What Is Self-Motivation? by Sharele Hatfield

We hear the term “self-motivation” quite frequently, and most of us know that it’s a good thing to have. But how does self-motivation work? And how does one motivate oneself? Let’s take a look at what motivation is, and how it works. 

Motivation is defined as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way”. For example, someone’s motivation to exercise might be to lose weight. Someone’s motivation to take their medication might be to stay healthy. Self-motivation is why you behave the way you behave, with no outside factors. You aren’t acting a certain way because other people are pressuring you. 
Factors of Self-Motivation
According to Emotional Intelligence expert Daniel Goleman, the four factors of self-motivation are:
  • Personal drive to achieve
  • Commitment
  • Initiative
  • Optimism 
Your personal drive to achieve is your desire to meet or exceed certain standards. Your commitment is how dedicated you are to personal goals. Your initiative is your willingness to take advantage of opportunities, or to seek out opportunities. And your optimism is your positive attitude. 
Your attitude goes a long way into your level of self-motivation. Having a sense of optimism- a good attitude even when things are going wrong- can lead to increased self-motivation. A big part of motivating yourself is learning to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when things don’t go your way. Having a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset can help you overcome obstacles and stay motivated. 

Do an evaluation of your personal drive to achieve, your commitment to your goals, your initiative, and your optimism and attitude, and see how self-motivated you are to achieve your goals. If you are lacking in self-motivation, consider your mindset, and form a plan of how to improve yourself! 

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