Self-Motivation Techniques & Examples

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  • 0:04 What Is Self-Motivation?
  • 0:39 Intrinsic vs.…
  • 1:12 Self-Motivation Techniques
  • 4:28 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karin Gonzalez

Karin has taught middle and high school Health and has a master's degree in social work.

Some people live their life with intense fervor. They are highly self-motivated, productive and successful. Learn the definition of self-motivation, intrinsic versus extrinsic motivators, as well as techniques to increase self-motivation in this lesson.

What Is Self-Motivation?

Seventeen-year-old Kyle wakes to a daily six o'clock alarm to run a couple miles before school. He gets himself ready for school, makes a healthy breakfast, and leaves each day on time. Even though his mother never checks to make sure he does his homework, he makes all A's and is a star baseball player. Kyle is the epitome of a self-motivated teenager.

Self-motivation is accomplishing what needs to be done without the need for prompting, supervision, influence, or push from others. In Kyle's case, and in most others, self-motivation helps accomplish goals and leads to success. This leads to higher self-esteem, mood, and confidence.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivators

Think long and hard about what motivates you to do something. Why do you get out of bed in the morning to go to work or school instead of watch television all day? People are motivated to do things for different reasons. For example, Harold lifts weights because he wants to win a bodybuilding competition. This is an extrinsic motivator because the motivation lies in external factors like recognition, fame, or money. George, on the other hand, lifts weights because it makes him feel good and healthy. This is an intrinsic motivator because motivation is driven by internal rewards, such as a feeling or sense of well-being.

Self-Motivation Techniques

Using the example of Kyle, the following habits and attitudes can increase self-motivation.

First, wake up early and start with a fun activity. Kyle loves running, so it is a great activity to boost his self-motivation in the morning. Other activities that can be motivators to begin the day are meditation, reading, drinking a cup of coffee, watching the sun rise, or journaling.

Next, maintain a positive attitude. Kyle has learned that happiness is created by a favorable attitude towards life. He sees some of his friends with an attitude of pessimism or negativity, and it certainly does not motivate them to accomplish great things.

Be sure to dream big and set goals. Kyle meets with a college counselor and creates a vision board of his dream life. He sets a goal to become a doctor and lists objectives and action steps in order to achieve that goal. Kyle's excitement of becoming a heart surgeon is a big self-motivator.

Stop thinking and take action is another attitude that can boost self motivation. Now that Kyle has clearly labeled his goals and objectives, he must remain present-minded and do what it takes each day to accomplish his goals. Others can get caught up in over-thinking, and this can be paralyzing in taking action.

Next, be sure to motivate others. In order to motivate others his age to get up and exercise in the mornings, Kyle begins an early morning running group with other teens that live in his neighborhood. Knowing that he is motivating others to become better and healthier versions of themselves boosts his own motivation to continue his healthy habits.

Kyle must also take risks. In order to get into a good college, Kyle must have a well-rounded resume and application. Despite his comfort in focusing on academics, Kyle steps outside his comfort zone and joins one of his high school's philanthropy groups.

Kyle also has learned to embrace failure. Kyle utilizes a bad grade as an opportunity to learn the material he did not do well on. Sometimes others allow failures to become a part of who they are as a person, and this can lower self-esteem and motivation.

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