Are you dragging your feet and struggling to maintain focus? A lack of enthusiasm is a recipe for disaster especially for small businesses. When the honeymoon phase of your new business is over and that passion and excitement you initially felt has worn off, how do you maintain momentum and growth? This is much easier said than done.
Money might make you happy but will you ever have enough?
Is the thought of making bucket loads of money your motivation for working? Or perhaps it is power or even recognition. These are all forms of extrinsic motivation. However, you don’t really have control over these factors. They are called extrinsic because they are external to the work itself and other people control their size and whether or not they are granted.
To maintain momentum and fuel success, you need an internal drive powered by:
- Competence: Do you feel as if you are succeeding in what you do. Your confidence on a specific task is closely related to how you’ve performed on that task before; how ready you feel; the encouragement and persuasion of others; and seeing role models achieve success.
- Relatedness: Are you connecting with others. When we feel connected to others – when we have relationships that are characterised by high trust, mutual support and understanding – we are likely to feel more motivated and engaged. Connectedness also refers to how aligned we feel to someone or someone else’s values and purpose.
- Autonomy: Are you in control of your life. Control is about choice – choosing what you do and how you do it.
To be intrinsic motivated means you are motivated by rewards that are largely intangible.
Factors that can increase intrinsic motivation are:
- Challenge: You may be more motivated when you pursue goals that have personal meaning, that relate to your self-esteem and when attaining the goal is possible but not necessarily certain.
- Curiosity: Internal motivation is increased when something in the physical environment grabs your attention and when something about the activity stimulates you to want to learn more.
- Control: You may be more motivated by the desire to have control over yourself and your environments and want to determine what you pursue.
- Cooperation and Competition: Intrinsic motivation can be increased in situations where you gain satisfaction from helping others and also in cases where you are able to compare your own performance favourably to that of others.
- Recognition: You may be more motivated by the recognition you receive by your accomplishments.
If you can maximise the sense of control you have, how confident you feel, and how connected you are to others and your higher purpose, you’ll feel more motivated and perform better. Your motivation is largely in your hands. By knowing what drives it, you can take control of your own motivation and do some things to fuel it.
What is your motivation? Why are you doing what you are doing? What are you going to do right now? How can you create an environment that fosters one or more of these powerful forces of intrinsic motivation?