Motivation is what many people feel they lack in their lives. 

But what do people really mean when they refer to motivation?

There are many types of motivation that have different short and long-term effects on people and we all respond differently to the different motivation types depending on our own unique internal processing.

The different types of motivation types are:

  • Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from doing something because we love it – music, cooking, and painting.
  • Extrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from factors outside the individual that affect their behaviour – working hard for a promotion or more money.
  • Towards motivation is motivation where a person strives to achieve something (a goal) – get fit, educational training – for positive reasons.
  • Away From motivation is motivation where a person is moving away from something – lose weight, stop smoking.

I mentioned short and long term earlier.  Extrinsic and Away From motivators tend to have short term effects – it will get a person to take action but may not be sustainable, for example:

  • We all know what it is like to see ourselves in a shop window or to be tagged on Facebook and think ‘ugh! that’s not what I look like!!’ and we immediately embark on a new diet and fitness regime.  That new regime will only last for a few weeks/months before it pitters out – we dropped a few pounds and started to look better so the motivating factor is not as strong as it was to get us to take action.

The motivator was an ‘Away From’ motivator.  Having an Away From motivator will help you get started on something because it is urgent. It’s not so great at maintaining motivation over a longer period.  To keep motivated the motivation needs to be changed to a Towards or Intrinsic motivator to help keep the momentum going.

Another factor in all of this (just to complicate things!) is the internal programs that we all run (meta programs mentioned in another post) to sort and make sense of the world.

If we are programmed to always see possibilities and do the things we love – then we will be very self-motivated and will reach our goals easily.  These people tend to bounce out of bed in the morning and are life’s optimists.

On the other hand those who do things out of necessity and are motivated away from things tend to not achieve goals so easily and motivation comes I bursts when things get so bad or urgent that they have to take action.

It is useful to understand what motivates us on a personal level as it helps make sense of our actions and attitudes.

As a coach (fitness coach, lifestyle coach, personal development coach, career coach etc) it is very important to know about the various types of motivation and what motivates the client – as it is not a case of ‘one size fits all’ – we need to make use of the most suitable motivation type to fit the particular situation or individual that we are dealing with.

There is hope though, as these programs are not set in stone, they can be changed using various techniques.  A personal development coach can help remove the need for the Away From motivators and help replace with a Towards motivator.  They can work with you to explore how the programs/filters came about and help change them into something more useful.

If you are interested in finding out about your internal filters (meta-programs) or need help with motivation, please feel free to give me a call or drop me an email for a free, no obligation consultation.

So until next time – keep smiling

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