The psychology of self-motivation

You don’t need anyone to motivate you. You can motivate yourself. When I think of boundaries, I think of rules, regulations, and restrictions. And there are the parents, the teachers and the others, who hold us accountable with regard to those boundaries. Well, that’s not a bad thing. I would like to share with you what the research says about how to do it not because they tell us, but because we want to. Here’s the deal, how could we inspire people and ourselves to be self-motivated?

There is another word to this. It’s called “empowerment”. Feeling empowered is when you’re self-motivated. Now, if you want to know if you feel empowered, ask yourself three questions. If you say yes to these three questions, then you will feel empowered and self-motivated.

Question 1: Can you do it?

I can
Can I do it?

This is not based on common sense, this is based on research. But for a straight-forward understanding, you can consider this as common sense. The answer to this question comes when you are confident about the thing you want to do. Let’s say, you own a business and you have undertaken a project is out of your regular work process. This is called self-efficacy. Do you believe you can do it? Do you have the time, the knowledge, and the training to do what you are asked to do? If your answer is YES,  good.

Question 2: Will it work?

Will it work?

Do you believe that what you are to do will work? This is called response-efficacy: believing that the behavior would lead to the ultimate outcome. This requires proper training or having experience. If your answer is YES, then half of the work is done.

Question 3: Is it worth it?

Is it worth it?
Is it worth it? Only if you are happy with it.


The answer to this question lies in the amount of success and happiness you experience when you do it. From the day you are born, everything you did was because you wanted something after doing it. Some people do it because others wanted you to do it and you never ask yourself this question. Being successful is one thing and being happily successful is another. If your answer to this question is YES, then you are happily successful.

If all these questions are answered as Yes, then you are self-motivated. Note that I’ve not mentioned a thing about the answers being NO, because this would again be de-motivation.

A part of this post is adopted from a TEDx talk by Scott Geller.

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