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Motivation: I Never Finish Anything, Help!

o Introjected Avoidance protects our self-worth. As humans we basically run away from pain/failure and run towards pleasure/success. Whatever success means to us individually, if we feel we are not reaching it, we are demotivated, especially when we feel like we have done our best, e.g. Overhearing a negative review from your boss about the quality of your work motivates you to work harder and up-skill so that your work ethic can be at the level that will receive praise instead.

stressed and defeated man with his head in his hands

Motivation is very important for our day-to-day lives, our relationships, our careers and overall quality of life. It is what drives us to focus on and follow through on the commitments we make, to ourselves and others. It drives us to perform at our level best, and it helps us through tough times.


Like when you decide to start a new sleep routine:

· you want to have better brain health,

· you want to have great energy throughout the day,

· you want to feel rested enough to face your day and perform to the best of your ability at school, at work, at life,

· you want to reset your emotional regulation.


These are all the ways you can benefit from having well-rested sleep and knowing this you are motivated to jump on that new sleep routine. You have tried all the different methods, techniques, and hacks but you still give up after a few days or weeks, jump right back into the old routine.


You want the promotion at work:

· you want to put down a deposit for your first home, owning,

· you and your partner are having a child in a few months, which means more time flexibility needed,

· you’ve been loyal with the company for years and you think you have earned, and are continually earning it.


The quality of your life, financial safety, and expectations from your family motivate you to go for it and you start preparing but for some reason along the way you start slacking and missing work.


You lose a childhood friend, you are broken up about it but letting them go was the healthiest decision for you as they:

· tended to constantly cross your boundaries,

· flaked on you whenever you had plans,

· judged you for bettering yourself,

· sabotaged your last few relationships.


You cut your friend off after relaying to them how their behaviour affects you on more than one occasion, in a week your are back to oversharing, letting them cross your boundaries, and making plans that will fall through.


self motivation cutting t off can't to make can, I can.

Knowing your currency, or your why for doing things, makes all the difference in just how motivated you are. The three examples above show both internal and external drivers of motivation. We will get into that in a second.


woman running through finish line as a winner

It is important to understand what drives you to do and be as this dictates just how motivated you are and for how long.


Motivation can either be internal or external, as mentioned earlier.


Internal Motivation


This kind of motivation is quite subjective, i.e. it is different for everyone as our currencies differ. It tends to be more powerful, more effective, and just overall better than external motivation. Your decisions and actions align with your personal values and what makes you feel genuine pleasure, as opposed to something external that is a reward or a punishment. The three main factors of this kind of motivation are: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.This means that we do something because :

  • it makes us feel free & in control of ourselves, our lives, the outcomes of our behaviour.

  • it makes us feel enjoyment and we see it as an opportunity to grow & learn, moving us closer to our more meaningful desires while we master our domain.

  • if we find doing well to be of importance we may enjoy some competition and some recognition from those who matter.


Introjected Motivation – internalized motivation which occurs when we feel the pressure to perform in order to gain appreciation.


o Introjected Approach helps enhance our self-worth as the real motivation comes from the standards we internally hold, e.g. Getting recognized by your boss for the amazing work you did on that last major campaign. You did your best and you know that you did great work (internal standards) so praise and recognition from your boss (external force) is expected. The possibility of receiving more of that recognition and praise motivates you to continue to do your level best on your work overall.

o Introjected Avoidance protects our self-worth. As humans we basically run away from pain/failure and run towards pleasure/success. Whatever success means to us individually, if we feel we are not reaching it, we are demotivated, especially when we feel like we have done our best, e.g. Overhearing a negative review from your boss about the quality of your work motivates you to work harder and up-skill so that your work ethic can be at the level that will receive praise instead.


Identified motivation prepares you to act/perform as it is the state of understanding what it is you want as well as what you need in order to perform so that you can get the outcome you desire.

Where you will be by the end of this article - fully understanding your why (currency) and understanding the source of your motivation so that you can finally follow through on your wants & needs and start showing up for yourself.

External Motivation


This kind of motivation stems from and is influenced by external sources and expectations. The rewards become expected as part of the efforts made as opposed to expecting to be rewarded FOR the efforts made, part of the reason it is not as great for motivation if one is really going to follow through. The standards required to get rewarded are imperative for maintaining motivation, if one does not know what is expected of them and what it takes to reach their desired outcome, they are less likely to follow through on the required efforts.The reward system has to be clear, measurable, and consistent to maintain motivation.


Think about when you were younger, you knew that if you did not finish your dinner you most certainly were not getting any dessert. So really, you were motivated by the reward(dessert) /punishment(extra chores & earlier than usual bedtime) from the task which was expected of you (eating dinner). The kind of dessert and the amount of dessert make it so that the outcome is not always the same because the effort put in (motivation) is also not the same. If you had no interest in dessert on a particular day, you had no interest in finishing your dinner.


die spelling out change, dice, change

woman with arms outstretched taking in the sun

In order to get yourself motivated and stay motivated:


· Set very specific, clear, achievable goals (have a clear step-by-step action plan).

· Integrate your goals into your daily routine, if you want to have a better sleep routine then make sure you are active, you eat right, you unplug at lest an hour before bed and you keep your sleeping space free of clutter.

· Break your goals up into smaller, more manageable tasks.

· Be sure to give yourself a deadline or a time-frame of when you want to reach your goal/s.

· Keep the momentum going by creating a reward system for yourself and intervals so that you have time to re-evaluate and rest before you continue.

· Get yourself a mentor, someone who is already doing and already is where you want to be. There is a Zulu saying which goes, “Indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambili.” Loosely translated it means you ask for directions from the people who have already reached the destination, they traveled the road, they know the way, they know the boobie-traps, the challenges, the cheat codes etc.

· Finally, let a person or two know so that they can keep you accountable.


By now you should have some idea of what drives you, if not, sit down, get a pen and paper, be really honest with yourself about why you want what you want, and why you are doing the things that you do i.e. what it is that motivates you.

You will find yourself being more fulfilled, your quality of life improved, getting excited to try new things, meeting and facing challenges head on, welcoming changes, putting yourself out there and being in complete control of your life.


Coach Nomie, Take Control x

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