Motivation… Internal or External?

What is motivation to you? Where does your motivation come from?

Motivation, at each end of a scale, is an internal or external stimulus that promotes activity toward a given goal.

External motivation may come in the form of words or actions from other people or sources.

Internal motivation comes from within, sometimes referred to as a driving force from within.

People who are more externally motivated usually require more stimulus from the people or things around them. They can be adept at some of the negative games such as blame and excuse making. On the positive, they are often “seekers”, listening to others, watching programs or reading motivational books or websites. They might also be “jumpers”, moving from project to project as the stimulation presents itself.

People who are internally motivated achieve their aims with less outside influence. They can be self assured and quieter, moving steadily toward a goal. They are not as often prompted to erratic change, and take time to change their minds when moving toward a goal. Inwardly motivated people, in the negative, may not be motivated by positive energies, they may steer clear of external motivations or new external opportunities as a result of fears or past experiences and miss opportunities for growth.

Values, the drivers inside us, determine internal vs external motivation. If you wish to explore your motivators, begin by identifying your values. Most people are “driven” by between 5 and 10 core values.

Don’t know your values? Start by asking yourself a question for a week or so, “What are my values?” According to the laws of life, once you ask yourself a question, your mind actively begins the process of finding an answer. Be prepared to write the answers as they come.

Some values: Honesty, loyalty, achievement, competition, cooperativeness (ok, cooperation), serenity, self-respect, privacy, openness, harmony, balance, etc.

Be prepared to note the answers that surface.

Most of us fall in the middle of these two extremes, but it can be a good exercise to ascertain where you fall on this spectrum to enable you empower yourself with your strengths as well as assess your weaknesses.

Have fun exploring your values and what motivates you. Keep me updated too.

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