you can do something, anything to keep what you want from ending, do it. Pry the door open or, if need be, wedge your foot in that door and keep it open.”

Pauline Kael

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”

George Herbert

“Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.”

George Whitefield

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.”

W. Clement Stone

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.”

Sam Levenson

“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.”

Michael Phelps

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”

Theodore Roosevelt

“We aim above the mark to hit the mark.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.”

Michael Korda

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.”

Simone de Beauvoir

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Arthur Ashe

“Why should you continue going after your dreams? Because seeing the look on the faces of the people who said you couldn’t . . . will be priceless.”
“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

Harriet Beecher Stow

Similarly, sometimes a motivational poster, meme, or image can work wonders for your self-motivation. Below are six of my favorite motivation-related images. (Images that are not Creative Commons can be accessed via the links.)

6 Images to Inspire Self-Motivation

The Classic Road Sign

I don’t know about you, but there’s something that calls to me in this image: the blue sky and clouds, the angle encouraging us to look up, and “Motivation” in big letters. For some reason, it just works!

Looking at this image makes me think about life as a journey and motivation as an important piece of that journey. If we want to reach our next destination, we need to put forth some effort to make it happen. And when we do, seeing that big road sign welcoming us can often be reward enough.

The Yes I Can image also points out that the best motivation is self-motivation; as we’ve learned in this piece, that is truly the case. When we are motivated for our own internal reasons and committed to reach our goals for personal fulfillment rather than meeting the standards of others, we are more likely to succeed.

Sometimes, all we need is a quick reminder that “Yes I can!” Keep this image handy, especially when you’re working towards a particularly challenging goal, and it might give you the boost of motivation you need to stay on track.

I Cannot Change Yesterday, But I Can Change Today

The message of this image  is such an important point to remember, especially for those of us who struggle with leaving the past where it belongs: in the past.

It can be all too easy to dwell on past experiences, mistakes you’ve made, and roads that you should have taken. However, that does nothing to improve your current state. It’s good to reflect on what has brought you to where you are today, but letting worry, shame, embarrassment, and self-doubt based on your past creep into your present is a sure recipe for failure.

Remember that yesterday is done and gone—you can’t change it, so there’s no point dwelling on it. Take your lessons learned and apply them to something you can change: today.

What Matters Most Is How You See Yourself

This is another classic image in self-motivation and self-esteem, probably because it has a kitten in it. Kittens make for popular images.

Besides being cute, it also gets an important point across: The most important thing is the view you have of yourself. What other people think simply doesn’t matter most of the time. It’s what you think and feel about yourself that drives your behavior.

If you want to stay motivated and achieve your long-term goals, make sure to work on your sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy. See the best in yourself when you look in the mirror, and you’ll ensure that the best in yourself is what you manifest through your actions.


This exhilarating (and potentially anxiety-inducing) image reminds us that what seems impossible is sometimes very possible. Of course, some things are truly impossible, based on things like gravity and the laws of nature, but this image isn’t about those things. It’s about things that seem impossible until you actually try them.

Challenge yourself to try something that seems impossible, giving it at least one solid attempt. You may be surprised at the outcome.

Don’t Worry, You Got This

This meme is both adorable and motivational. Featuring a tiny hedgehog in a victorious pose, this is a great image to go to when you’re in need of self-motivation combined with light-heartedness and humor. It can sometimes give a boost that simply can’t be found in more solemn inspirational quotes.

Looking at the cute little hedgehog and telling yourself, “ You got this! ” might be enough to get yourself in the frame of mind to take on a new challenge with enthusiasm and a smile.

If you’re a cinephile, you might find movies a good source of motivation.

If so, this list of 15 motivational movies (along with the movies listed above) might be enough to give you a boost:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962);
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994);
  • Queen of Katwe (2016);
  • Apollo 13 (1995);
  • The Queen (2006);
  • Lion (2016);
  • Southpaw (2015);
  • The African Queen (1951);
  • Dangal (2016);
  • Field of Dreams (1989);
  • My Life as a Zucchini (2016);
  • The Finest Hours (2016);
  • Begin Again (2013);
  • Sing Street (2016).

To see descriptions of the motivational power of these movies, read Samuel R. Murrian’s (2017) article  here .

Don’t have time for a full-length feature film? That’s okay! There are also tons of great TED Talks and YouTube videos on self-motivation. Check out any of the videos listed below to learn more about self-motivation:

The Psychology of Self-Motivation – Scott Geller

Psychology Professor Scott Gellar (mentioned earlier in this article) explains how to become more self-motivated in this inspiring TEDx Talk.

How Can We Become More Self-Motivated – Kyra G.

Thirteen-year-old Kyra shares in this TEDxYOUTH talk how to be motivated by setting goals and looking up to positive role models.

Self Motivation – Brendan Clark

Another young TEDxYOUTH speaker, Brendan Clark shares his own philosophies on motivation and success in this video.

Of course, there’s always the old-fashioned option to learn more about self-motivation: reading.

Check out these excellent books on self-motivation if you want an in-depth look at the topic:

  • Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation by Edward L. Deci and Richard Flaste ( Amazon );
  • The Self-Motivation Handbook by Jim Cathcart ( Amazon );
  • Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development by Carol Dweck ( Amazon );
  • The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard ( Amazon );
  • The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win by Jeff Haden ( Amazon );
  • No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy ( Amazon );
  • The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson ( Amazon ).

presentation on self motivation

17 Tools To Increase Motivation and Goal Achievement

These 17 Motivation & Goal Achievement Exercises [PDF] contain all you need to help others set meaningful goals, increase self-drive, and experience greater accomplishment and life satisfaction.

Created by Experts. 100% Science-based.

In this piece, we covered what self-motivation is, how it fits into similar concepts in psychology, how you can boost it in yourself, and how you can encourage it in others.

It’s possible to increase self-motivation, and in turn, to increase your productivity and success. Hopefully, this article gave you some techniques and tools for achieving this.

What’s your take on self-motivation? What works best for you? Do you find yourself motivated more by external rewards or by internal drives? Did you find that your motivation differs in different areas of life? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free .

  • Bandura, A., & Schunk, D. H. (1981). Cultivating competence, self-efficacy, and intrinsic interest through proximal self-motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41 , 586-598.
  • Bartholomew, N. G., Dansereau, D. F., & Simpson, D. D. (2006). Getting motivated to change. TCU Institute of Behavioral Research. Retrieved from
  • Boss, J. (2016). 7 apps to help integrate tech with self-improvement goals. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from
  • Buckle, K. (2013). 10 tips for self-motivation for students. Gratia Plena. Retrieved from
  • DeMers, J. (2015). 6 motivation secrets to inspire your employees. Inc. Retrieved from
  • Ferlazzo, L. (2015). Strategies for helping students motivate themselves. Edutopia. Retrieved from
  • Geller, E. S. (2016). The psychology of self-motivation. In E. S. Geller (Ed.) Applied Psychology (pp. 83-118). New York, NY, US: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gorbunovs, A., Kapenieks, A., & Cakula, S. (2016). Self-discipline as a key indicator to improve learning outcomes in e-learning environment. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 231 , 245-262. Mantell, M. (2012). Four strategies that build lasting motivation (and how to use them to achieve your goals). LifeHacker. Retrieved from
  • Mueller, S. (2012). Self-motivation techniques: Proven motivation tactics to boost your motivation. Planet of Success. Retrieved from
  • Murrian, S. R. (2017). 15 inspiring, uplifting movies you can watch right now on Netflix for a hopeful new year. Parade. Retrieved from
  • Nanton, N., & Dicks, J. W. (2015). 5 steps to keeping your employees—and yourself—motivated daily. Fast Company. Retrieved from
  • Skills You Need. (n.d.). Self-motivation. Skills You Need: Personal Skills. Retrieved from
  • Stahl, A. (2016). Seven ways to get motivated at work. Forbes: Leadership. Retrieved from
  • Sweatt, L. (2016). 17 motivational quotes to help you achieve your dreams. Success. Retrieved from
  • Texeira, P. J., Silva, M. N., Mata, J., Palmeira, A. L., & Markland, D. (2012). International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9, 22.

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This article very helpful for me. For me, intrinsic motivation work for me. Thank you so much to the writer.

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Wow.. wonderful article. Covered all corners .. its so inspirational and insightful.


thanks alot of information

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Excellent resource and information for all areas of life. I look forward to reading some of the books your listed.



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Thank you so much for this wonderful post. Really great

Erepamo Eradiri

This is the one of best example “A man who goes to work every only as a means to pay the bills, keep his family off his back, and please his boss is not self-motivated, while a man who needs no external forces to make the trek into work every day and finds fulfillment in what he does is self-motivated;” Thanks for sharing this helpful post in fast-changing life!

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Self-motivation is, in its simplest form, the force that drives you to do things.

The topic of self-motivation, however, is far from simple. People can be motivated by many things, both internal and external, such as desire to do something, love of someone, or need for money. Usually, motivation is a result of several factors.

The ability to motivate yourself—self-motivation—is an important skill. Self-motivation drives people to keep going even in the face of set-backs, to take up opportunities, and to show commitment to what they want to achieve.

This page explains more about this essential area, part of emotional intelligence .

What is Motivation?

Motivation is what pushes us to achieve our goals, feel more fulfilled and improve our overall quality of life.

Understanding and developing your self-motivation can help you to take control of many other aspects of your life.

Motivation is one of the three areas of personal skills that are integral to the concept of emotional intelligence.

Daniel Goleman, the author of several seminal books on Emotional Intelligence, identified four elements that make up motivation:

Personal drive to achieve , the desire to improve or to meet certain standards;

Commitment to personal or organisational goals;

Initiative , which he defined as ‘readiness to act on opportunities’; and

Optimism , the ability to keep going and pursue goals in the face of setbacks. This is also known as resilience.

To improve self-motivation, it is therefore helpful to understand more about these individual elements.

The Elements of Self-Motivation

1. Personal drive to achieve

You could think of a personal drive to achieve as ambition, or perhaps personal empowerment. However, it is also worth thinking about it in terms of mindset.

There are two types of mindset, fixed and growth.

Those with a fixed mindset believe that talent is ingrained, and that we cannot change our level of ability.

Those with a growth mindset believe that they can improve their skills through hard work and effort.

Research shows that those who believe that they can improve—that is, who have a growth mindset —are far more likely to achieve in whatever sphere they choose. A growth mindset is therefore an important element in a personal drive to succeed.

For more about this, see our page on Mindsets .

Other elements of personal drive include being organised , particularly being good at time management , and avoiding distractions .

2. Commitment to goals

There is considerable evidence, even if much of it is anecdotal, that goal-setting is important to our general well-being.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.

Albert Einstein

You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.

The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.


It certainly makes sense that ‘ if you aim at nothing, it is easy to achieve it’ , and that most of us need something in our lives to aim towards. Having an awareness of where you wish to be, and an understanding of how you plan to get there, is a vital part of staying motivated.

For more about how to set good goals, see our page on Setting Personal Goals .

3. Initiative

Initiative is, effectively, the ability to take advantage of opportunities when they occur.

It is all too easy to hesitate, and then the opportunity may be gone. However, the old sayings ‘ look before you leap ’ and ‘ fools rush in where angels fear to tread’ have a lot of truth in them. It is also important to think things through and ensure that you are making the right decision for you.

Initiative can therefore be considered as a combination of courage and good risk management:

Risk management is necessary to ensure that you identify the right opportunities to consider, and that they have the appropriate level of risk for you; and

Courage is necessary to overcome the fear of the unknown inherent in new opportunities.

4. Optimism or resilience

Optimism is the ability to look on the bright side, or think positively. Resilience is the ability to ‘bounce back’ after a setback, or keep positive in the face of challenges. The two are closely related, although not exactly the same.

Resilient people use their ability to think as a way to manage negative emotional responses to events. In other words, they use positive or rational thinking to examine, and if necessary, overcome reactions that they understand may not be entirely logical. They are also prepared to ask for help if necessary—as well as to offer their own help generously to others in need.

See our pages on Resilience and Positive Thinking for more.

Types of Motivators: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators

In thinking about self-motivation, it is helpful to understand what motivates you to do things.

There are two main types of motivators: ‘intrinsic’ and ‘extrinsic’.

In their simplest form you can think about these two types of motivation as:

Intrinsic = related to what we want to do.

Extrinsic = related to what we have to do.

A more detailed definition is:

Intrinsic : To perform an action or task based on the expected or perceived satisfaction of performing the action or task. Intrinsic motivators include having fun, being interested and personal challenge.

Extrinsic : To perform an action or task in order to attain some sort of external reward, including money, power and good marks or grades.

Different people are motivated by different things and at different times in their lives. The same task may have more intrinsic motivators at certain times and more extrinsic motivators at others, and most tasks have a combination of the two types of motivation.

John works because he has to pay his mortgage and feed himself and his family. He gets no satisfaction from his job and there is no chance of promotion. John’s motivators are purely extrinsic.

Sally works because she loves what she does, she gets enormous satisfaction and self-fulfilment from her work. Sally has enough money put away that she does not need to work, she owns her house outright and can afford to buy what she wants when she wants it. Sally’s motivators are purely intrinsic.

Clearly Sally and John are at different ends of the self-motivation spectrum. Most people, however, fall somewhere in the middle.

Most people do have to work in order to earn money, but at the same time they also find their day-to-day work life rewarding or satisfying in other intrinsic ways—job satisfaction and the chance to socialise with colleagues, for example.

We all have a tendency to work better when we love what we are doing.

It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning, we are happier in our work, and happier in general.

Research shows that this is particularly important when we’re under stress. It’s much easier to cope with stress and long hours if we generally enjoy the work. Intrinsic motivators therefore plays a big part in self-motivation for most of us.

The Importance of Obligation

What about if a task has neither intrinsic nor extrinsic motivators?

The obvious conclusion is that we are unlikely to do it, because it will be pointless.

We all know it doesn’t always work like that. There is a further issue: feelings of obligation .

Obligation motivators are not strictly either intrinsic or extrinsic but can still be very powerful. Obligation comes from our personal ethics and sense of duty, what is right and what is wrong.

For more about this, you may want to read our page about Goodness: learning to use your ‘moral compass’ .

You may feel obliged to go to a party because you were invited by somebody you know – there will be no obvious extrinsic or intrinsic benefit to you attending but you may worry that you will offend or upset your friend if you don’t go.  You are more likely to enjoy the party, however, if you go with a positive and open attitude, expecting it to be fun. This adds an intrinsic motivator: fun and enjoyment.

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Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

One Step at a Time…

Becoming self-motivated, or even just improving your self-motivation a little, will not happen overnight.

There are many skills involved, and you cannot expect to develop them all instantly. However, a better understanding of the elements of motivation, and particularly how they fit together, should help to increase your skills. Just remember, Rome was not built in a day: think about making progress over a long period of time and in small steps.

Continue to: Setting Personal Goals How Self-Motivated are You? Quiz

See also: Motivation Skills for Teachers Perseverance How to Write a To-Do List

Arash Emamzadeh

How to Increase Self-Motivation

Recent research explores the four dimensions of goal pursuit..

Posted January 10, 2022 | Reviewed by Devon Frye

  • What Is Motivation?
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  • Self-motivation means being driven by a personal desire to set valued goals and to focus on and move toward these goals despite obstacles.
  • To motivate yourself, you need to either change the situation or change your understanding of the situation.
  • The four constituents of self-motivation include goal setting, goal striving, goal juggling, and leveraging social support.

The present article reviews effective self-motivation techniques, based on findings cited in a paper by Fishbach, published in the December 2021 issue of Motivation Science .

Self-motivation means being driven by a personal desire to set valued goals and to focus on, commit to, and move toward these goals despite obstacles. Self-motivation is necessary for many situations, especially when what we desire immediately (e.g., eating pizza) is not what we should do (e.g., eating healthy). For instance, we motivate ourselves to do chores , engage in self-care , and better ourselves (e.g., become more conscientious ).

But how do you motivate yourself, exactly? Below, I review effective motivational strategies related to four elements of motivation: goal setting, goal striving, goal juggling, and leveraging social support. See Table 1.

Arash Emamzadeh (adapted from Fishbach et al., 2021)

  • Goal Setting

We begin with strategies for successful goal setting.

  • Set a goal, not a means to a goal: If goal pursuit does not excite you, you are probably pursuing a means to a goal (e.g., finding a parking spot in a crowded area), not the goal (e.g., buying a special gift for a loved one). So, keep in mind your ultimate destination.
  • Set SMART goals: Smart stands for specific , measurable , attainable (i.e. neither too easy nor too difficult), relevant , and time-bound . Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” specify how many pounds and in how many months; and how you plan to accomplish your goal. Also, goals should be self-set, not imposed; otherwise, you might rebel against them.
  • Set incentives: Incentives are like “mini-goals” and increase motivation. However, they sometimes undermine the original goal (e.g., you study just for the incentive of eating chocolate). Furthermore, uncertain incentives (e.g., 20 or 40 minutes to play video games, randomly chosen) are potentially more motivating than certain ones (always 30 minutes).
  • Use intrinsic motivation : To motivate yourself, pursue intrinsically motivating goals —i.e. inherently beneficial and enjoyable activities (e.g., a job you love; an exercise you enjoy) and not a means to another goal (e.g., to lose weight, you jog, but you hate jogging).

Sustaining Motivation

To sustain motivation, monitor your progress.

  • Dynamics of goal motivation: To motivate yourself, reflect on your achievements (e.g., good grades; work success). Why? Because they demonstrate commitment to your goal , thus promoting consistency. Alternatively, reflect on things you have not accomplished yet. Why? Because they indicate a lack of progress (e.g., not having completed any extra-credit assignments), thus enhancing motivation to make progress.
  • The middle problem: Motivation is usually high initially and toward the end, but not in the middle. The solution? Keep the middles very short (e.g., instead of monthly goals, set weekly goals).
  • Learning from negative feedback: People are less likely to learn from negative than positive feedback, perhaps because they take it too personally. The solution? To protect your ego, focus on the lessons learned; sharing these lessons with others, in the form of giving advice, may also protect your ego. Additional techniques include developing a growth mindset , intentionally making minor mistakes (to practice learning from errors), and learning from others’ failures.

Goal Juggling

Rarely do we pursue a single goal, so we must learn to juggle goals.

  • Complementing goals: To increase goal commitment , select multiple means serving a single goal (e.g., eating healthy and dancing both help you lose weight; Figure 1B). To attain more goals , use means serving multiple goals (e.g., dancing for both weight loss and increased flexibility; Figure 1C). If you lose motivation, go back to performing activities that each serve mainly one goal.
  • Compromising vs. prioritizing: To resolve goal conflicts, we prioritize (choose A over B) or compromise (choose the middle ground or a third goal C). Framing an activity as progress encourages compromise but framing it as commitment encourages prioritization (see Point 1 in the section on sustaining motivation). So, be careful how you frame activities.
  • Self-control : Successful self-control requires first identifying a conflict. This necessitates examining behavioral patterns . For example, eating two slices of cake in one sitting is not a problem unless done regularly. Second, it requires us to exercise self-control. How? One, by changing the environment (e.g., filling the fridge with healthy food). Two, by changing our perception of a goal’s value (e.g., “I will feel proud of myself if I control my weight”) and reducing the value of the temptation (e.g., “I will feel guilty if I overeat” or “Looking at it closely, this doesn’t look appetizing”).
  • Patience: Goal conflicts often involve having to choose between something good soon and something great later (e.g., a yearly vacation vs. buying a house in five years). How to motivate yourself to remain patient? Use distractors, remind yourself of the value of your goal, and trust the process (i.e. “good things happen to those who wait”).

Arash Emamzadeh (adapted from Kruglanski et al. 2002)

Social Support

Social support can increase motivation.

  • Leverage social support: The mere presence of people increases motivation, magnifying what you do. Additionally, others may set expectations for performance—though in rare cases, too high of an expectation, which lowers motivation—provide resources, join you (e.g., study groups), and serve as role models.
  • Pursuing group goals: When pursuing goals as a group (e.g., be it a husband and wife, a class, or a community), in order to make sure all members are doing their fair share (i.e. to prevent free-riding and social loafing), make contributions public, increase members’ identification with the group, and inspire group members with your contributions. In addition, remember that in many groups, as far as resources are concerned, the goal is not an equal partnership but maximizing benefits for the group as a unit . Naturally, this can be motivating only if the resources you expect to obtain as a group justifies ignoring your personal desires or ambitions (e.g., relocating because of your spouse’s financially rewarding career ).

Arash Emamzadeh

Arash Emamzadeh attended the University of British Columbia in Canada, where he studied genetics and psychology. He has also done graduate work in clinical psychology and neuropsychology in U.S.

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Self Motivation: Staying Motivated to Reach Your Goals

Self Motivation: Staying Motivated to Reach Your Goals

September 30, 2019

self-motivation from Soul Salt coaching

Self motivation is the ability to drive oneself to take initiative and action to pursue goals and complete tasks. It’s an inner drive to take action — to create and to achieve. It’s what pushes you to keep going on tasks, especially those you’re pursuing because you want to, not because someone told you to.

When reaching for a big goal, self-motivation plays a key role. But making a change in your life requires persistence, and many of us find it difficult to stay motivated over time.

When setting out to achieve a long term goal , whether it’s to get healthy, make a midlife career change , or realize a personal dream, the beginning is easy. You’re full of vitality and determination to face the challenge.

However, many of our most precious goals don’t happen quickly. It takes hard work, persistence, and discipline to change your life . When results don’t come as quickly as you expect, or when nothing goes right , it’s natural to feel frustrated and have difficulty staying motivated. 

Exploring how to find motivation will provide the tools to overcome dips, develop mental toughness , improve your focus on your goals, and keep you on a steady path toward success. So let’s begin!

What Is Self Motivation?


In order to find motivation, we first need to understand what we’re really talking about.

Motivation is simply the force driving your behavior. It’s the “why” behind everything you do, and the reason you might take up a cause, commit to an action, or work toward a goal. Everything we do is motivated by some combination of conscious and unconscious need or desire.

When we talk about self-motivation , we are going beyond basic motives. What we really mean is the ability to follow through on making a positive change in life — without giving up. Self-motivation requires that you believe in yourself, stay inspired, and keep going despite setbacks. 

In other words, we are talking about grit. 

Psychologist Angela Duckworth studied the characteristics of high achievers and discovered that passion and perseverance are the key drivers of long-term success. Grit takes you farther than the initial motive behind your goal, after the buzz of excitement wears off. Grit takes you all the way to the finish line.

So, how can we learn to harness these qualities and develop the self-motivation to succeed?

What drives motivation? 


Although self-motivation requires a long-term view, it’s important to look at what is motivating you to seek change. The more clear you are on “why,” the easier it will be to stay focused on the work you’re doing, and to create the life you want .

Sometimes motives can hide in plain sight, hidden within the subconscious, telling us deep down inside that something needs to change. Desires can evolve, sometimes in a flash of inspiration, and sometimes through self-discovery over time.

You’ll have an easier time staying motivated by recognizing the motives behind your goals. Becoming aware of these motives, and their source, improves self-awareness while also keeping you on track toward goals that truly matter to you.

You can classify the reason behind your goals in two ways: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation refers to pursuing a goal based on internal factors . 

Rather than external rewards, like money or recognition, intrinsically motivated actions have a built-in personal reward. Feelings of enjoyment, finding purpose , and achieving excellence come from pursuing intrinsically motivated goals.

In other words, our deepest desires, wants, and dreams come from within and drive self-motivation.

Some examples of intrinsic motivation include changing habits to feel healthier, pursuing a lifelong dream of becoming an artist, or building stronger, more meaningful relationships with people. 

What heartfelt desires drive you to become a better person and pursue your dreams? That’s where you will find intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation relates to actions that we pursue based on external factors . In the case of extrinsic motivation, we aim to attain some kind of reward such as money, status, or good performance.

Some examples of extrinsically motivated goals are seeking perfect grades in school, hitting sales goals at work, or changing your appearance to please other people.

What kind of drivers lead you to work hard for tangible, measurable rewards? Those are your extrinsic motivators.

Everyone is different, and therefore, each person has their own set of intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. Whether you feel more encouraged by internal motivation or find yourself influenced by the external, or both, neither is right or wrong.

Still, you want to make sure to recognize motivators, so you can avoid chasing empty goals. After all the work of a big achievement, you can’t enjoy success when it was all about living someone else’s dream.

Tips to find motivation


Change isn’t easy for anyone. Finding self-motivation requires long-term commitment, courage, and perseverance. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It simply means you have to find ways to give yourself a boost when you need it, and avoid giving up when you hit a dip.

Here are the best ways to stay motivated, no matter how much you feel like giving up:

1. Simplify to focus your energy

Creating a life of simplicity in regards to self-motivation will keep distractions at bay and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, especially during times of change. Simplicity allows space in our heads and hearts to become creative and grow through challenges. 

Instead of trying to pursue many goals at once, choose your area of focus. This will not only help simplify your life, but will enable you to direct all your talents towards your most important goal. Aim to become badass in one area , instead of half-heartedly working in many areas at once.

2. Break down large goals into small steps 

Take a look at the larger goal and consider the small steps to achieve it. Break all things into small, digestible chunks so you can celebrate wins. As you celebrate, you’ll trigger dopamine release in your brains, an important chemical to maintain motivation.

Gamifying the process can help sectionalize a large goal into doable tasks so you can celebrate the small wins as you hit them. It’s a common habit of successful people , and works well to make large goals more attainable.

3. Manage your expectations  

When you don’t see progress as quickly as you expect, or you hit a snag in your plans, the feeling of frustration is the first step towards giving up. As obstacles pile up, frustration becomes despair, and you may tell yourself, “This goal is not attainable.”

Your brain is constantly calculating whether or not it’s worth the effort to keep going. In the book Burnout , authors Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, call this concept “The Monitor.” It’s the process in your brain that keeps a running tally of the effort-to-progress ratio in any undertaking. 

“The Monitor” tends to have completely unrealistic expectations.

There is always a dark night of the soul, and your nerves may weaken. You should expect a dip in which momentum slows down or the trajectory seems wobbly.

Your job in staying motivated is to find ways to manage the stress and emotional turmoil of the inevitable dips — and keep going. You have to believe in yourself , and in your capabilities.

4. Surround yourself with supportive people

We must have people around us who help us stay in touch with our desired outcomes. People who have a significant support system or even one supportive person in their corner, fare better than those going it alone. 

This is where the company you keep becomes critical. We must have people who can relate to us, see us, and support us to stay positive. 

In her best-selling book, Conversational Intelligence , Judith E. Glazer explains how supportive people can step in to guide and motivate us like a coach during a football match. During the game of life, in which we pursue our goals, positive people can help you Reframe, Redirect and Refocus when it gets tough.

On the other hand, an unsupportive environment triggers psychological and physical distress that derail progress towards positive goals.

5. Ask for help — and offer it

When you’re trying to stay motivated in your quest, the right help can be the difference between success and giving up. According to Professor Richard Boyatzis, who has studied motivation for decades, we can all benefit from becoming better at offering and receiving the right kind of coaching . 

The default form of help we tend to offer is called “ coaching for compliance .” It involves trying to fix someone, or getting them to do what you want. Even if the advice is sound, this approach does not work to create lasting positive change. The person on the receiving end feels imposed upon, and they don’t learn much that will help them grow.

The approach that works is called “ coaching with compassion .” This coaching style is not about helping, but about caring. Conversations with great coaches tie your goals back to your values and dreams. By adding context, they boost self-motivation and openness to new ideas.

Do you know caring, wise people in your circle that can support you through this challenging time? Perhaps you know of someone who has accomplished the goals you have set out to achieve. If not, you can find support by bringing in a coach , finding a mastermind group, or joining a support group for people facing a similar challenge. Small business coaches are dedicated professionals who specialize in helping business owners and executives better achieve their goals.

6. Practice gratitude

When pursuing a big goal, it’s easy to notice your shortcomings, and miss recognizing your achievements along the way. This negativity can kill self-motivation. So remember to recognize the blessings in your life and the things you have accomplished so far. 

Practice gratitude by taking note of what has happened that has worked, and noticing positive changes, no matter how small.  

A gratitude practice can help you feel proud of how far you’ve come while also teaching you the best ways to move forward. Cultivating the “attitude of gratitude” has proven benefits , too. These include inspiring self-motivation, opening the doors to new opportunities, and improving physical health (something you’ll need to keep pushing ahead).

Which brings me to my next point.

7. Get enough rest

I can’t stress this enough: rest, rest, rest! To keep motivation strong, we must give ourselves time to pause and reset, especially during times of stress.

When I started mountain biking, I learned to eat before I felt hungry and drink before I felt thirsty. Taking care of yourself with breaks for relaxation and rest will help sustain your motivation. And when you do hit a dip, rest helps you to be more resilient.

8. Celebrate achievements

Look back and use the perspective of miles completed as a means to give jet fuel into the tank for future moves. When hard work pays off, you absolutely deserve to celebrate and give yourself some credit. 

When you have a small win, or reach a milestone on your journey, do whatever makes you feel like a superstar. That could mean taking time to yourself to walk on the beach, get together with loved ones to celebrate, or treat yourself to a massage.

Having the self-motivation to set goals and work toward them takes a lot of hard work, and you deserve to reward yourself!

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s worth it!


Remember that changing your life for the better doesn’t happen overnight. When you set out to achieve a big goal, expect to progress in small steps.

When you feel a dip in self-motivation, remember all the concrete actions you can take to avoid crashing and giving up too soon. Turn to your friends, get guidance from wise people in your circle, practice self-care, and stay positive.

Celebrate your successes every step of the way because pursuing a big dream isn’t easy, but you are worth it.

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About Lyn Christian

Hi there, I'm Lyn . My purpose is to support you to earn a living and live your life by doing what inspires you. To accomplish this, I work as a coach, consultant, TEDx speaker, author and founder of SoulSalt Inc.


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Home » Personal growth » What is self-motivation?

How to self-motivate

What goal are you working toward right now? Maybe it’s getting in better shape or advancing in your career. Perhaps it’s discovering how to be a better romantic partner or parent to your children. Whatever the goal, think about why you haven’t reached it yet. What’s holding you back?

The answers that first come to mind might be external factors. You don’t have the time. You don’t have the skills. You don’t have the money. While these things might play a role in your lack of progress , what it really comes down to is a lack of self-motivation . When you’re driven and resourceful, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to – as long as you have the willpower to achieve it .

What is self-motivation?

Most self-motivation definitions consider how you can find the ability to do what needs to be done without influence from other people or situations. Self-motivation is encouraging yourself to continue making progress toward a goal even when it feels challenging. It’s turning your shoulds into musts. 

Think of some of the most successful people you know. Are they the smartest people you’ve ever met? The wealthiest? Chances are, they’re not – but they are the most motivated to succeed. As Tony Robbins says, “The one common denominator of all successful people is their hunger to push through their fears.” When you have enough hunger, you can easily learn how to self-motivate to meet the goals you’ve set your mind and focus on.

Boost your focus and motivation with Tony’s priming method

Why is self-motivation essential?

The ability to self-motivate is the only sure-fire way to achieve your goals and get everything you want in life. You won’t always have parents, teachers or bosses to direct your energy or provide external motivations. You need to cultivate and draw on inner strength – a deep confidence in yourself that is completely unaffected by outside events and experiences. When you have this type of belief in yourself , you’ll be unstoppable.

Self-motivation is also essential to finding a fulfilling career – and to acing job interviews. The question “Are you self-motivated?” often comes up during the interview process, and it’s not always easy to answer. Employers ask this to see if you’re a good culture fit and if you’ll be enthusiastic about the work you’ll be doing. To be prepared, think of a few examples: times that you felt especially motivated about your work or when you set a big goal and achieved it with self-motivation . You’ll demonstrate your passion and make a connection with the interviewer.

What drives self-motivation?

So, why do so many people find themselves lacking motivation? The truth is that self-motivation techniques all come down to your psychology. First, you have to clearly know what it is you want. Why do you want to improve your connection with your partner ? Is it so you can deepen the trust and love between you, ultimately creating a healthy relationship and long-lasting bond? Think of the reason why you want to succeed and turn to this when things seem tough and you need help with self-motivation .

Then, you need to assess the emotion and meaning you’re attaching to your successes and failures.

When you face a setback, do you tell yourself you’re not good enough to succeed? If so, it’s time to seriously change your psychology. To truly answer the question “ What is self-motivation ?,” you need to be in the mindset that you’re already motivated. When it’s time to self-motivate, think of the positive state you want to be in to get things done. How does your body feel when you’re motivated? Where are your energy levels? What messages are you conveying with your body language?

By tapping into the positive state that you associate with self-motivation , you’ll be able to self-motivate more easily and often.

13 self-motivation techniques for reaching your goals

1) take responsibility for your life.

Self-motivation is often difficult because it comes from you. If you don’t take care of the underlying issues that keep you from making progress, you can fall back on blaming others for your failure. In some cases, you can rely on external factors and friends for motivation, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to put in the work. You’re the one who must take charge of your life.

2) Find your why

Tony often says that, “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.” Before you can learn how to self-motivate , you need to find your why . You need a compelling purpose that goes beyond material things or climbing the career ladder. Why do you want to build a business? It likely goes back to the ability to do what you want, when you want and with whom you want – the true definition of success . Connect your goals back to your purpose and you’ll never lack self-motivation .

3) Reevaluate your goals

  Tony also says, “At any moment, the decision you make can change the course of your life forever.” If you’re focused on your vision and purpose, but you’re still not feeling inspired, you may need to make a decision to go in a new direction. In other words, if your why isn’t motivating you, then you may need a new why. Reevaluate your blueprint for your life and don’t hesitate to create new goals. As long as you’re making progress, you’re ahead of everyone who isn’t making an effort.  

smart goals examples

4) Create empowering beliefs

The only limitations in our lives are the ones we put on ourselves. If you don’t have enough self-motivation , it comes down to one reason: you don’t see yourself as a self-motivated person. Change your negative beliefs into positive ones by conditioning your mind and creating empowering beliefs . Catch yourself when you think negatively about yourself and transform that self-talk so that it motivates you instead of holding you back.

5) Learn better time management strategies

Sometimes the key to self-motivation is having the necessary time-management tools and strategies under your belt. How are you managing your time? Find ways to stop procrastinating and start making progress, like chunking, the Rapid Planning Method TM and N.E.T. time (No Extra Time time).

6) Create a massive action plan

Self-motivation techniques can be as straightforward as creating a massive action plan : writing down what it is you want, identifying your purpose behind it and creating a series of steps to help you reach your goal. Once you have your plan documented, you can refer to this for additional motivation when things get challenging along the way.

7) Look to the success of others

Turning to inspirational quotes for motivation or looking toward a mentor for advice can help you on your path to success. Read more about famous role models or leaders you look up to and see how they utilize self-motivation . You may be able to pick up some t echniques or gain some inspira tion as you read about their strategies and struggles.

8) Use the power of music

Our brains are hardwired to respond to music . Tapping into the types of beats and rhythms that boost your mood and energy levels is a great way to get yourself out of a slump and more focused on the task at hand. Always have a pair of earbuds and your favorite playlist nearby so you can harness the power of music when you need a jolt of self-motivation .

self motivation

9) Schedule outdoors time

Even the most energized people will eventually get run down if they spend too much time in cramped spaces with artificial light . When learning how to self-motivate to reach your goals, don’t make the mistake of burning the midnight oil and staying confined to your office. Getting outside and spending time in nature every day is a perfect way to take a break, boost energy and replenish your self-motivation .

10) Banish multitasking

You may think that working on three projects at the same time is the best way to get things done and that your self-motivation will soar when you can simultaneously check multiple to-dos off your list. You’re wrong. Multi-tasking diminishes focus , and as Tony says , where focus goes, energy flows. Select the most important task you need to work on and concentrate solely on that until you’ve accomplished what you need to, then move on to the next one.


 11) Get moving

Self-motivation becomes much easier when you’re already in motion. It doesn’t matter whether you are figuring out how to self-motivate toward working out, tackling your tasks at work or preparing for that big presentation; the more you move, the more energy you will have. Movement doesn’t have to be limited to the gym. You can easily incorporate movement throughout your day by taking the stairs, walking around your home while on the phone or incorporating these desk exercises into your day .

12) Visualize your self-motivation

Having trouble taking those first steps toward a goal? Visualize yourself as already active in that part of your life, when the goal is achieved. Use this priming exercise first thing in the morning: When you do this, you bridge that gap from inaction to action just by priming yourself for success.

13) Focus on gratitude

It can be very difficult to learn how to self-motivate when you get caught up in negativity. Focus on gratitude and adopt an abundance mindset . Be thankful for all the good things in your life and steer your focus from all the things you wish you had. Stop comparing yourself to others and understand that life is happening for you , not to you. The more you look at everything good in your life, the more of it you will attract and the easier it will be to self-motivate to attract even more.

Ready for the motivation boost you need?

Find the self-motivation you need to conquer the obstacles hindering your progress. Take Tony Robbins’ Driving Force quiz and discover what drives your every action.

© 2024 Robbins Research International, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Jump to section

What is motivation?

11 examples of self-motivation, 4 elements of self-motivation, why is self-motivation so important at work, how to show self-motivation in a job interview, what causes demotivation in the workplace, how to show self-motivation at work, something to remember: the importance of obligation.

If you’re wondering how you can achieve your goals and get inspired, self-motivation examples can help. 

The thing is, motivated people, don't just wake up in the morning and drink motivation juice. Like most of us, they probably drink coffee — but that isn’t their secret. Staying motivated takes hard work, a positive attitude , and a lot of focus. 

We can find examples of self-motivation everywhere. Think about it: To complete tasks and do your goal-setting, you need motivation. Something gets you out of bed in the morning, convinces you to turn on your coffee maker, and helps you choose an outfit. 

That might be your job, your family, or your desire to work out. And while sometimes that motivation is hard to find, we depend on it to succeed in life. 

We all need to fine-tune our motivation skills and become self-motivated to achieve our goals. We’re here to show you why self-motivation is important, some self-motivation examples, how to improve motivation at work, and more. Let's go.

Motivation is behind what you do every day. It pushes you to go to work and hit the gym. Your motivation also pushes you to accomplish your goals and complete your everyday tasks . It helps you to find your passions and learn how to manage yourself .

You should know that there are two main types of motivation : intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is all about what we want to do and relates to our values and interests — typically, self-motivation is intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation makes us act because there are external factors like rewards at stake. These rewards can be things like good grades and earning money. 

When it comes to learning , motivation is extra important. Studies have actually found that extrinsic motivation can sometimes undermine our intrinsic motivators . But without intrinsic motivations, our rewards don't always motivate us.

For example, we won't grasp the purpose of a lesson in school or a course without an internal reason. Intrinsic motivation leads to enhanced learning, creativity, wellness, and more . 

What rewards are most effective also depends on our interests or values. If we had to take a course on a subject we didn’t like, a reward of a passing grade might not be enough incentive to motivate us . But if it’s a subject we love, we’ll be inspired to learn and achieve a high grade.

(D2C) BetterUp Blog - improve influence_half size_v2

What's fun about self-motivation is that it can come in all forms. It’s not just useful for our personal goals , either. Self-motivation is everywhere. However, since it covers such a broad array of areas, it's helpful to have some examples of what self-motivation is.

Here are 11 examples of self-motivation for you to think about:

  • Tidying up your room when things get messy because you want it to be organized and calming
  • Washing your dishes right after you use them because it’ll make your space clean
  • Watering the flowers in your backyard because you’ll see how much your plants grow
  • Helping your mom out with some chores without her asking because it’ll make you feel productive and supportive
  • Working through a disagreement with your partner calmly because you want to be on the same page 
  • Helping to boost your friend's self-esteem because you want to see them thrive
  • Starting your workday on time each day because you want to create a structured routine and finish on time
  • Volunteering to help out on extra projects at work because you’re happy to help where you can
  • Remaining focused at work and avoiding social media because you know that social media tends to drain your energy
  • Pointing out problems and providing solutions on projects because you want your work to succeed
  • Working out to boost your mood because you value physical activity

Self-motivation doesn't happen as a result of wishful thinking. It happens when four important elements work together at the same time. If we have one but not the other, we'll be missing important parts of what it means to be motivated.

Here are the four elements of self-motivation:

1. Personal drive to accomplish your goals

When we discuss this element, it's all about mindset. We can have two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset . With a fixed mindset, we believe that we can't change or improve, and the skills we have now are the only ones we'll ever have.

A growth mindset, on the other hand, invites challenges. It welcomes the opportunity to learn new skills , grow, and improve ourselves. A growth mindset is key when it comes to motivation.


2. A balance of optimism and resilience

Resilience is all about thinking of ways to turn negative events around. We need to think rationally and logically about our obstacles to overcome them. Our optimism is there to help out with that. It helps us develop a positive attitude and still believe in ourselves. Resiliency helps us bounce back, but optimism helps our well-being .

3. Commitment level to your goals

Our goals should be connected to our core values and what we can do to live meaningful lives. But it's not always easy to point those things out. If you find that your commitment level to your goals is poor, you might need to evaluate them.

If they’re unrealistic, you may be discouraged or disappointed when you can’t achieve them. Make sure you’re committed to reasonable, authentic goals. Try setting SMART goals to stay motivated.

4. Taking the initiative to work hard

Your dreams and goals aren't going to be achieved by anyone except yourself. Taking the initiative to put in hard work and remain focused is important if we want to stay motivated.

Sometimes we have to face things we don't want to that might be difficult, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth it. Our initiative can also bring us positive opportunities. These will allow us to experience things that wouldn't have happened unless we worked for them.

It can be challenging to remain committed to your goals all by yourself. BetterUp can help sustain your motivation levels as you continue your hard work to be your best self.


Why is self-motivation important in the workplace, and why should we set goals for self-improvement anyways? Well, for many reasons, actually. 

One of them is that we should be bringing our whole selves to work . If you have motivation outside of work, why not bring it with you to the office? Our work values will help dictate our ability to stay intrinsically motivated in the workplace. 

However, if you can’t find the spark, it might be time for a career change . Finding a job that fulfills your purpose and aligns with your values will improve your overall well-being. Plus, it’ll help you motivate yourself.

Feeling like we're making progress and accomplishing things at the end of the day is great. Your boss isn't going to tell you that you're doing good work for nothing, so we have to put effort into our jobs. When we have to do some teamwork to complete tasks, we might also rely on our motivation to get us through it if we're used to working independently. 

Motivation at work is important for business reasons as well. Studies have shown that workplaces with engaged, interested, and motivated employees are up to 43% more productive . If you aren’t interested in your work, it’s harder to do it — and do it well. 

Plus, Gallup found that in 2021, only 35% of US employees were engaged with their work . Of the disengaged employees, 74% said they were actively looking for new work . Motivation and engagement help keep employee turnover rates low and the quality of work high.

A job interview is a great place to give examples of your self-motivation. Hiring managers want to see that you're interested in the work, value what you'd be doing, and don't need to constantly be told what to do. Make sure you answer your interview questions thoughtfully and in alignment with the job description. 


Here are eight examples of describing self-motivation in a job interview:

  • Talk about when you did great work because of your passion
  • Give an example of when and how you overcame an obstacle independently 
  • Mention your strong work ethic 
  • Describe with personal anecdotes how self-motivation is a core trait of yours
  • Stay optimistic with your answers
  • Avoid one-word answers or examples with external motivators 
  • Give an example that displays your commitment and resilience
  • Admit when you've made mistakes, but highlight how they taught you important things

Knowing how to handle a motivation problem is difficult when you don't know what causes it. To keep people inspired at work and boost their motivation , it's important to identify what might cause these things to decline.

Let's review the five potential causes of employee demotivation at work:

  • They're bored: When employees aren't passionate about what they're doing, they won't have a sense of accomplishment even after reaching their goals.
  • They lack confidence: Without a strong leader setting a good example, employees might not know what healthy motivation looks like.
  • They feel unappreciated: Employees who know that their efforts are valued and appreciated will work better than those who don't feel like their actions matter.
  • They lack growth opportunities: If people know that they don't have anything else to learn or ways to grow, they won't sustain their motivation levels.
  • External issues: We all have lives outside of work . The problems we face in our personal lives can carry over and impact how we work professionally.

If you already have plenty of self-motivation or want to flex your newly developed skill, there are a few good ways to do that. You can demonstrate that you're a self-motivated employee to your team members and managers with a few tips.


Give one of these six ideas a try next time you're at work:

  • Smile and greet your team in the mornings
  • Share suggestions on projects and listen to feedback
  • Take the initiative on projects, especially when nobody else will
  • Participate in professional events that are outside of your working office
  • Inquire into career development opportunities
  • Put in the effort to become a better leader

We've discussed self-motivation examples, why self-motivation is important, and how we can demonstrate it at work. But one last thing we're going to highlight is an obligation . It's not a type of motivation that's necessarily intrinsic or extrinsic, but it still influences us to act. 

When we feel obligated to do things, it can be from our sense of duty, ethics, and values. Our obligations can still show us how to be disciplined and follow a set routine that gets things done.

Turning your to-do list into a series of obligations might take away from the fun, but it will help you stay loyal to what you need to do. And no matter where our motivation comes from, our actions matter. Goal-setting requires us to be driven, committed, optimistic and resilient. 

We have to take the initiative when needed. Our self-motivation and sense of obligation also carry over to our professional lives. These are both important traits to demonstrate in our jobs. And they’re important to convey when we're looking for a new one. 

Next time you set your intentions and make a plan of action , don't forget your motivation. 

Find someone to help you stay accountable as you try to sustain your motivation. At BetterUp , we can help you track your progress and goal setting so that you continue to learn new skills.

(D2C) BetterUp Blog - supercharge career_full size_v1

Maggie Wooll

Thought Leader

8 examples for setting professional development goals at work

10 examples of principles that can guide your approach to work, how to answer “what motivates you” in a job interview, how to give negative feedback to a manager, with examples, examples of behavioral goals: 7 career objectives, 10 personal brand statements to put all eyes on you, motivation and inspiration: examples in life and work, how to give positive comments to your boss, 3 stand-out professional bio examples to inspire your own, similar articles, your lack of motivation isn't unique: here's how to overcome it, motivation vs. inspiration: the perfect combination for success, empower yourself: how to nurture personal self-determination, work the motivation: 10 ways to keep your team inspired, what is the self-determination theory of motivation with examples, learn how to be your own best ally for reaching your goals, work motivation: what it is and why it is important, a guide for using motivation to achieve goals, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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self motivation


Apr 09, 2012

10.79k likes | 25.53k Views

SELF MOTIVATION. Presentation at NASAP Workshop 7th February, 2009 Theme: “Changed role and Profile of the 21st Century Secretary” By Grace N. Edube. Motivation.

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SELF MOTIVATION Presentation at NASAP Workshop 7th February, 2009 Theme: “Changed role and Profile of the 21st Century Secretary” By Grace N. Edube

Motivation If you want to make things happen the ability to motivate yourself and others is a crucial skill. At work, home, and everywhere in between, people use motivation to get results. Motivation requires a delicate balance of communication, structure, and incentives. And yet you cant motivate others when you are not motivated yourself. 3/12/2014 2

Reasons We Lose Motivation There are 3 primary reasons we lose motivation. Lack of confidence - If you don’t believe you can succeed, what’s the point in trying? Lack of focus - If you don’t know what you want, do you really want anything? Lack of direction - If you don’t know what to do, how can you be motivated to do it? 3/12/2014 3

Motivation • Staying motivated is a struggle — our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future. Everyone faces doubt and depression. What separates the highly successful is the ability to keep moving forward. • There is no simple solution for a lack of motivation. Even after beating it, the problem reappears at the first sign of failure. The key is understanding your thoughts and how they drive your emotions. • By learning how to nurture motivating thoughts, neutralize negative ones, and focus on the task at hand, you can pull yourself out of a slump before it gains momentum.

TODAY’S REALITIES • Careers are changing and it is more likely that an individual will progress in a variety of organizations rather than remaining in one all their working lives. • One will end up changing to a different career area, either within the same or to a different organization. • Opportunities for upward promotions are decreasing as organizations are delayering and activities contracted out. • Organisations see career development through job expansion as a more realistic and better alternative. • Constant organizational charge causing uncertainty and hope for life time careers. • Organisations increasingly expect individuals to take charge of their careers.

Embrace Change: Expect It and Accept It • Change is constant- don’t let it surprise you. • Competition in every field makes companies constantly look for ways to do things better, more efficiently. • To stand still is to fall behind. 12 March 2014

STRATEGIES FOR SELF-DEVELOPMENT • WHAT WHERE AM I NOW • WHAT WAS MY VISION 3 years ago 2 years ago Now • WHAT HAVE I ACHIEVED SO FAR? List your achievements • WHAT DO I WISH TO DO? List the desires and dreams of your heart • HOW CAN I ACHIEVE THESE GOALS PLAN • Timing • Money • Loan • Savings • Employer • Family

HOW CAN YOU DO IT? • THINK About the values you wish to live your life by • BELIEVE In yourself based on the thinking you have done about the values you are going to live your life by • DREAM About the things that can be, based on the belief in yourself, based on the thinking you have done about the values you are going to live your life by

How can you do it cont… • DARE To make your dreams become a reality, based on the belief in yourself and the thinking you have done about the values you are going to live your life by

YOU MAY NEED TO: · Pay up your debts instead of avoiding calls and SMSs ·Break up an abusive relationship ·Stand up to girl/boy friends who use you in the name of friendship. • PROBLEMS PUT OFF GROW IN THE MIND UNTIL THEY ARE OUT OF PROPORTION TO THEIR REAL SERIOUSNESS – YOU THEN LOSE PERSPECTIVE


ENEMIES OF SUCCESS “Through headaches and worry, life leaks away slowly” PLUG THE LEAK BY FACING UP TO THINGS THAT CAUSE YOU: • Pain • Worry • Sleeplessness • Helplessness • Shame • Embarrassment • Anxiety

Brainstorming for self motivation #1 Set A Goal #2 Generate Ideas #3 Filter Ideas #4 Group Ideas #5 Prepare an Action Plan #6 List Challenges #7 Take Action 3/12/2014 13

The Body follows the mind: How you think,...,,,,,…… Is how you act…………. Is how you are…………. Are the results you get? Your Results What ends up happening Your Actions What things you do not do? Your Judgement What conclusions you reach Your Thinking How you organize Data fro meaning Your Identity Who you are What you value/feel Adopted from Jerry Rhodes, 1993

Thought patterns of a Winner ..Keeping ahead of failure. (Why not?) I can win (Therefore) I practice hard (Like I said) I am right? (In fact) What do they have, I don’t? I visualize scores (I told you!) I’m winning (So) I have motivation, zeal and enthusiasm (You can see) I am scoring? (That’s why) I play to my best potential

Conclusion You can only live once, be the best you can. THANK YOU 3/12/2014 16

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Self Motivation: How to Inspire Yourself to Reach Your Goals

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Take a moment and think about what gets you out of bed and working hard every morning. If it’s a strict boss, your successful friends, or the desire for praise, it might be time to focus on the most important, long-lasting source of motivation: yourself. 

Self motivation

In psychology, motivation is broken into two main categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is behavior motivated by external factors, while intrinsic motivation is driven by internal desires. 

While both methods are effective in the short term, self-motivation is the most sustainable and can help you turn long-term goals into reality. Though tapping into that inner drive might not be easy, there are concrete steps you can take to master the technique.

Self-motivation definition 

“Self-motivation comes from feeling motivated by factors that are important to you rather than factors that are important to others,” says career coach and consultant Jess Wass . 

Self-motivation is our internal drive, whether it’s focused on climbing the ranks in your career or training for a marathon. 

Behavioral science professor Ayelet Fishbach says research shows that people experience some form of desire about half the time they’re awake. However, half of that desire conflicts with their goals (e.g., staying awake for work when you desire a nap). 

“You basically need self-motivation all the time,” Fishbach says. “Obvious examples include pushing through some difficult tasks at work, navigating interpersonal conflicts, controlling what you eat, exercising, managing your finances, and more.”

Examples of self-motivation:

  • You’re working on a six-month project at your job. After assigning it to you, your boss has not checked in and has let you work autonomously. Even though you are not being measured on your progress, you set weekly goals over the six-month period to keep yourself on track and accountable. 
  • You take a walk outside every day. You go alone, and don’t post it on social media, but continue to do so each day because you know it’s healthy mentally and physically. 
  • You started a newsletter in your free time, and have to work nights and weekends to get it done. It’s an independent project, so there are no consequences if you skip an issue, but you haven’t because you’re passionate about the newsletter and its subject matter. 

Why is self-motivation important? 

“Self-motivation is important because other people are not always around to hold us accountable,” says professor Scott Geller , who teaches a course in the psychology of self-motivation.

Relying on others to motivate you isn’t sustainable: teachers, parents, or bosses cannot continuously follow you around. The only long-term, dependable source of motivation is yourself. 

And while mastering self-motivation can benefit your career, productivity, health, and more, the biggest benefit to implementing the habit may be your outlook on life. 

“When we’re doing something because we want to do it, rather than because somebody is telling us to do it — that’s happiness, right?” says Geller. 

Luckily, self-motivation is a skill that can be honed, and there are concrete techniques you can implement in order to achieve it.

Self-motivation techniques

  • Find your why: If you’re feeling listless or downright unhappy at your job, it can be helpful to remember why you do what you do, whether it’s a paycheck, a career move, or simply stability. Evaluate what you’re getting out of a certain situation and refocus your attention on the positives to increase your self-motivation.
  • Take learning opportunities: Even in the worst situations, there’s often a lesson or skill to be learned, whether it’s a soft skill such as time management or a hard skill such as coding. Focusing on bettering yourself can boost drive and provide you with an intrinsic motivator.
  • Record your wins: Wass asks her clients to list three wins at the end of each week. This habit helps you tap into positivity and build a sense of pride. Feeling accomplished feeds self-motivation and gets you out of a rut.
  • Set goals: Find goals that fulfill you personally — the more you care about something, the easier it will be to reach your target. (For example, if you don’t want to run a marathon, training for it will likely be unsuccessful). Also try to add fun whenever possible in the goal-setting process: Enjoying the journey will naturally bring about self-motivation. This could mean bringing friends along for the ride or giving yourself a designated award at completion. 
  • Exchange advice: Use social support to give and get advice. Giving advice helps you step into the role of a mentor, which can motivate you to continue advancing toward your desired goals. Getting advice can teach you something new and inspire you to keep up with the hard work.
  • Set long-term goals: Setting goals in increments of weeks or months rather than days can help you stick to the bigger picture and prioritize tasks more easily.

How to increase self-motivation

Once you’ve identified the techniques that can be used to boost self-motivation, it’s time to get to work. 

“The first step to adopting a new habit or behavior is to understand why you want that new behavior and how it aligns with your needs and values,” says entrepreneur coach Kristyna Zapletal . Zapletal cautions that many fall into a trap of making decisions that benefit their career path, but don’t align with their deeper values or needs. 

Once you set sights on what you really want, Zapletal advises clients to make specific plans for how they are going to accomplish a task, regardless of how simple it is. 

If your goal is to run each morning, dig into what that means and plan around it. How many times per week will you run? Which days of the week? How many miles? She also recommends coming up with a plan B: If you can’t hit your mileage goal one morning, set a second, easier goal to hit.

“The more specific the plan, the higher the chance that you will succeed,” says Zapletal. 

Goal-setting and self-motivation go hand in hand, and the more purposeful you are with your goals, the more likely you are to meet them. 

Geller says in order to boost your self-motivation, you need to make sure your goals are not only  specific but also measurable, achievable, relevant, trackable, and shareable (his play on the SMART goal-setting method). 

Breaking down large, daunting goals into smaller steps increases your self-motivation and helps you stick with the task at hand. If your dream is to start a daily newsletter, don’t pressure yourself to write a smart, lengthy newsletter from day one. Instead, outline tasks for each week: one week can be spent reading other newsletters you find inspiring, the next can be used to outline information for the first issues, the next you can find an interview subject, etc. 

Self-motivation at work 

Self-motivation plays a crucial role in the workplace as it can dictate how driven employees are (or aren’t) to meet company goals. 

“Motivation is an important topic to understand, especially as you move into management and need to understand what motivates different people,” says Wass. “We can start to apply these principles to create better relationships between leaders and employees.”

Wass points out that many times when employers attempt to motivate workers, they do so using external motivation tools like promotions and pay raises. While these extrinsic motivators can be effective, they are not long-term solutions for keeping employees happy and satisfied.

“Even if you pay people, there are other factors that make them feel disconnected from their work: like if they don’t feel there’s impact or purpose,” says Wass. 

Employers can motivate workers by tapping into their intrinsic motivations. Ideas include starting philanthropic initiatives that allow employees to engage with causes they care about, allowing workers the freedom to pursue their passions (e.g., hosting ideas contests or social activities), and giving opportunities for mentorship and personal development. 

All these avenues can lead to long-term, sustainable motivation and overall career satisfaction. 

But if and when companies fail to provide fulfilling motivation for their employees, it falls on individuals to use self-motivation techniques to avoid unhappiness at work.

“More and more people are realizing that they want to want to go to work, and they’re asking themselves what they need to do to get there,” says Wass. 

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    3. What is Motivation An inferred process within an animal or an individual that causes that organism to move towards a goal. 4. Motivational cycle Instrumental Goal Relief Need, Drive. 5. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of needs Self - Actualization Esteem needs Belongingness & love needs Safety needs Physiological needs: 6.

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    Self-motivation is the secret weapon to achieving your goals. It impacts both your professional and personal life. Without it, you could struggle. Though having a support network is important, you can't depend on others to push you your entire life. Our goals require a lot of focus, which can be easy to lose.

  15. 13 Ways How to Motivate Yourself and Learn Self Motivation

    Self-motivation is an essential part of pursuing your goals. Tony recommends 13 self-motivation techniques that will stop holding you back. 1-800-488-6040. Login; ... tackling your tasks at work or preparing for that big presentation; the more you move, the more energy you will have. Movement doesn't have to be limited to the gym.

  16. Self Motivation Skills PowerPoint Presentation Slides

    Use our high-quality Self-Motivation Skills PowerPoint template to depict how individuals can keep themselves motivated throughout their journey to successfully attain their goals. Download the PPT to present your ideas and information minimally without losing readability. Professionals from different walks of life can capitalize on these ...

  17. Presentation on Self Motivation

    Self Motivation is the Force that drives you to do things It is a key life skill, for ones who are interested in personal development Self Motivation pushes us to achieve our goals, feel more fulfilled and improve overall quality of life Self Motivated people tend to have more self-esteem and confidence

  18. 11 self-motivation examples to help you achieve your goals

    Here are eight examples of describing self-motivation in a job interview: Talk about when you did great work because of your passion. Give an example of when and how you overcame an obstacle independently. Mention your strong work ethic. Describe with personal anecdotes how self-motivation is a core trait of yours.

  19. PPT

    SELF MOTIVATION Presentation at NASAP Workshop 7th February, 2009 Theme: "Changed role and Profile of the 21st Century Secretary" By Grace N. Edube. Motivation If you want to make things happen the ability to motivate yourself and others is a crucial skill. At work, home, and everywhere in between, people use motivation to get results. Motivation requires a delicate balance of ...

  20. Self Motivation Animated PowerPoint Slides

    Instantly download our easy-to-use Self-Motivation template for Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides to depict the benefits of self-motivation for employee...

  21. PDF Self-Motivation Workbook

    Self-Motivation Workbook. Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way. The questions in this workbook can help you find the motivation to take action to attain the life you desire. Spend some time in self-reflection ...

  22. Self Motivation Skills PowerPoint Template

    Reviews. Use our Self-Motivation Skills PPT template to describe the ability and desire that drive individuals to take action to achieve their goals and put effort into self-development. Motivational speakers and life coaches can use this fully editable deck to discuss the steps one can take for continuous self-motivation, even during ...

  23. Self Motivation: How to Inspire Yourself to Reach Your Goals

    Self-motivation at work . Self-motivation plays a crucial role in the workplace as it can dictate how driven employees are (or aren't) to meet company goals. "Motivation is an important topic to understand, especially as you move into management and need to understand what motivates different people," says Wass.

  24. 16 Best Self Motivation-Themed Templates

    CrystalGraphics creates templates designed to make even average presentations look incredible. Below you'll see thumbnail sized previews of the title slides of a few of our 16 best self motivation templates for PowerPoint and Google Slides. The text you'll see in in those slides is just example text.