What are the goals you really want to achieve? Are you ready and raring to go, or finding reasons not to take action? There is more than one way to motivate yourself and focus on moving positively towards your dreams.
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How to find inner motivation
When it comes to the source of your ambition, a range of internal and external forces will be at play. Internal (or intrinsic) motivation leads you to do something simply because you enjoy it. External (extrinsic) motivations may include praise, status, money or accolades.
Friends, family, your boss or society can all influence – even dictate – your goals and impact on your motivation from the outside.
While there’s nothing wrong with working to earn a paycheck, studying to get good grades or competing to win an award you’ve been encouraged to aim for, research suggests it’s more fulfilling to be driven by intrinsic motivation.
Having a personal desire to achieve something is the kind of motivation that lasts longer and ultimately leads to achieving greater successes in life.
How to use your passions to become more motivated
If you’re stuck in a rut and your drive has taken a wrong turn, fear not. Your motivation hasn’t departed, it’s simply not being channelled in the right way at the moment. The biggest hurdles to overcome on the way to achieving what we want are often the ones we’ve created in our own heads.
When your motivation is dwindling, it’s worth revisiting what brings you joy. Identifying the link between what you’re passionate about and what you’re currently pursuing will make you far more likely to stick at it.
Setting your sights on something that excites you and having a clear and meaningful ‘why’ can do wonders for your wellbeing.
Researchers Deci and Ryan developed Self-Determination Theory to explain how healthy motivation is attained and sustained.
They identified three basic human needs to explain what keeps us engaged: autonomy, feeling in control of your own behaviour and goals; competence, mastering tasks and learning different skills; and relatedness, feeling connected to other people.
When these needs are met, we feel good and function well, gaining a sense of control over our goals and our life. It’s far easier to flourish from a place of self-determination.
How to silence your inner critic
Just as it’s important to understand what motivates you, having a solid understanding of what holds you back can help you to overcome it. Fear of failing is a common worry that regularly gets in the way of being bold, speaking up or releasing your creativity.
Try silencing your inner critic for just a moment – in reality, what’s the worst that can happen if you decide to go for it?
It does take dedication because we all have these inbuilt insecurities and internal struggles to face and process. Any highly motivated person will tell you they’ve had to work on themselves and deepen their self-awareness to move past the very same blocks that might be holding you back right now.
The good news is that once you do, the sky will be the limit.
5 ways to motivate yourself when you’re feeling uninspired
Visualise your goal
Close your eyes and use your imagination to dream up what’s possible. Watch yourself achieving your goals. Then start taking steps towards making your dreams into a reality.
Learn from others
Take in as much knowledge as you can. Speak to people, be curious and find out the facts about what it takes to gain the skills to succeed. Surrounding yourself with ambitious people will help you to learn from them and their experiences and motivate you further.
Focus on yourself
Rather than working towards what others think you should do, or comparing yourself to others, work out what’s most important to you and what you deeply desire. Stay true to yourself and focused on achieving what lights you up!
Rethink an existing goal
If you’re struggling to achieve something, reframe it in a clearer and more positive way. For instance, switch “I want to lose weight” to “I want to be fit and healthy enough to run the Manchester 10K with my best friend in May to raise money for MIND”.
This has the power to rapidly transform your goal from a chore into something you just can’t wait to do.
Be focused on your goal
Having crystal clarity on what you’re setting your sights on will help you to aim high and allow you to go get it.
Photos by Kalisa Veer, Melody Jacob and Lucas Wesney on Unsplash