Understanding Motivation Psychology

Understanding Motivation Psychology

Understanding motivation psychology can help you to figure out why you are motivated in some areas and not in others. 

How many times have you started working toward a goal only to realize that it will require more hard work than you’re willing to exert for the end reward? It’s easy to feel like you failed when this happens, especially if you quit most of your goals before they are fully achieved. Instead of allowing those unfinished projects to feel like weaknesses, realize that you are not using your natural motivations to reach those goals.

What motivates you to follow through with a project to completion is different than the motivation that someone else would use to accomplish the same goal. If you don’t have someone or something that is providing external motivation, then you need an understanding and continuous flow of natural motivations to get through the challenging times.

If you aren’t chasing a goal that is in line with your passion, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Either you won’t have the motivation needed to succeed or you’ll meet the goal and find it unfulfilling.

The Components of Self-Motivation

When you define motivation from a psychological standpoint, most professional definitions incorporate the following principles in some manner:

  • It’s an internal state rooted in personal needs and desires
  • It stimulates energy so that you want to take action
  • It directs behavior

Let’s take a closer look at each of these criteria to gain a deeper understanding of motivation psychology.

An Internal State

Following that criteria, you learn that motivation is ignited by something that has importance to you. Maybe you’re motivated by the desire to feel attractive or sexy again. If you’re bored at work, then you may find that your motivation sparks when you daydream of going back to school for an advanced degree. If you selected your career based on potential pay rather than your true interests, you may get excited when you think about switching to a field that aligns with your core interests.

Notice that all of those examples start with something that you’re passionate about. It doesn’t matter what others expect of you or what your loved ones may think of your choices. If you want to feel passionate about your goals and enjoy life, it all starts with an internal spark.

Energy Stimulation

Close your eyes and imagine yourself doing a few different activities. You may walk your dog, ski down a massive mountain or turn your grown son’s bedroom into a home office. Continue exploring activities until you find at least one that makes you want to leap up and take action. This is how you should feel when you think about your goals. Even though hard work is required for all accomplishments in life, that energy that comes from chasing something that you’re passionate about will push you forward even in dark times.

Understanding Motivation Psychology and How it Directs Behavior

Once you select a goal that ignites your passion and you feel that energy surge through you, notice how you’re compelled to take the next step forward. You will naturally move in the direction that is most productive and effective for your ultimate goal. This is a big benefit of internal motivation.

When all three of these components of self-motivation come together, you won’t have to force yourself to continue working toward your goal. You will feel empowered and excited because you’ve ignited that internal motivation. When it comes from within, it’s far more powerful.

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