3 Ways to Self-Motivation

One of the questions I hear from my coaching clients is how can they generate energy and get self-motivated. Work is so much easier when they are fired up, and they need to learn how to make that happen when tired or bored.

Self-motivation involves higher levels of personal involvement that motivate us beyond contracts or expectations of others. Often we’re motivated by what others expect from us.

When we are driven to express our own desires, interests, values and strengths, we can achieve incredible levels of development and performance. It’s termed intrinsic motivation because it comes from internal sources.

Nothing is stronger than intrinsic motivation, and when we connect with it, we exert considerable effort without any expectation of reward. The performance itself becomes its own reward. When we use internal capabilities of self-awareness, self-regulation and self-motivation, we act in ways that enhance knowledge, trust, and personal power–all fundamental to success.

3 Steps to AWEsome Self-Motivation

The solution to finding self-motivation, energy, and drive lies in tapping into three concepts represented by the acronym AWE:

  1. A = Autonomy: Establish control and self-determination
  2. W = Why: Link tasks to meaningful values
  3. E = Establish choice: Make a small decision, then act on it


A prerequisite to motivation is the belief that one has some degree of control over actions, choices, and environment. When people believe they are in control, they work harder and push themselves more.

“Autonomy is our human need to perceive we have choices. It is our need to feel that what we are doing is of our own volition. It is our perception that we are the source of our actions.” ~ Susan Fowler, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging

As adults, we never lose the need for autonomy. Productivity significantly increases for blue-collar workers in manufacturing plants who are given the ability to stop the line. So does the productivity of white-collar workers in major investment banks who report a high sense of autonomy.

A sense of autonomy is so crucial to human needs that people who believe they have control over themselves often live longer than their peers.

In my next post I’ll talk about how “asking why” is so crucial to becoming self-motivated. In the meantime, I’m curious. How do you self-motivate? You can reach me here and on LinkedIn.


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