Understand Self-Motivation

Motivation can seem illusive — you have it or you don’t. It can feel difficult to wrap your hands around it if your dominant strengths domains are not executing. The stronger your strengths intelligence becomes the more motivation tools you have available to you. For example, I have very few executing strengths but I know that when my Belief and Connectedness Strengths (my internal source of energy) are in play, my drive and motivation are very high. So, I enjoy executing and getting things done! Building your strengths intelligence or strengths awareness in the application of your strengths can kickstart motivation.

What can else is there to learn about motivation. How do we get motivated, stay motivated and get things done?

Connected with intrinsic motivation, you exert considerable effort with no expectation of reward. Click To Tweet

self-motivation, intrinsic motivation, generate self-motivation, autonomy, why, establish choice, strengths, Strengths Based Leadership, StrengthsFinder, leadership coach

One of the questions I hear from my coaching clients is, “how can I generate energy and get self-motivated?” It is helpful to learn how to make that happen when you are tired or bored. Work is so much easier when you are fired up and inspired.

Self-motivation involves higher levels of personal involvement that motivate you beyond contracts or expectations of others. Often, you can be motivated by what others expect from you. Or, it can be internally driven when applying strengths to get things done.

When your tasks are aligned with your strengths and purpose you feel driven to express your own desires, interests, and passions. You can achieve incredible levels of development and performance. This is called intrinsic motivation because it comes from internal sources.

Nothing is stronger than intrinsic motivation. When we connect with it, we exert considerable effort with no expectation of reward. The performance itself becomes its own reward. When you use the internal capabilities of self-awareness, self-regulation and self-motivation with your strengths intelligence, you act in ways that enhance knowledge, trust, and personal power — all fundamental to success.


3 Steps to AWEsome Self-Motivation

The solution to finding self-motivation, energy, and drive lies in tapping into three concepts represented by the acronym AWE:

A : Autonomy
Establish self-determination and of what you are in control

W : Why
Link tasks to meaningful strengths, values and purpose

E : Establish choice
Make small decisions, and then act on them

A prerequisite to motivation is the belief that you have some degree of control over actions, choices, and environment. When you believe you are in control and discover what you are in control of, you work harder and push yourself more.

“Autonomy is our human need to perceive we have choices. It is our need to feel that what we are doing is of our own volition. It is our perception that we are the source of our actions.”
— Susan Fowler, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging

As adults, you never lose the need for autonomy. Productivity significantly increases for blue-collar workers in manufacturing plants who are given the ability to stop the line. So does the productivity of white-collar workers in major investment banks who report a high sense of autonomy.

A sense of autonomy is so crucial to human needs that people who believe they have control over themselves often live longer than their peers.

In my next post we’ll talk about how “asking why” is so crucial to becoming self-motivated. Until then, I’m curious — How well do you know your strengths and how they are connected to your self-motivation? You can reach me here and on LinkedIn.


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