Every year, towards the mid-year slump, many of us find ourselves questioning when and where we lost the boundless motivation we had at the start of the year.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was eventually finished. Similarly, the path towards achieving your goals is an arduous one that will take time. Without the motivation to keep working for your dreams and see it to the very end, success will remain a mere pipe dream.
To that end, here are four strategies for staying self-motivated all day, every day. Pick up more self-motivation techniques skills for personal development with SSA Academy’s WSQ course on developing personal effectiveness at operations level!
The most crucial element of self-motivation is one that stares us right in the face every day but which we fail to take advantage of: the self.
If you want to have a deep, self-replenishing well of internal motivation to draw on every day, you need to know the specific conditions necessary to refill it regularly. What makes you tick? What’s the reason you get out of bed every morning to start your day?
The Japanese, for one, call this “ikigai”: the reason for being. Ikigai lies at the intersection between what you love, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you’re good at.
It’s different for everyone. Some people need to feel a deep sense of purpose in the work that they do, without which it’s hard for them to feel self-motivated to achieve. Others are driven by a deep commitment to providing a comfortable life for their families. Others still are energised by the opportunity to use their skills to serve others in some capacity.
Regardless, when you know your ikigai, self-motivation comes naturally to you.
It could be that a huge reason why it’s so hard for you to sustain your self-motivation is that you don’t know why you’re working towards it other than “I have to.” What’s your idea of personal success? Is it truly what you want to achieve, or have you allowed someone else to define it for you?
Setting goals to have concrete benchmarks and gauges for your own progress is a no-brainer. Frameworks and methodologies abound for good goal-setting practices. What most people neglect to do is the equally crucial step that comes after that: maintaining them.
Self-motivation does not happen in a vacuum; it needs to be fed with commitment. Unfortunately, commitment almost always wanes without constant renewal because over time, the vision of achieving the goal fades.
In his book “The 5 AM Club”, Robin Sharma recommends having a daily practice of goal-reviewing to kick off the day. Making it a habit to spend 10-15 minutes before the start of each workday to review your goals goes a long way in priming your brain to visualise success and therefore renew your daily commitment towards working towards achieving your goals.
Think about what works best for you in helping you to review your goals daily, then make it a reality. For example, having a visual representation on your desk of all your short-term and long-term goals provides a constant and easily accessible source of motivation to keep doing better.
Upgrading yourself and picking up new skills will not only increase your repertoire but your self-efficacy as well.
The better you get at your core competencies and the more you expand your skill set, the more confidence you’ll have that you’ll be able to execute your responsibilities and blow the competition right out of the park while you’re at it.
As your self-efficacy improves, you naturally become more motivated to apply yourself more at work to show what you’re capable of.
Being accountable for your progress to someone other than yourself is vital in providing an external source of self-motivation. Just as regular feedback and performance appraisals are necessary to support employee performance, having an experienced mentor in the industry is indispensable.
He or she has most probably experienced everything that you’ve gone through thus far, are going through and will probably go through on the route to success.
It takes you beyond the mere mental visualisation of success in your mind to having a living, breathing representation of it in your life in the form of your mentor. Being able to receive their advice, guidance, and coaching is itself a huge motivator since you’ll push yourself to replicate their success and make them proud of you as their mentee.
If you genuinely want to achieve greatness at work and in life, you’re going to need something more than “I just don’t want to be jobless” to motivate you.
Research has shown that while having a failure-avoidant mindset might spark short-term progress, it’s an ineffective and even counterproductive motivation strategy in the long-term.
When you seek personal achievement out of a desire to avoid the consequences of failure, you’re more likely to play it safe and only do what’s minimally required of you to avoid failure. While you’re not sabotaging yourself, you’re also not giving yourself the chance to unlock your full potential, since your mind is preoccupied with merely avoiding failure.
According to Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist and bestselling author, the most successful people in any field are consistently the ones who have a “growth mindset.” They view success as a by-product of personal growth. It’s their commitment to continually bettering themselves and climbing greater heights that keeps them motivated to achieve regardless of how many times they fail.
Conversely, those with a “fixed mindset” tend to regard their skills and abilities as static. They’re therefore more likely to stagnate because their priority is to avoid making themselves look incompetent. Personal failures and roadblocks de-motivate them severely because they see it as proof of their unchangeable inadeptness.
Progress and success are unattainable without sacrificing, taking risks, and experiencing failure. How you think about success and failure determines the intensity of your self-motivation and your resilience in adversity.