Published on April 7, 2021

Do You Know Your Motivation Style?

Do You Know Your Motivation Style?

Every now and then, we struggle to find the motivation to do anything in life. There are quick bursts of motivation, but it eventually runs out and you begin to fall behind.

What I tell people who struggle with motivation is this: you can’t just focus on motivation. You need to focus on your motivation style to figure out the best way to stay motivated. Knowing what your motivation style is is the key to perpetual motivation.

Why Knowing Your Motivation Styles Is Important

I’ll go into detail of what these styles are in a moment, but first, why is knowing your motivation styles so important? Here are some benefits and reasons that are worth knowing about:

  • Change our behavior – Depending on the motivation you’re using it’ll alter your mindset. Where one motivation style could discourage you long-term, another could give you deep personal meaning and push you forward.
  • A deeper sense of satisfaction – Your motivational style will push you to be setting the goals you care most about. This translates to satisfaction as you have the motivation to complete the goals that you care most about.
  • Grows your interest – If you have no motivation, you’re not going to spend time on it. Having the right motivation means dwelling on something that helps you build interest in that area.
  • Develop traits that serve you – Goals are all about habit building and when you have the motivation to go through these, you’re developing traits. These traits will help you in that specific situation, but they can be used in other scenarios.

Knowing your motivation styles gives you a better sense of self-awareness. You’ll be able to identify problems and find the motivation to push through them and persist.

Do You Know Your Motivation Style?

You may have multiple motivation styles that work for you. By having several styles available to you, you could leverage motivation from several sources to reinforce habits.

To help you figure out your motivation style, we’ve got a convenient and free assessment What’s Your Motivation Style? to help you.

With this Motivation Style Assessment, not only do you get a clear idea of what styles suit you but you will learn how to leverage your motivation styles to always stay motivated. The assessment will provide you with a detailed analysis for all the motivation styles, and you can easily identify your primary and secondary motivation styles so you know which ones to rely on more. Take the assessment here for free.


Now that you’re ready, let’s dive deep into each of the motivation styles.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

But before getting into the specific styles, there are two core types of motivation that are essential to understand: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Understanding these types of motivation will help because you’ll have a better grasp of when to use one over the other.

Extrinsic motivation is also known as external motivation – motivation that’s coming from around you. Examples are Youtube videos, motivational speakers, posters or articles that inspire you. Anything from the outside that impacts your motivation is extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is the opposite. It’s internal motivation and is believed to be the superior motivation since it’s all coming from within. One of the prime examples of internal motivation is having a why or a specific attitude toward your goals.

Both of these motivations are crucial – regardless of one being supposedly better than the other. There are specific situations where these types of motivation can shine and are not without their own shortcomings.

The 8 Motivation Styles

From those two major types of motivations comes the motivation styles that I’ve been talking about.

Intrinsic Motivation

1. Physiological

This motivational style happens beyond our own explanation. This type of motivation is primal and something that we can’t ignore no matter how hard we try. This type of motivation is highly situational and you’ll likely find it in covering your basic needs.


Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory explains that and is a good example of this motivation at work. The theory states that we’re all motivated to cover our basic needs like food and shelter but also those higher-level psychological needs and self-fulfillment. We all have this type of motivation from the start.

2. Achievement

This type of motivation stems from the achievement of a task or a goal itself. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re motivated solely by the reward that comes with it. Instead, you find motivation through the process, you take joy and find self-motivation by going through the steps and making progress little or big.

An example of this is losing weight. Someone who is achievement motivated is someone who takes joy in stepping on the scale and seeing they dropped a few pounds. They might not be at their target weight goal yet, but the initial loss in weight is inspiring.

3. Attitude

Another form of intrinsic motivation is attitude motivation. It’s the type of motivation that is cultivated by your desire to change the way you or others think and feel. Those who are motivated in this fashion excel at engaging in actions and interactions in order to embolden those around them, providing words and actions that make others feel better or uplifting.

An example of this is motivational speakers. For those around them, it’s all external motivation. But that positive and uplifting feeling is something that compels the motivational speaker to get on stage, shoot videos, and provide motivational content in the first place.

4. Competence & Learning

Also called learning motivation, its motivation leans further into the process than the reward. Think of it as achievement motivation but all they care about is the process and learning aspect.

This type of motivation is all about getting better and finding motivation by moving the needle of progress towards completing your goal or task. The destination is nice, but it’s not the main reason for what you are doing.


Out of the intrinsic motivation styles around, this is the most valuable one. It’s the type of motivation you’ll experience when you’re working towards any goal or task. Every bit of progress you make will bolster you. Again, it’s similar to losing that couple of pounds on the scale. Other examples are being half done writing up reports or a school paper.

Extrinsic Motivation

5. Incentive

Moving to extrinsic motivation, the most prominent one you’ve probably heard about is incentive motivation. What this means is that you find motivation in the results or rewards rather than in the process or completing the goal or task.

A good example of this is signing up to participate in a marathon because you want to win. You’ll train hard every day so that you have higher odds of winning. Another one is studying for a test because you want to have the highest mark in the class.

6. Fear

Fear motivation is finding motivation in driving yourself into fear or in an uncomfortable position. Because of this nature, the external influence is going to be something negative, but effective. An example of this is that you’ll find the ability to work overtime because the fear of not being able to pay for your bills will cause you unease. The fear of what your inability to pay can provide you with enough motivation to push forward.

You can also twist it into a positive light. For example, say your family has a history of heart problems. That fact can lead you to work out more frequently and maintaining a healthy body.

7. Power

Those who are motivated by power are people who are motivated by having control over their own lives and can be extended to others as well. Everyone wants to be able to make choices and if you’re given more options to pick and choose, you’ll find this motivation manifesting in your life.

An example of this motivation is given the option of what kind of school or career you’d like to pursue. This provides power motivation since it requires you to be intentional with your thoughts and actions and allow you to manifest the life you want to lead.


8. Affiliation & Social

The final motivation style is affiliation and social motivation. This sort of motivation is something that is innately in us as it’s motivation that stems from our desire to connect and contribute to a social group.

Diving deeper into this, you will find motivation stemming from this to revolve around your desire to be accepted and to belong in particular groups.

Bottom Line

Now you’ve probably already got an idea of what motivation styles suit you but if you still haven’t taken the Motivation Style Assessment, I recommend you to do this now: What’s Your Motivation Style?

When you have an understanding of what motivates you, you’ll have more control over your own life. You’ll be able to better change yourself and push you through that change.

On top of that, there also comes deeper understanding in what brings you satisfaction, what you’re interested in, and ultimately have habits that contribute to your growth.

Featured photo credit: Joseph Chan via

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

No Motivation? 7 Great Ways to Overcome Loss of Motivation

No Motivation? 7 Great Ways to Overcome Loss of Motivation

No matter who you are, you will have moments where you feel like you have no motivation to do anything at all. Even highly effective and successful people will have times when they feel a lack of motivation. However, it is the way they deal with this “down” time that keeps them moving forward and helps them to accomplish great things.

Motivation is one of the keys that will push you into taking action and keep you moving each day. If you find yourself saying “I have no motivation,” you will tend to procrastinate on the things that are supposed to get done. Eventually, you will put things off and give up on your project or task.

This is what’s happening to many people out there. They say they want to become rich by investing or running their own business on the Internet. However, whenever they need to study the company report or build their website or write an action plan, they can’t get motivated to work. This is where most people give up.

Fortunately, there are solutions to this. Here are the 7 great tips to try when you have no motivation.

1. Remember Why You Want to Do It

If you feel a lack of motivation when you want to type an article, try to think about why you want to do it in the first place. The reasons you do something are the driving force behind everything you do. It is only when your reason is strong and emotional enough that you will do whatever it takes to accomplish the task.

When you feel no motivation at all, it is because the reason behind what you’re doing is not strong enough. Think about it: why do people stop smoking? Most of the time, people stop smoking because they have a strong reason; if they continue to smoke, they may suffer serious health problems or lose their loved ones.

So why do you do what you do? Do you know why you want to achieve your goals and your targets? Make sure your reasons are strong and emotional. When you have no motivation, think about the purpose why you want to do it.


2. Envision the Success If You Do It, and Feel the Regret If You Don’t

Visualization is a very powerful tool that is available to us, and it is free of charge. You can think and imagine whatever you want, wherever and whenever you wish to.

If you think that visualization does not work, try to imagine vividly that you walk to your kitchen, open your fridge door, see a big yellow lemon, and take it out. After that you take a knife and cut the big yellow lemon in half.

Imagine this vividly and with as much detail as possible. After you cut the lemon, take the half up and squeeze the lemon so that the juice drops into your mouth. Feel your hand’s pressure, hear the sound it makes while being squeezed, and imagine the sour lemon juice going into your mouth. Now, do you feel more saliva in your mouth or nothing?

Chances are, if you follow through and visualize it vividly, you will have more saliva in your mouth. This is because your mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imagined.

This is what makes visualization such a powerful tool. Think about it, if your dream is to drive a Mercedes Benz, imagine the vivid picture of you driving. Imagine the model you want, the color, the smell of the seats, feel the steering, and hear sound of the engine roaring. Do you think your mind will eventually make it real one day?

The point is that when you imagine and visualize things in your mind, you will feel more motivated to do it. When you dream about the car you want, you will create the motivation from within. Try to do this when you feel like procrastinating and have no motivation.

You can learn more about using visualization in this video:


3. Create a Supportive Environment

Do you know that your surroundings and your environment can affect your mood?

You will become the people you are around. If you are always surrounded by successful people who talk about their growth and learning, you will learn and join the conversation as well. This is how you can overcome a lack of motivation and use your environment to boost your energy levels.

On the other hand, if you are surrounded by negative people who always gossip and talk about other people, you will feel negative and have no motivation to work as well.

Ensure your work space is a good and supporting environment, so that you will want to wake up each morning and go to work.

Remember, your environment is important and can affect you. Change your environment instead of letting it manage you.

4. Change Your Physiology and Stay in Action

Motion creates emotion. Whenever you feel down and have no motivation to do your work, change your physiology. Try out this exercise:

Try to feel sad by thinking about all the sad things that have happened to you, and notice your physiology. Notice your breath, your shoulders, and your facial expression. Where are your hands, and do you look up or do you look down?


When you are in a sad state, your physiology will change to reflect it in the short term, affecting your motivation level. Conversely, if you are feeling good and energetic, your physiology will reflect that. For most people, when they feel great and motivated, their breathing will be faster, their hands gesture will be active, they talk faster, and their eyes look forward[1].

This is why it’s often easy to tell whether someone is upset or happy just by looking at their body language. When you change your physiology, you change your emotional state, as well.

5. Let Others Motivate You

Reading a book, listening to music, or watching something inspiring can help when you have no motivation. What you can do is spend a minimum of 30 minutes each day reading an inspiring book before you start your day. This way, you will make sure you start in the right state of mind and are able to go through the day, even if you face challenges

Videos and audio can be very helpful in helping you find motivation, too. For example, when you are down and feeling no motivation, spend time watching something inspiring on YouTube or listen to a motivational speech. You will be pumped up in no time and ready to go.

6. Dream Big, Start Small, and Act Now

This is a very powerful principle if you are struggling with motivation and feel overwhelmed. When you dream, you have to dream big so that your dream can inspire you. However, when you start, you have to start small because you want to make it into a habit so that you will automatically take action consistently every day.

When your motivation is gone, start small. You want to build up the momentum from there. Once you start to take action, the motivation will come, and you will be able to continue to do more.

Take baby steps, and gradually increase from there on. For example, if you want to exercise and work out five days a week, try to schedule it and start small. Even if it is just five minutes a day, commit to it.


The key is to build the momentum and make it easy for you to start. Once you get the engine started, gradually increase your motivation.

For more tips on taking action, check out Lifehack’s Free Guide: The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen.

7. Take Breaks When Needed

Sometimes you just want to take a break when you have no motivation. Remember, success is not a destination; it is a journey that you need to go through for a long period of time. Many people mistake success as doing one great thing and think that success will come over overnight.

However, almost all the successful people who have accomplished amazing results are able to do so because they persist long enough. They take action consistently and never give up. Real success takes years to build.

Make sure you get enough rest and take a break when you need to. Understand your own capabilities and how much you can do. If you have done your work, you can reward yourself and take a break. You will notice that after resting, you will feel more energetic, motivated, and ready to take on the world again.

The Bottom Line

If you find yourself asking, “Why do I have no motivation?” it may be time to take a good look at how you’ve aligned your priorities and where you can make changes each day. Overcoming a lack of motivation means finding what matters on a daily basis and taking small steps toward it when the energy you’re given.

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Featured photo credit: Agnieszka Boeske via


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