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Last Updated on August 11, 2021

9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams

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9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams

What no one tells you when you first begin working towards your dreams is that motivation is the key to everything. Without at least one of the types of motivation, there will be no fuel to start the fire. You would have no drive to achieve anything, and there would be no reason to move forward.

If you’re looking to achieve your goals and you need some help, learn the 9 types of motivation that can make it possible to reach your dreams.

Before we dive into the different types of motivation, you’re recommended to take the free assessment What’s Your Motivation Style? and identify your own motivation style first. By taking this assessment, you understand more about yourself and know how to play to the strengths of your motivation style and make your dreams happen! Take the assessment now!

Now, let’s learn about the motivation types:

The Two Main Types of Motivation

Different types of motivation generally fall into two main categories.

1. Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is a type of motivation in which an individual is motivated by internal desires and is satisfied when internally rewarded.

For example, let’s say an individual named Bob has set himself a goal to begin losing weight and becoming healthier. Let’s also imagine that Bob’s reason to pursue this path of fitness and wellness is to improve his health overall and feel better about his appearance.

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Since Bob’s desire to change comes from within, his motivation is intrinsic.

2. Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is a type of motivation in which an individual is motivated by external desires or extrinsic rewards.

Rather than being motivated by the need to look better and feel healthier, let’s say that Bob was feeling pressure from his wife to slim down and improve his physique, both external factors.

Since this pressure comes from an outside source, this is an example of extrinsic motivation.

Find out more about external motivation: What Is External Motivation And How to Make Good Use of It?

Minor Forms of Motivation

All types of motivation are going to fall into one of the two categories above. Now that we’ve covered these and provided you with some examples, here are minor types of motivation that are capable of making a big impact in your life.

3. Reward-Based Motivation or Incentive Motivation

Incentive motivation or reward-based motivation is a type of motivation that is utilized when you or others know that they will receive a reward once a certain goal is achieved[1].

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Because there will be something to look forward to at the end of a task, people will often become more determined to see the task through so that they can receive whatever it is that has been promised.

The better the reward, the stronger the motivation will be!

4. Fear-Based Motivation

The word “fear” carries a heavy negative connotation, but when it comes to motivation, this is not necessarily the case. Anyone who is big on goal-setting and achievement knows that accountability plays a huge role in following through on goals.

When you become accountable either to someone you care about or to the general public, you create a motivation for yourself that is rooted in the fear of failure or the fear of disappointing others. This fear helps you carry out your vision so that you do not fail in front of those who are aware of your goal.

Fear-based motivation is extremely powerful as long as the fear is strong enough to prevent you from quitting.

5. Achievement-Based Motivation

Titles, positions, and roles in jobs and other areas of our lives are very important to us. Those who are constantly driven to acquire these positions and earn titles for themselves are typically dealing with achievement-based motivation.

Whereas those who use incentive motivation to focus on the rewards that come after a goal is met, those who use achievement-based motivation focus on reaching a goal for the sake of achievement and the feeling of accomplishment that goes with it.

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Those who need a boost in their professional life will find achievement-based motivation extremely helpful.

6. Power-Based Motivation

Those who find happiness in becoming more powerful or creating massive change will definitely be fueled by power-based motivation.

Power-based motivation is a type of motivation that energizes others to seek more control, typically through the use of positions in employment or organizations.

Although it may seem to be a bad thing, power motivation is great for those who wish to change the world around them based on their personal vision.

If you’re looking to make changes, power-based motivation may just be the way to go.

7. Affiliation Motivation

People often say that it’s not what we do but who we know that dictates our success. For people driven by affiliation motivation, this is most certainly true.

Those who use affiliation motivation as a driving force to meet their goals thrive when they connect with others in higher power positions than themselves[2].

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They also thrive when those people compliment the work that they do, as well as their achievements. Therefore, affiliation motivation is a great force to help you achieve your social goals and move up in the world.

8. Competence Motivation

Have you always sought to continuously improve your skills and talents? Is one of your goals to learn how to do your job better or improve at your hobby? If so, you may be in need of some competence motivation.

Competence motivation is a type of motivation that helps others to push forward and become more competent in a certain area and improve their skills.

This type of motivation is especially helpful when it comes to learning new skills and figuring out ways around obstacles that one is faced with in different areas of life.

9. Attitude Motivation

A problem with our attitude, perspectives, and beliefs is an issue that many of us face. It can become a problem regarding how we move through life to the point that we begin to lose our happiness and miss out on our dreams.

For those of you who are missing out on life because of your attitude, attitude motivation is one of the best types of motivation to help you to recover and move forward properly.

Attitude motivation is a kind of motivation that comes to those who intensely desire to change the way that they see the world around them and the way that they see themselves. Goals associated with self-awareness and self-change will be met with attitude motivation.

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Final Thoughts

Motivation is absolutely vital if you want to achieve your dreams. Using the 9 types of motivation mentioned above, nothing will be able to stand in the way of you and your goals any longer. Identify what you are trying to achieve in life and which type of motivation will be most likely to get you there.

More Tips on Finding Motivation

Featured photo credit: Carlos via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dylan Buckley

Dylan is Lifehack's Motivation Expert specializing in self-development, with extensive experience working for life coaches and startups.

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Last Updated on January 19, 2022

What Is Fear-Based Motivation And Does It Work?

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What Is Fear-Based Motivation And Does It Work?

If you’ve ever thought or said something like this, then you are using fear-based motivation:

  • “If I don’t get that promotion, I’m going to be seen as a failure so I better stay up all night to work on this proposal.”
  • “If I speak up for school reform, the internet trolls are going to get me, so I better be quiet even though I care a lot about this issue.”
  • “If I don’t exercise enough, I’m going to look like crap, so I better go to the gym six days a week, even if my body is killing me.”

Fear-based motivation is exactly what it sounds like—getting yourself and others to do things out of fear of what will happen if you don’t do it and do it well.

What you might not know is that while fear-based motivation might work in the short term, it can have long-term detrimental effects on your performance, relationships, and well-being.

Is Fear-Based Motivation Helpful?

If using fear as motivation comes naturally for you, you aren’t alone. Our brains use fear to keep us out of trouble. Normally, you want to move away from what feels harmful towards what feels safe.

This brain function is important when there is a genuine threat to your well-being, like if there is a rattlesnake on the hiking trail. Your brain will use fear to motivate you to move away from the snake as quickly as possible. But when you use fear-based motivation to accomplish your life and career goals, the constant state of fear puts unnecessary stress on your mind and body and can end up working against you.

The Darkside of Fear-Based Motivation

Take, for example, when your trainer at your gym motivates you during your workout by yelling things like, “Bikini season is coming! You don’t want your cellulite to be the star of the show!” or “Burn off that piece of birthday cake you ate last night!”

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Sure, you might be motivated to do ten more burpees, but what is going on in the back of your mind? You probably have an image of a group of people standing around you at the beach laughing at you in your bikini, or you feel guilty about eating that piece of cake and criticize yourself for not being able to control yourself.

Reliance on Negative Thinking

For most of us, this type of thinking causes stress and can bring down our energy levels and mood. The reliance on negative thinking is the problem with fear-based motivation. It forces us to put our attention on what is wrong or what could go wrong instead of anticipating and celebrating what is right. This, in turn, narrows our focus and prevents us from seeing the bigger picture.

When your brain senses a threat, whether it’s a rattlesnake hiding in the grass or the possibility of being laughed at in your bikini, your brain will move you into a protective stance. Your vision narrows and you prepare to fight, flee or freeze.

You can probably imagine what this looks like in the case of a rattlesnake, but how does this impact your bikini experience?

The High Cost of Fear-Based Motivation

Imagine that you plan a beach vacation with your friends three months from now. The first thing you picture is sitting on the beach with your tummy rolls and cellulite. You immediately sign up for three months of boot camp classes at the gym and banish all sugar and booze from your diet. You are determined not to make a fool of yourself on the beach!

Will the fear of not looking like a supermodel under the beach umbrella motivate you to get in shape and eat better? Possibly. But at what cost?

For three months, every time you picture yourself looking “less than perfect” in your bikini, you feel fear of being ashamed. Shame makes you want to hide, and that makes it harder to find the motivation to go to the gym instead of sitting on the couch eating ice cream.

You become so focused on how you are going to look on the beach that you lose out on all the fun and joy of life. You pass up on going shopping with your friends for new outfits because you aren’t at your goal weight yet. You stop doing the things you love to do to spend more time at the gym. You avoid family gatherings where you will be confronted with tempting food. You over-train to the point of hurting yourself.

The Healthier Alternative to Fear-Based Motivation

Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good in your bikini! If that’s important to you, keep your goal in mind but change the way you motivate yourself. Instead of using the fear of feeling ashamed to motivate you, try using love-based motivation.

Love-based motivation uses love instead of fear to lead and inspire you. It comes from a different part of your brain than fear-based motivation. Love-based motivation comes from the part of your brain that is responsible for joy, creativity, and passion.

5 Questions of Love-Based Motivation

There are many ways to deploy love-based motivation. The trick is to use one or all of the following to motivate you towards your goal: empathy, curiosity, innovation, vision, and heart-centered action.

Here are five questions you can use to motivate yourself using love-based motivation.

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1. What Would You Say to a Friend?

Chances are that you talk to your friends in a much kinder way and with more empathy than you talk to yourself. You wouldn’t tell a friend, “you better starve yourself and hit the gym three times a day to look good in that bikini!” Instead, you would probably say something like, “I’m so excited to go on this vacation with you! I can’t wait to spend time catching up while sipping margaritas on the beach.”

Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend.

2. What Are You Curious About Learning That Might Help You Get to Your Goal?

More often than not, achieving our goals is more about the journey it took us to get there than the goal itself. Curiosity makes journeys more fun. Perhaps you are curious about doing a triathlon but you don’t know how to run. If you spend three months learning to run, you would get into better shape and learn something new.

3. How Can You Get to Your Goal in a Way That Feels Good?

Using the “Yes, And” game is a great way to come up with innovative ideas for working towards your goals. If your first instinct is to go to the gym six days a week but you aren’t jazzed about it, find something that you like about that idea and make it better.

For example, if what you like about going to the gym is that you work up a sweat, what if instead of the gym, you join a dance class where you can learn some new moves to show off on your vacation?

4. What Is Important to You About Your Goal?

When you dig into your goal, chances are that you’ll find a deeper meaning. If your goal is to “look good in a bikini,” ask yourself why that’s important to you.

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For example, “I want to look good in my bikini because I want to have fun on vacation.” Then, ask yourself how much having fun on your vacation depends on how you look in your swimsuit.

5. What Heart-Centered Action Can You Take That Will Help You Reach Your Goal?

Whether your goal remains bikini-focused or changes to ways of having a good time on your vacation, choose an action that you can take that feels like it is coming from a place of love instead of fear.

For example, suggest to your friends that you take scuba diving classes as a group before vacation. It will get you moving and bring your friends together.

Long-Term Happiness and Satisfaction

Fear-based motivation may help you achieve your goals in the short term, but it won’t lead to long-term happiness and satisfaction. Fear isn’t designed to be used for long periods, and you will eventually tire of the fear and give up on your goals. Love, however, is designed for longevity.

Finding your motivation in a place of love will fuel you to reach your goals, whether your goals are about feeling good in a bikini, getting a promotion at work, or speaking up for what you believe in.

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Featured photo credit: Jeremy Perkins via unsplash.com

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