Rev up your motivation in 4 steps

Why do you do the things you do? What is it that drives your behaviour? Motivation does.

Some forms of motivation come from within. We call these drive, self-determination and vision. Other forms of motivation are external — these include pay cheques, rewards, praise and fame. Externally sourced motivation has less impact and are less likely to propel you towards success in the long-term.

When your motivation comes from within, it’s a powerful force. Psychologists call this type of motivation ‘intrinsic.’

Here are four principles you can use to boost intrinsic motivation at work.

Tap into the power of self-direction

Taking responsibility for your work makes it more engaging. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do. Instead, set clear career and work goals.

Set approach goals, not avoidance goals

Approach goals are framed in a way that describe the outcome you are trying to achieve. Conversely, avoidance goals are focused on avoiding or eliminating some sort of unwanted consequence. Not surprisingly, avoidance goals tend to be associated with procrastination, whilst approach goals are often associated with happiness and success.

Align goals to signature strengths

Aligning your goals with your signature strengths builds your motivation and energy. To find out what your top strengths are, complete a strengths assessment questionnaire.

Avoid focusing on reward systems

Today’s workplaces are full of incentive schemes, financial bonuses and award ceremonies. But these should supplement your drive, not be the sole focus of your attention. Instead, focus on doing work you love, set goals which are internally driven, and recognise your own achievements.

If you want to succeed – in life, at work or in running your own business – you need to master the art of self-motivation. Understanding what truly motivates you can lead to a life of fulfillment because you will always find ways to make a living doing what you already love.

About the author of this article

Eleanor Shakiba has dedicated her career to teaching highly skilled people to be ‘people smart.’ She is a well-known Australian trainer and coach, who has helped more than 50,000 professionals to build confidence, presence and influence at work. Eleanor is a lifelong learner and holds qualifications in Social Anthropology, Applied Psychology, Adult Education and Neuro Linguistic Programming. Find out how Eleanor can help you and your team.