MAXINE HARLEY: What motivates you?

Maxine Harley
Maxine Harley

Motivation is defined as ‘To provide someone with a reason for doing something’. (Longman Dictionary)

Motivation is defined as ‘To provide someone with a reason for doing something’. (Longman Dictionary)

Have you noticed that you need a different sort of motivation for different things?

If we can’t rely upon self-motivation we can pay a life coach to give us the proverbial kick up the backside - but there’s no guarantee that external sources will make any tangible difference to us.

Why? What gets in the way?

To answer that it’s worthwhile reflecting upon your own history, and thinking about what motivated you as a child . Perhaps you were bribed with a reward, or threatened with a punishment. What worked best for you, and at what cost?

Do you still replay that choice to yourself nowadays?

Maybe you get one part of you to ‘do’ something unwanted or unpleasant by offering yourself a reward. That can be a good strategy as long as the reward is valued and highly desirable, and the behaviour doesn’t involve any negative pay-off.

By nature our ‘inner child’ might be lazy and try to avoid the boring and difficult stuff. Preferring instead to play and have fun.

The most successful business people have found a way to over-ride that natural tendency to distract, deflect and procrastinate, and their hard work brings the rewards that allow for the play and fun afterwards.

For those of us who aren’t (yet) super successful, we just need to have a clear path ahead, to keep ourselves on track, and to take one step at a time no matter how steep the climb or how hard the challenge ... giving ourselves a personal reward at the end of each little gain and success.

Remember to keep your levels of optimism and hope topped up too – particularly if you’ve been feeling disappointed, despondent, rejected or depressed. It’s all a state of mind after all.

Just get going and keep going – it’s not a race. It’s what feels successful to you that matters the most, and that will keep you motivated in future.

Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy)

www.psychotherapy-sussex.co.uk

www.maxineharley.com

Maxine Harley has a masters degree in psychotherapy, has written two books, and created four new approaches to psychological, emotional and physical well-being. She lives happily in Chichester with her daughter and grandson.