If we are really being honest with ourselves, being motivated can be a lot of work. The ability to create the drive, energy and push needed to perform tasks can be daunting, stressful and even make us feel exhausted.
Today, when everyone seems to have entered unhealthy relationships with the internet, the world seems lonelier and less motivational than ever before. With heads bowed over screens, ears plugged and fingers typing away, it’s hard to find people who would genuinely take out the time to get your motivation up without some form of gratification. They’re too busy for that.
That’s why it is important for us to develop a sense of Self-Motivation.
You’ll be waiting a long time if you rely on others to give you the confidence and drive you need to start your engine and go. With every man and woman “on their grind” the only person you can count on to keep you going is you. No one else sees your vision the way you see it, no one knows your passion and where it hurts the most, and no one will ever understand your drive like you do. That is why Self-Motivation is very important in success.
Self-Motivation can simply be defined as motivating self. It is pushing through challenges and hard places to get the task at hand done. It is being your own hype man. It is finding the will to keep going when no one cheers you on or lends you a helping hand. When it comes to self-motivation – you are the football team, coach, referee, trainer and the fan.
Now, as much as this concept sounds easy to do, it is one of the hardest practices in the world. Most people find playing multiple roles in order to get a job done impossible, and end up feeling defeated, numb and unaccomplished.
Let’s take a look at the world of exercise for example. When it comes to working out you can either choose to register at the gym or do your workouts at home. 8 out of 10 individuals would pick registering at the gym over working out at home for one intrinsic reason – the motivation.
At the gym, you not only have access to a personal trainer in some cases, you also see physical motivation to encourage you. You could have a workout partner who pushes you to complete your squats, or a trainer who tells you “You can do this! 5 more and you’re done”. But working out at home means you have your own back – and that might not be as encouraging as you’d like. But it can be!
The truth is, in order to live life without regrets, self-motivation is highly important. You won’t always have people to push and motivate you to get things done, and that doesn’t mean you won’t get them done. It means you need to find a way to get yourself going without needing an external force. And I’ve got 5 ways to help you do it.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you some amazing keys to not only getting self-motivated, but staying motivated all through your day.
1. Connect the Task to your Values
No matter what type of task you have at hand, it always connects to a value you hold dear like charity, duty, excitement, empathy, philanthropy etc. Every job we carry out hits a chord in our hearts. For example, a Doctor performing a routine HIV/AIDS test on a patient connects with values like care giving, empathy, duty and professionalism.
You have to work on looking at why you are doing that task and focus on that. The thought of why you are doing it will remind you of the need to complete the task which will help motivate you to get the task done.
2. Change How the Task is Done
One thing that always works for me when I lack self-motivation is a change of environment.
By simply moving your location, you will notice that the change serves as a reset button for your brain. Through going outside, changing the position of your table, facing a colorful wall, and even rearranging your desk or furniture, your brain would get recalibrated to take in the new order of things and give you a new outlook.
Changing how the task is done also includes changing the process. For example, if your job includes driving to deliver manuscripts every Wednesday, you could consider changing how you make the delivery. Taking a cab, bus or walking to do the delivery could give you a whole new outlook on the task and motivate you to see it through.
3. Take Action
I once heard a man say, “Sometimes, action comes before motivation.” It took me a while but I finally realized what he meant. There are moments when time itself becomes a time-waster and leads to procrastination. In moments such as these, simply taking action has proven to be the best step to take.
A healthy practice you can take on is using an alarm clock. When you have a task that requires immediate action, set your clock for a specific time (maybe 1 hour) and try to perform that job before the alarm goes off. It may seem like a fun game, and sometimes is, but as soon as you set that alarm your brain automatically goes into competition mode. Your brain, unknown to you, begins to work harder to make sure it beats the clock. This gets your job done, or at least gets you started in the right direction.
4. Look Ahead
Self-motivation is prompted by two main things – Intrinsic Motivation & Extrinsic Motivation.
Intrinsic Motivation connects motivation with your values, mission and thought system. Extrinsic Motivation feeds off of external gratification like a salary, applause, award etc.
When working on being self-motivated, it is important for you to look ahead. Focusing on the task at hand creates the illusion that that task is never going to end. This ends up making you feel tired, stressed and overworked, even when you haven’t worked at all.
Looking ahead paints a picture of you achieving your set goals. Focus on getting gratification from doing a good job or meeting a need (Intrinsic) or getting paid at the end of the month (Extrinsic). The thought of either attaining intrinsic or extrinsic gratification would not only keep you going, but will make the task easier and much more enjoyable.
5. Understand that the Task is Temporary
It doesn’t matter if the task will take an hour, a day, a week or a month – you must always remember that it is temporary. No task takes forever.
Attaching a time-frame to your task increases its feasibility and encourages you to put in good work. It also motivates you to pay attention to details so errors don't make it take longer. In the event that it does, you must always be ready to re-evaluate the situation and set a new time-frame for completing the task.
Understanding the fleeting nature of the task will also make you enjoy it. For example, let’s assume you’ve been asked to travel to a different state to speak at a press conference. Acknowledging the fact that the conference will be over in 2 days will move your immediate reaction from dreading the trip, to making the most of the opportunity.
Self-motivation doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes daily reminders and practice to make it a part of your system, and to cause it to have full effect in your life.
By combining 2 or more of the keys shared daily, you will be able to harness your ability to go farther and achieve more, even when you are the only one in the room cheering yourself on.
Written by Jennifer Obiuwevbi | JenniferObiuwevbi@gmail.com