Is Self Motivation Intrinsic or Learned?
Is self motivation a characteristic that we are born with or is it one that develops with maturity? I believe it is partly a characteristic we are born with, but it can be developed. Being self motivated helps you to reach your goals. It is part of being resilient and not giving up when the going gets tough.
I have always been self motivated. Even when my upbringing did not support that. I wasn’t particularly intelligent like my brother who could get straight As without too much effort. My success in my education came from hard work and self motivation. My parents did not support me when I wanted to go to university. Because I’m female they said it would be a waste of time because I would get married and wouldn’t use it. I always had a desire to earn a degree so I achieved it on my own, while I was working and looking after my young children.
No-one needs to push me to do something, my drive comes from inside of me. I have never understood someone who doesn’t exercise unless they have someone else to exercise with. I have always had this characteristic, it is an intrinsic trait I was born with. Can someone who isn’t self motivated by nature develop that trait? I believe they can.
My tips for becoming self motivated are:
Set deadlines for yourself.
This works well if you tend to procrastinate. For example my course officially finishes in May but I wanted to complete it before I go back to work in April so I worked on it for a minimum of an hour a day to reach my deadline.
Routines are important.
I wake up early so that I can walk my dog in the morning. I have improved my sleeping patterns so much just by going to bed at the same time. If you have a set routine for your day, healthy habits become second nature.
Make appointments with yourself.
This might sound crazy but if you schedule time in your week for exercise, meditation or self care activities you are more likely to achieve them. Make your goals a priority and they will be easier to achieve.
Get the support of others.
I have never understood someone who won’t exercise unless they have a friend with them. But for many people this makes the difference between doing it or not. Just make sure your exercise partner is as enthusiastic as you or it might backfire.
Enlist the help of professionals.
This has helped me enormously in two areas of my life. I was successful in losing 19kg because I went to a dietician. The Exercise Physiologist is training me to build up my strength after losing so much condition. Neither of those goals would have been achievable without professional help.
Invest in yourself.
I admit there would have been times when I would have thrown in the towel during my immunisation course. The only thing motivating me to keep going was the amount of money I invested in it. You’re more likely to stick at something if you paid for it.
How being self motivated has helped me
My big news is that I am about to reach my goal of returning to my job as a Registered Nurse. Those of you who have been regular followers know that I had complications after surgery last year. I had a haemorrhage after a bilateral mastectomy which resulted in two further surgeries and a long recovery. To be able to return to work I needed to be able to fulfil all the job requirements including being able to do CPR and heavy patient cares.
I have been seeing an Exercise Physiologist since November to work on my upper body strength because I was so deconditioned after not being able to exercise for six months. It was slow progress at first because I had so much pain from using muscles that had been neglected. This year I have really turned the corner and I am seeing great results from my hard work. My Exercise Physiologist timed me doing CPR and I was able to do it for 2 minutes without any problems at all. I also needed to lift 3kg above my head and do modified push ups which I have been able to do for the last few weeks.
Achieving My Goals By Being Self Motivated
My boss is supporting me to return to work gradually, starting at 2 days per week after Easter. I am so excited at the prospect of being able to work again! I used to think it would be great to not have to work but now that I’ve been forced into that position, all I have wanted to do is get back there! There’s more to work than making a living. It’s feeling fulfilled and making a contribution to society. Nursing is a very rewarding career.
My other achievement this week is that I completed my Immunisation course. This was my Plan B in case I couldn’t return to my job. It helped me to switch on my nursing brain, and I realised that I still have it! I still think like a nurse, and I am still capable of being able to use my 35 years of experience in a positive way. It gave me a lot of confidence in my own abilities.
My word of the year is resilience. Hard work definitely does pay off. Don’t give up!
The sense of achievement when you finally reach goals that have been incredibly challenging is like no other. These other articles may be of interest if you would like some motivation to reach your goals:
- Getting support with healthy lifestyle choices (Don’t try to do it alone)
- How to set goals that will stick (set achievable goals)
- My weight-loss journey (how I finally lost weight after yo-yo dieting all my life)