Setting and achieving goals, clear expectations, recognition, feedback, as well as encouraging management all contribute to an increase in workplace motivation.

(Anonymous quote)

Urgh!  Who motivates you?  Your manager?  Your kids?  Your partner?  Your results?  Your pay packet?  Did you answer this simple question with “me”?

In positive psychology, flow is defined as a mental state in which someone is fully immersed with energised focus and enjoyment, whilst being fully into an activity.  And that flow comes from motivation.

Daniel Pink, in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us explains the tricky aspect of using external rewards for motivation and argues that they are like drugs where more frequent doses are needed more and more often.  Quoted in HBR, Pink warns that there are seven deadly flaws of external rewards, they tend to;

  • Extinguish intrinsic motivation
  • Decrease performance
  • Encourage cheating
  • Decrease creativity
  • Crowd out good behaviour
  • Become addictive
  • Foster short term thinking

With our 2020 research showing that just over 25% say that their manager is being the best of themselves at work and our key motivational strategy being recognition, we all have the opportunity to lift our ability to self motivate.  So what gets in the way?

  • Over depending on others to boost us.
  • Allowing negatives to affect our moods.
  • Not wanting to put ourselves outside of our comfort zones.
  • Fighting demotivation instead of taking a break even for a short period before stepping back in.
  • Self doubt and a lack of self-confidence.
  • Comparing ourselves to others.
  • Pushing too hard and pretending to be x,y and z. The imposter.  Which is exhausting.
  • Taking the easiest route.
  • Not seeing ourselves as passionately part of something.

I could do on and on…

People often ask me how I do it.  Do what?  Achieve so much, help people, innovate and stay motivated.  Running your own business successfully you have to be super motivated, especially in the last 6 months!  You have to want to make a difference and apply focus every day consciously maintaining your resilience, all whilst knowing when to stop to regroup.

My top self motivation tips;

  • Choose a level of independence, enough to be accountable for some things totally by yourself in your working world. Grab opportunities to have a go at something and own it.
  • Don’t need reassurance from others as an initial energiser. Throw yourself in courageously now and again.  Create a new habit.
  • See every day, every meeting, every call as a fresh beginning. Choose not to re-play events and conversations unless you absolutely need to and only to make things better going forward.
  • Speed up, walk faster, type faster.
  • Make other people happy. It’s the greatest energiser.  But make sure that it’s not your sole strategy.  Help, be kind but don’t use being a people pleaser to show your competence.  There is a difference!
  • Sometimes reorganising gives you a fresh boost.
  • Take action. Stop any procrastination and time wasting.  Once you decide to do something and do it you step into flow.
  • If you need to, dig in and force yourself to keep going. It’s amazing how you then find yourself passionately engaged again, despite tiredness or frustration etc.

If we can all work on self motivation, we then have the energy to be the best of ourselves at work.

Be you.