Let’s talk self-motivation this morning. I’ll be honest with you, it’s not something I’ve had a great deal of over the last couple of weeks. So, I did some thinking and some research about what it takes to be more self-motivated. Here’s what I came up with.
What is self-motivation anyways?
Let’s start with a definition. The Business Dictionary defines self-motivation as the “Ability to do what needs to be done, without influence from other people or situations.” So basically, if someone is self-motivated they get stuff done and achieve their goals because they have their own reasons and the will to do so.
Self-motivation is a mindset that pushes you to deal with challenges without needing someone to encourage you or give you a swift kick in the butt to get something done. It’s also been said that the more self-motivated you are, the more likely you are to achieve your goals, improve your life, and be a whole lot happier.
Sounds pretty good, right? So why do so many people have trouble with it?
Here’s one reason… they don’t know what they want.
You need to have clarity around knowing what motivates you to get up in the morning and get things done. If you have it, and you’re focused, congratulations. You’re one of the lucky ones (if you define luck as doing the work to get clear and focused).
I’m not saying that what motivates you today will be the same thing that motivates you a year from now, but you have to start somewhere and knowing what you want to achieve today and for the next week or month is as good a place as any.
Since we’re all entrepreneurs here, it goes without say that we pretty much have to be self-motivated in order to achieve our goals and grow our businesses. And too many times I’ve seen my creative friends use the excuse that they’re not motivated, not inspired, and just can’t think about creating anything today. (And then they wonder why they didn’t make any money that day.)
Heck, I’ve used them all myself and then gone scrambling when a bill arrives in the mail and has to be paid. But I’m getting better at motivation myself, and funny thing… it makes getting bills paid a lot easier too.
But, we’re also all different and so our motivation can also be affected by different things. A few of the common traits that can affect it include:
- Your level of self-confidence
- Your attitude about what you’re doing
- Your focus and the goals you set for yourself
- Your environment
How to tell if you’re self-motivated or not
The easy answer to that is that if you can get things done on your own, you’re likely a self-motivated person. But if your motivation isn’t where you’d like it to be, here are a few common traits of self-motivated people just to give you something to work towards.
Self-motivated people are much more likely to be more organized than others.
They believe that when everything is organized well it will be easier to complete tasks and eventually achieve their goals. They also think that staying organized helps them complete tasks according to priority, urgency and importance.
Planner addicts, anyone?
The reason this helps is because being organized helps you be more ready to take advantage of opportunities when come knocking. Too often, unorganized and unmotivated people are unable to take action on an opportunity just because they’re not ready for it.
It builds a cycle of where you miss opportunities because you’re unprepared and unmotivated, and because you missed the opportunity when it came calling, it drives down your self-motivation even more.
Self-motivated people are also known to have better time and energy management skills.
We love to talk about time management, but the truth is you can’t really manage time. What you can manage is how you use the time you have, and that means you have to know yourself well enough to know how your energy levels work and put them to the best use. Self-motivated people are really good at this. They know when their best times for creative work are and they stick to that schedule like clockwork.
Self-motivated people have high levels of self-esteem.
They think highly of themselves in terms of their ability to do things. They believe in their own potential and are determined to achieve their goals no matter what. With their positive self-esteem they are less afraid of failures and are more willing to take evaluated risks whenever they think they have to.
Self-motivated people rarely get tired of taking action.
They always seem to have an extra gear when it comes to getting things done. You will rarely see a self-motivated person say they need a break or that they’re ready to give up when something doesn’t go their way.
They have more energy and enthusiasm to do the things they want, because they truly believe that what they’re doing will help them reach their goals faster.
Self-confidence plays a huge role in self-motivation. If you don’t believe you can do what you want or achieve the goals you set for yourself, then the bottom line is, you won’t be successful. And no amount of self-motivation self-help will be able to convince you otherwise.
But, if you do want to get your self-motivation on, then building on the traits mentioned here will help you build both your confidence and your motivation. And you will succeed because you believe in yourself and are self-motivated to do what you set out to do.
As long as your short, medium, and long-term goals are in alignment and you have clarity about what you want, then the seeds for self-motivation have been sown. Believe in yourself and your ability to get things done, and you will find self-motivation a much easier path to follow than it has been in the past.