What is Motivation?
Motivation is the driving force behind all that we do. It is the reason why we do things.
Having motivation is important because it can help you solve problems, address bad habits, face challenges and work towards your goals.
To understand how this works, we need to first look at the different types of motivation that exist.
Types of Motivation
Motivation can be divided into two types: Intrinsic and Extrinsic. Both can be useful, depending on the circumstances.
When we engage in behavior for internal rewards or benefits, our motivation is said to be intrinsic.
Our motivation is extrinsic when we do things for external rewards or benefits, or to avoid punishment and disapproval incurred by failing to do them.
How to “Get” or “Find” Motivation
We all experience days when we just don’t feel motivated to face the challenges ahead. But do not feel disheartened. There are ways to get that motivation back. Let’s take a look at the best ways to achieve this.
Channel Your Inspiration and Passion
So now we understand what motivation is, but how do we find the motivation we need?
Have you ever wondered why you excelled in exams in a subject you are passionate about? And didn’t fare so well in subjects you found boring? If you are passionate about something or feel inspired by someone, it adds to your motivation.
Very few people would say they are motivated to do something they have no interest in. Learning more about the topic may spark some interest and inspire you to continue your task or project.
Simplify Things Through Task Management
It can be a bit overwhelming when you have many tasks to complete. This is where task management comes in.
It is far easier to get motivated to complete smaller, bite-sized chunks of a project than tackle the whole thing head-on.
Wherever possible, divide your tasks up into more manageable segments. Each time you complete a segment, take a step back, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, and then continue to the next one.
Create Habits/ Structure/ Agenda to Form Your Routine
So how do you get motivated when you don’t feel like it? Having some sort of structure to your day can be a big help.
Any task is infinitely more manageable if you structure it in such a way that each step becomes a habit. Don’t you find it easier to do things that are well-established habits? That morning cup of coffee is a habit. You always feel motivated to have it, right?
Well, anything can become a habit, and part of your routine, if you work at it. And all you have to do is start. If your goal is to get fit, tell yourself that your new goal of going to the gym will be your new habit. And make a start.
Every time you get up, put your gym clothes on, and get ready to go, you perform your new habit. And then you go and work out because that’s the next step in your new habit. Before long, you won’t need that internal pep talk anymore. You’ll get up and go to the gym because it is your routine.
And this example is easily applicable to any other situation in your life. Make a start, and keep at it until it is a habit. And you won’t need to find the motivation because the motivation will find you.
Recognize Your Own Accountability
Accountability can be an excellent motivator for staying on track and completing a task. If you are held accountable for something, you are more likely to achieve it.
But you need to be accountable to yourself, too. You want to be known as someone who is reliable and trustworthy, someone who keeps their promises. That is crucial if you're going to maintain your integrity.
But it is just as important, if not more so, to hold yourself accountable. Keep the promises you make to yourself. Because then you will value yourself the way you wish others to value you.
Investigate Opportunities for Networking / Support Groups
One of the best tips for how to find motivation is to seek out like-minded individuals for networking or as a support structure.
Knowing that others are there to encourage and support you will provide you with the impetus needed to face your challenges. Don’t be afraid to lean on others for support and encouragement when you need it.
If that is what you need to get started, do it. Soon you will find the strength to face your challenges without a safety net.
How to Avoid “Demotivation”
As important as getting motivated is, it is just as important to avoid getting demotivated. But what exactly is demotivation, why does it happen, and how can you avoid it?
What is “Demotivation,” and What Causes it?
Demotivation occurs when you lose the motivation needed to continue, and it can have many causes. Let’s look at the most common cause of demotivation and what can be done about them.
Fear of Failure/ Lack of Confidence
The fear of not being able to finish a project or not being good enough is a common one. You are not alone; even the most talented, highly skilled, and educated people suffer from this from time to time.
The key is to nip it in the bud. As soon as those doubts and fears creep in, tell yourself that you ARE good enough, you are worth it, and you can meet any challenge you face.
Trying to Meet Other’s Goals and Not Your Own
Are you trying to live up to someone else’s standards for your life? Be sure that the goals you are working towards are truly your own.
When you are working towards your own goals, you will find it a lot easier to get the motivation required to pursue them. Follow your own dreams.
Lack of Clarity About Your Own Goals
Perhaps you are not sure what your goals are. Once again, this is quite common, and you don’t have to lose hope. It can help to set up a session with a life coach to figure out what it is you want out of life. This will help to clarify your goals for you.
But you can also sit down and write a list of what you feel is lacking in your life, what matters most to you, and what you still want to accomplish. This should make it easy to see what your goals are, and you will then be able to find the motivation to attain them.
Sometimes the problem is not that the challenge is too great but that the challenge is too small.
Boredom can be a great demotivator. If you feel stuck in a rut, change things up a bit. Set yourself new and exciting goals.
Routine can be a great help in finding motivation, but when it no longer serves you, make a new routine.
The loss of a loved one, or even a beloved pet, can be debilitating. It is a real challenge to go on with your day-to-day activities when you are feeling such grief.
A grief counselor can help you process the various stages of grief, and when you are ready, face your new life routine. Take the time you need, but remember that you need to allow yourself to move on.
Loneliness is such a sad affair.
This can result from losing a loved one or because you have isolated yourself from others due to other personal factors. It can be challenging to feel motivated when you are all alone with your thoughts.
Get out there and meet people, try new things, and you will find yourself more and more motivated to keep at it. The first step is the hardest, but you will have no regrets once you take it.
We all are subject to our physical limitations. The human body needs rest, and so does the mind.
Working long hours and sacrificing your leisure time and rest may make you a hit at work. But in truth, you will only be doing yourself a disservice.
To keep your energy levels and motivation high, get the downtime and the rest you need.
We hope this has inspired you to keep going and find the motivation you need.
But getting motivated is only the first step. Once you kick start that motivation, it is just as crucial to find ways to keep up the momentum.