6 questions to help you get inside how your motivation works for you
On a scale of 1 to 10, how motivated do you feel right now? Now…more than likely if it was a 10 then you wouldn’t be reading this article...So what has brought you here? Do you feel like you have just lost your motivation? Is there a change you want to make in your life but you just can’t seem to get going or stay on course?
Motivation is something that energises us and helps us take action. We know when we have it. We know when we don’t. But what do you do when you not feeling motivated and you just can’t seem to motivate yourself to get motivated?!
Motivation is something that many of us struggle with…Many of us talk about motivation like it is something we either have or we don’t. We tell ourselves that we don’t have the discipline or the stamina, but this is not necessarily true. Motivation is unique to each of us and what motivates you may not motivate another in the slightest. Many of us really have no idea about what makes us feel motivated or how to get motivated. Having insight and understanding into your motivation is key and can really help you get remotivated and then maintain that motivation.
Here are some questions to ask yourself that could help you move forward………
- 1. Do you know the ‘why’ of what it is you are trying to achieve?
If your ‘why’ is not clear then as soon as your motivation dwindles you’re likely to write off your project or tell yourself you don’t have what it takes or you can’t do it or you aren’t disciplined enough. So ask yourself why you’re trying to lose that extra weight, or change jobs, or launch a new product or career? What will achieving this give you that you don’t have now...Then ask ‘ok what else will it give me?’ This will help you discover the deep reason for doing it – trust yourself. You’ll know when you hear yourself say it.
- 2. Does what you’re trying to achieve clash with your values?
Is what you’re trying to achieve in alignment with your values? If not then you’re less likely to succeed as it will bring up a lot of conflict for you and won’t be an enjoyable journey. So ask yourself what is really important to you? Will achieving this goal compromise the things that are important to you? An example of this is could be that if flexibility is really important to you then it is unlikely you would feel very motivated doing a job that was rigid and inflexible or if it feeling safe and secure is important to you then it may be really challenging for you to develop your own business if you feel this would threaten your safety and security.
- 3. Do you wait to feel motivated before you take any action?
Often we wait to feel better before we take action to...go for that run, write that chapter, make that call etc etc…But sometimes not doing anything can make us feel even less motivated, which makes it feel harder to take action, which again makes us feel worse and so the cycle goes on and on…
I believe that being motivated is a state or feeling in the same way that being happy, enthusiastic, afraid are…We feel what we feel, but we get to choose what we do with these feelings. Now that may come as a bit of a surprise to you because surely we cannot help our we feel? What if I was to say to you that taking a tiny action may well help change your feelings? It may well give you the motivation you’re looking for. Taking action gets energy flowing again, whereas when we’re doing nothing and just feel paralysed in our feelings all this does is bring us more of what we don’t want…
- 4. Are you motivated by what you want to move away from or what you are moving towards?
We can be motivated by what we don’t want as well what we do want. An example of this could be that you don’t like your job and so are motivated to look for a new one. This is away from motivation. An example of towards motivation could be that you’re happy in your job but another opportunity comes up which offers you scope to grow. Ask yourself whether the things you want are the motivated by what you want to get out of your life or what you want to bring into your life? This will help you be clear about what the language of your goal is.
- 5. Are you motivated by external conditions or internally ?
Money, medals, awards, discounts, grades, entrance to programs or schools, higher commission percentages, status and losing weight are all examples of things that may motivate us externally. Satisfaction, growth, fulfilment, development, learning, curiosity and enjoyment are some examples of things that can make us feel motivated internally.
A student can be highly motivated to do homework out of curiosity and interest or, alternatively, because he or she wants to gain the approval of a teacher or parent. Some people are extremely motivated by money while for others this is not the case.
What is it that your goal will give you? Is it something external, internal or a combination of the two…If it is combination of the two what is the thing that is most important to you. Understanding this can help you develop strategies to motivate yourself.
- 6. What is your self talk and attitude?
How we talk to ourselves really can motivate or de-motivate us. If our self talk is negative then we can literally talk ourselves out of doing something. Notice how you talk to yourself; do you tell yourself you’re a failure or do you tell yourself you’re doing great – well done for trying? Are you encouraging or scathing?
Take some time, think about your answers and then approach your motivation with the curiosity of a child. See what you could experiment with or try out and see where that takes you and how motivated you feel as a result. This is not an event, but a journey. As Albert Einstein famously said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
What could you do differently to get you closer to the results that you want?
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Karen Hayns MSc - Future PerfectSeptember 11th, 2017