There are two types of motivation. The one that comes from inside which is called intrinsic motivation and one that comes from outside which is called extrinsic motivation. And although the topic is heavily studied, motivation experts are pretty unclear about why it’s easy for some people to find and use intrinsic motivation and why some people struggle with it.
At the end of the day, however, motivation is motivation and whatever gets you moving in the desired direction is a win – at least temporarily.
Extrinsic motivation provides one thing that intrinsic motivation does not. And that is accountability to someone else. When we are motivated to do something and that motivation comes from outside of us, it’s often because we do not want to let someone else down. And we want them to be proud of us. And we want to impress them. And we want to wow them. And, probably most importantly, we want them to notice us and love us.
It is often that drive for connection and love that gets people moving. And that’s awesome! However, if the only way we can motivate is through others, we are running a huge risk. Here’s a story…
There was an inmate in jail that while in group one day, talked about how he was super angry and “almost went to the hole” which is jail when you are already in jail. It’s a solitary room, all alone, where the inmate is not allowed to have face to face interactions with other inmates.
Anyway, he was talking about how he was so, so mad and that how “once I called my girl, she talked me out of it and I calmed down.” That sounds great, right? And like a good coping strategy, right?
Well, what happens if his girl said the wrong thing to him and set him off further? What happens if his girl wasn’t available to take his call when he needed her? Or what happens if his girl broke up with him and he no longer had her to help manage his emotions? Guy would have gone to the hole.
Now, this is not to say that having a support system to rely on is a bad thing, not at all. However, it is very risky if that’s the ONLY coping strategy. And this is why intrinsic motivation is so important.
And not for nothing, but why aren’t YOU enough to do the right thing for? Why don’t YOU work to do the right thing so that YOU can feel good about YOU? And that, my friend, is one of the reasons to start looking at your self-talk.
Because you, yes YOU deserve to love YOU. You, yes YOU are enough!