Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 24, 2020

What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward?

What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward?

What motivates you to succeed in life? If you’re sitting there, perplexed, keep reading.

Let’s face it…we’ve all had moments in life when our motivation has been at an all-time low. Even the most motivated of people can feel unmotivated now and then. However, if you allow laziness to creep into your daily life, it will be nearly impossible to achieve anything in life.

The difference between successful people versus everyone else is that no matter what is going on around them, successful people always find the motivation and drive to keep going.

If motivation is so important, then why do so many people struggle with it, especially after they encounter defeat?

Here’s the stone-cold truth:

If you’re lacking in motivation right now to the point that it is keeping you stuck in life, the only person standing in your way is you.

What Is Motivation?

At its core, motivation is the reason why you act or behave in a certain way. It’s the driving force that pushes you to take action, in spite of your fear or lack thereof.

Psychologists define motivation as the process by which activities are started, directed, and sustained so that certain needs are met[1].

These needs can be either psychological or physical. It’s important to point out that motivation looks different for everyone, depending on their needs and values. Moreover, levels of motivation can change in different phases of your life.

Why Is Motivation Important?

According to the research of Dr. Anders Ericsson, motivation is the most significant predictor of success[2]. It is the secret sauce that allows you to create your destiny.

By understanding why motivation is so important for success in life, you will feel more empowered to take action.

1. Gives You a Sense of Direction

If you aimlessly move through life with no direction, you won’t feel motivated to do much of anything. This is why it is so important that you have a clear understanding of what you want and why.

If you don’t know why you should do something, the likelihood of you actually taking action will be minimal.

Advertising

Successful people create a vision and know what their purpose is, which ensures that they are pulled towards the achievement of their goals instead of pushed. As a result, motivation becomes effortless.

In the words of Margie Warrell, author of Brave,

“Knowing your ‘why’ is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living. Indeed, only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging and more rewarding trajectory.”

2. Transforms Fear Into a Powerful Plan of Action

Fear is the #1 factor that prevents people from taking action in life, whether that’s fear of failure, fear of success, or fear of not being good enough.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that fear is something that is created in the mind. Hence, it’s an illusion. When you flex your motivation muscle, it slaps fear right in the face. It’s a way of saying, “I’m going to feel the fear and do it anyway.”

You can either let fear prevent you from moving towards your goals, or you can use it as a tool for motivation[3]. It’s your choice.

3. Helps You Bounce Forward From Setbacks

When life knocks you down (and it will), motivation is the fuel that will allow you to pick yourself up and keep going.

When life tries to convince you that the game is over, motivation will be in your corner, cheering you on and reminding you to not give up.

Life is a rollercoaster ride. You can either scream your way through the whole thing or strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. When you encounter a low moment, take it as an opportunity to unleash your inner strength.

A great exercise to help you remember why enduring through the tough times is worth the effort is to visualize what life would be like five years from now if you aborted your mission[4]. That will be motivation in and of itself to keep going.

What Kind of Motivation Do You Need?

Have you ever thought about what the driving force behind your motivation is? To answer this question, you can look at the push vs. pull theory. Your motivation to do anything comes in two different forms: push or pull.

Push motivation is driven by a need to run from unwanted reality, while Pull motivation is a power that inspires you to attain successful results[5].

When you push yourself to do something, it will naturally feel like you’re dragging yourself through life. You can only operate in this mode for so long before you run out of fuel.

Advertising

This is why you need to access Pull motivation, which emerges from an intrinsic desire to do something that you love.

As you can probably predict, Pull motivation is what you want to strive towards. It is the product of taking action with the intention of bringing yourself one step closer to your desired destination.

What Can Motivate You to Succeed?

Motivation is subjective, meaning that different people will be motivated by different things, depending on what their goals and values are. What will motivate you at work may be different from what motivates you at home.

Let’s explore a few common factors that motivate people to succeed.

Living With Purpose

I am a firm believer that lasting motivation is driven, in large part, by your purpose. When you find what it is that makes you come alive inside, motivation becomes a walk in the park.

This is otherwise referred to as internal motivation, meaning that your behavior is driven by internal rewards. Hence, you do something because it feels good for you, regardless of what other people think[6].

What Motivates You? Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

    If you have yet to find your purpose, don’t stop looking because it’s looking for you, too.

    Check out this article and find out how to find your purpose to get motivated: How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up

    Committing to Self-Mastery

    Some people devote their entire life to self-mastery and the sense of accomplishment it brings. 

    Self-mastery is a process of becoming. It’s not an end goal. Rather, it’s a life path motivated by the opportunity to be your best self.

    In his book, Toward A Psychology of Being, Abraham Maslow talks about a powerful force within the human condition, which is a drive for growth. This force propels people forward towards wholeness of Self.

    Growth always requires some level of risk because it asks that you step outside of your comfort zone.

    Advertising

    I know how scary this can be, but I promise that you will never fail when you commit to self-mastery. When you master your mind, you master every area of your life.

    Giving Back

    Some people are motivated to give back to the world and help others. They have an innate desire to create an impact in the world.

    As someone who helps people for a living, I can honestly say that there is nothing more rewarding than helping people achieve their fullest potential in life. As Winston Churchill once stated,

    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

    Research has shown that giving makes us far happier than receiving. Thus, in a way, we are actually being both selfish and selfless by giving to others[7].

    How to Find More Motivation to Succeed in Life

    Now that you know what motivates people to achieve success in life, it’s time to identify what drives YOU.

    1. Get Clear on Your Why

    Some people are crystal clear about what their purpose is early on in life, while others take more time to define what that looks like. Where people get stuck is that they tirelessly search for their purpose in life, and when they don’t find it, they get discouraged and give up.

    You’ve got to understand that your purpose isn’t something that you find. Rather, it finds you. Ask yourself, “What is it that I love to do?” You may find that a great answer is waiting for you.

    Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Finding Purpose for You and Your Team explains,

    “Once you understand your ‘WHY’, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best.”

    Once you are clear on your “why,” you need to take massive action. Do things that make you come alive inside, try, fail, try again, and see what sticks.

    By committing to a purposeful life, everything will feel more effortless.

    2. Find an Accountability Partner

    An accountability partner is someone who keeps you on track so that you don’t lose momentum. A big reason why so many people struggle to stay committed to their goals is that they aren’t accountable to anyone other than themselves.

    Advertising

    Research found that people are 65 percent more likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95% when they build in on-going meetings with their partners to check-in on their progress[8].

    Find someone who has goals similar to you. Together, create a plan of attack so that each of you is inspiring the other to commit to specific actions.

    3. Celebrate Your Small Wins

    Whenever you achieve a small win, make sure that you reward yourself with something meaningful.

    At the time, small wins may not seem like a big deal. However, by celebrating your progress, you are giving yourself mini doses of motivation that will encourage you to keep going.

    When you accomplish something, the neurochemical dopamine is released into the brain. As a result, you feel energized with feel-good emotions, which, in turn, allows you to feel a sense of pride.[9].

    4. Create an Empowering Morning Ritual

    When you take time every morning to nourish your mind, body, and spirit, you set yourself up to win throughout the day.

    When you commit to a morning ritual every single day, over time you start to build a massive amount of motivation. The reason why this happens is that you are doing the work to flex your mental muscle.

    Research shows that early risers are more successful, more proactive, better planners, and better at anticipating problems[10].

    Find habits that motivate YOU, whether that’s reading inspirational books, watching videos, reciting affirmations, or working out.

    Get into a routine and make it stick: The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

    Final Thoughts

    There is no better time than now to motivate yourself! Take massive action and start creating the life of your wildest dreams.

    Zig Ziglar said it best,

    “Motivation is like bathing, you have to do it every day. Without motivation, you will never have the drive to take action, and without action, you can never reach your goals and live your dreams.”

    If you can master motivation, I promise that there will be nothing that will hold you back from success in life.

    More Motivational Tips

    Featured photo credit: Kevin Schmid via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Ashley Elizabeth

    Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

    What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? The Effects of Stress on Your Body And Mind (You Never Knew) How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide) what is grit What Is Grit and How to Develop It for a Successful Life How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic

    Trending in Mental Strength

    1 How to Change Your Self-Perception and Untap Your Hidden Potential 2 8 Things to Remember When You’re Saying “I Can’t Do It” 3 10 Ways to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough 4 10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When Feeling Stuck 5 12 Ways to Get Back on Track When Things Don’t Work Out

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on October 20, 2020

    How to Change Your Self-Perception and Untap Your Hidden Potential

    How to Change Your Self-Perception and Untap Your Hidden Potential

    If your current self-perception is not serving you in ways that allow you to be your best self and achieve the goals you’re aiming for, it’s time to transform it into a force for good using personality and social psychology.

    Those harsh evaluations from your inner critic speaking sourly of unworthiness have had enough airplay. You no longer want to allow features of imposter syndrome to immobilize you nor deflate any balloon of excitement and hope you had toward achieving your goals.

    Your self-perception is about the relationship you have with yourself. The great news is that because you hold this self-perception, you are the best and most powerful agent capable of transforming it.

    Here are 7 tips on how to change your self-perception and unleash your potential.

    1. Learn to Detach From Others’ Projections

    Simply cutting ties with anyone who drops negative criticism that leaves you feeling you are a lesser human being would lead to an incredibly lonely existence. What can better serve you is recognizing when someone might actually be projecting their self-image upon you.

    Projections are often an unconscious way we defend ourselves to feel better emotionally and mentally about those aspects of ourselves we consider to be flawed[1]. We attribute the things we don’t like about ourselves to someone else because the pain and discomfort of confessing our own inadequacies are just too great.

    Think of the friend at dinner who dominates the conversation and commonly speaks over others yet tells you you’re rude when you interrupt them. Think of the associate who claims to be a perfectionist and always struggles to meet deadlines but says your work will never be as good because you prioritize meeting targets over doing better quality work.

    When you are on the receiving end of sharp, unsavory criticism, there’s a high chance that another person may be projecting. They are unwittingly showing you how they see the world.

    However, this does not mean their assertions are true or valid. If anything, it’s simply a matter of opinion.

    2. Recognize How Others Have Shaped Your Self-Perception

    During her earlier research, Carol Dweck discovered children’s motivation and performance was highly influenced by how parents and authority figures encouraged them.

    Her research offers guidance that could also influence a child’s esteem, self-efficacy, and self-perception as they grow through adolescence and into adulthood[2].

    Advertising

    • Teach children how their effort can influence outcomes and their performance as opposed to labeling them according to the results they might achieve (i.e. a good artist, a genius, gifted).
    • As opposed to telling children they were good or bad, loved or not loved depending upon their behavior and results of performance, praise their efforts despite the results.
    • Make space for children’s positive and negative emotions as opposed to only being loving, affectionate, and supportive when they are well-behaved or performing to a certain level.

    Dweck’s research has shone a light on likely sources of many imprisoning self-perceptions we develop as adults. As adults, we can see how and why we came to think about ourselves in the ways we do[3].

    Change your self-perception with a growth mindset.

      Now, this is not a green light to unleash all blame on your parents and teachers but rather to recognize that you might be carrying the full weight of unhelpful self-perceptions you aren’t fully accounted for. You can also recognize and choose to do something about those self-perceptions that don’t benefit you.

      Ask yourself:

      “Does how I see myself make me feel better or worse about myself?”

      “Does how I see myself create obstacles between where I am, what I am feeling, where I want to be, and how I want to feel?”

      Continue to practice your awareness of how you see yourself in the present, consider how this impacts you, and start exploring how to put yourself in the greatest position of power to change this.

      3. Learn How Even Negative Self-Perceptions Serve a Purpose

      World-renowned psychotherapist Richard Schwartz coined an incredible therapeutic framework called Internal Family Systems through hearing how clients would talk about inner “parts” of themselves[4].

      Similar to how different members of our families have different roles by birthright, different personality traits, and characteristics, Schwartz proposes that we all have an internal system consisting of sub-personas or “parts” within our psyche that help form our self-perception.

      Have you ever thought that you should decide one way but another voice inside you said to do the opposite? If so, this framework can help you not only tame the unhelpful voices and self-perceptions but also discover others that can help you untap your hidden potential.

      Schwartz coined three main types of sub-personas:

      Advertising

      • Exiles are those who often hold the emotional pain from abandonment, rejection, being exploited, and negatively judged by other individuals or other parts within our internal system.
      • Managers are those who are directive and controlling to avoid situations and interactions which might further hurt the exile part/s. These parts of us are often highly intellectual and good at problem-solving but push emotions away.
      • Firefighters are those parts of us that spring into action in emergencies when we’re caught off guard. When the exile parts of us have been triggered, these firefighting parts can jump into soothing and placate their emotional expression. Emotional eating or splurging our savings on clothes to make ourselves feel better are examples of ways we look to put out the emotional fire that is blazing.

      Regardless of the different characteristics of these parts we have within us, they all serve a primary purpose but in different ways: to protect us and keep us safe.

      When we learn to see how and why they do this, we dissolve our need to fight our self-perceptions.

      We no longer have to fight against the negative voices in our heads. We can now guide and use them to our advantage to help us get to where we now want to go.

      4. Reframe Your Language to Practice Healthy Detachment

      You don’t need to undergo intensive therapy to benefit from some simple language reframing techniques. When you change a few words in your self-labeling narrative, you can drastically change the impact that narrative can have on you.

      When you look at the following four sentences, you have a sense of which one feels the most self-deprecating and which one feels the least:

      • “No one loves me. I’m simply not attractive.”
      • “Right now, I feel that no one loves me. At the moment, I don’t feel attractive.”

      Which statement feels the heaviest? Did you notice the changes in the sentences?

      Self-perceptions we make tend to be purely black and white. We also tend to inaccurately and blanketly apply them to cover all contexts and situations, particularly when our emotions are the most intense.

      Reframing your self-narrative is easier than trying to eliminate it in one fell swoop. Recognize that your self-perception is but a reflection of transient feelings you are feeling at particular moments in time, and you’ll become better at preserving your self-worth.

      5. Forget Positive Affirmations and Practice Truthful Self-Perceptions

      As a coach and a consultant, I have often had clients come to me wanting to instantly silence any negative self-talk they express toward themselves. It is true our subconscious develops healthier inner dialogue over time with the regular and frequent practice of feeding it better mental nutrition. However, no amount of positive self-talk can transform negative self-perceptions if we don’t believe they could be true.

      If you have a poor body image, you can tell yourself until you’re blue in the face that you have nothing to be concerned about when you look in the mirror. You’re still going to be free from the mental and emotional shackles that such self-perception holds.

      You’ll be pleased to know the answer isn’t in endless journaling or writing out positive affirmations hundreds of times a day. There’s a faster and more effective way!

      Advertising

      Develop phrases which you actually believe that guide you to look in the direction of how you want to see yourself:

      I’m working towards improving how I see and/or feel about myself.”

      “I’m learning and practicing how to adjust this aspect of myself so it better serves me.”

      Notice how there is no mention of looking to improve or delete an aspect of your personality in either of these statements?

      Your subconscious will be more on board with you using the phraseology above because you’re emotionally more receptive to it. It feels safe, honest, and true.

      Practice more language and phrases like these above and you will grow incredible self-perception that will take you beyond what you originally felt you were worthy of aiming for.

      6. Combine a Growth Mindset and Imagery to Untap Your Potential

      The use of imagery is an incredibly powerful mental tool to help you develop more helpful self-perceptions that will serve you in moving toward your initial goals. Combine this with simple growth mindset questions, and you’ll be well on your way to unleashing your potential.

      Using an example, let’s say you don’t feel you don’t have what it takes to apply for a certain job.

      The first part of the exercise is to playfully develop the growth and expansive mindset questions and entertain the answers to them:

      1. What if I did have enough skill, expertise, knowledge, and confidence?
      2. How would I approach applying for the job?
      3. How would I be feeling as I applied for the job?
      4. How would I feel upon submitting my application or getting an interview?

      The second part now is to bring those potential answers to life. Breathe life into a mini-movie scene of these possibilities you create in your imagination. Imagine the environment you surround yourself in as you prepare your job application.

      When you engage your five physical senses during imagery, you can ignite physical and emotional responses that signal to your brain what you are focusing on is important. The more you practice the imagery in which you paint a healthier and helpful self-perception, the more your reticular activating system[5] will look for opportunities for this to come to fruition in reality.

      Advertising

      You can learn more visualization techniques in this article.

      7. Deliberately Practice Healthier Self-Perceptions

      Our hidden potential remains untapped when we aren’t moving toward clearly defined goals.

      From recognizing our unhelpful self-perception, we can start to shape those which aren’t just healthier for us but also strategically helpful for us in moving toward what we want to experience, do, and have.

      When you next look at a particular goal, ask yourself the following questions:

      1. What qualities do I already have that could and would help to meet that goal?
      2. What do I already know that could help me meet this goal?
      3. How can I position myself to gain the skills and knowledge that would help me achieve this goal?
      4. What choice/s along the way would give me opportunities to experience satisfaction, happiness, and fulfillment in ways that matter to me?
      5. Even if I don’t meet this goal, will I still feel good about myself throughout the efforts I make to do so?

      These questions are not only strengths-based. They also guide you to make choices and create opportunities that help you feel higher and healthier levels of fulfillment.

      Meeting the goal may or may not happen. Regardless, your self-perception is sure to undergo powerful, positive transformations on many levels.

      Final Thoughts

      These 7 tips will help you realize your potential and change your self-perception positively.

      Through learning how to practice acceptance and compassion toward yourself and how to have a better relationship with yourself, you can develop self-concepts that help you untap your hidden potential.

      You’ll be radiating a healthy glow that’s almost palpable with a powerful sense of self that will take you wherever you want to go!

      More Tips on Improving Your Self-Perception

      Featured photo credit: Vince Fleming via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next