domingo, 12 de agosto de 2018

Six Ways to Achieve Self-Motivation

Luis Fernando Sánchez
Organizational Development Consultant
Executive and Team Coach
HUELLA  – Organization Ddevelopment, President

For many years I have worked helping companies manage employee motivation. The typical approach has been to offer different approaches for managers and supervisors to motivate their people. These tools have gone from the establishment of goals, through different approaches to the reinforcement of behavior, to the unleashing of intrinsic motivation. These programs have been really successful; however, there has been a powerful element missing: getting individuals to manage their own motivation.

In recent times, as a result of a process of personal growth, I have come across the importance of the personal responsibility of every individual to manage their own motivation. Consequently, I have been modifying the paradigm of motivation that I offer to companies, to incorporate the element of personal responsibility in the subject of motivation. I have found surprising results, especially in individuals considered mediocre, or for whom nobody would have bet anything.  

The discovery of one's motivation can radically change a person's work experience (and life in general), especially when, as part of the process, this person discovers a purpose for his life.
When I speak of motivation, I refer to the intensity, direction and persistence of an individual's effort to achieve a goal or to undertake a direction in his life. Motivation refers to focused energy; we must be careful not to confuse this concept with "satisfaction", which is a correlated variable, but with different implications.

Based on the above, I built a model to improve self-motivation.  Any element that is worked on will have an impact on the motivational energy; however, when working several, the results will be much better.

This is the model:

These are the elements to work with:

1.        Purpose

The purpose is the raison d'etre for a person's life; it is your "what for", the meaning of your existence.  Discovering the purpose requires connecting with spirituality, with values, with vocation. The purpose is usually associated with some form of service for others or for society. 

In some way, the purpose has always been there, and the job is to discover it so that it can be carried out. By doing so, great energy will be unleashed, and it will be understood why certain activities and projects have been characterized by the passion they generate in the individual. 

Clarity of purpose aligns the different areas of life, rearranges priorities, focusing efforts and generates a great peace in making career decisions.
Western culture, with its values, hinders the discovery of purpose. Therefore, it is important to guide people so that they can find this essential direction for their life.

2.      Personal Vision

Personal vision is the dream that a person wants and could reach. Creating a vision channels the energy to put toward the future and guide efforts and short-term goals. Initially it may seem utopian, but experience shows that when it is created and worked on, it gives direction to personal projects towards their achievement. Those who seriously work on their vision, and revisit it periodically using "creative tension", usually reach it much sooner than they initially expected.

The work in this area consists initially of visualizing the desired future for one's life, without concern for "what they will say". The vision includes the different areas of life: career, love, family, spirituality, health and body, social and community life, finances, and residence, among others. Once conceived, the job is to keep it alive as a permanent challenge for the desired future.

Personal vision is particularly powerful when associated with a purpose.

3.      Attitude

Attitude is a predisposition towards something or towards someone. It can be positive, neutral or negative. All people have different attitudes towards themselves, their tasks, their daily activities, their work and life colleagues, and their life project. They tend to be handled on an unconscious level, so to be able to work them, it is important to bring them to consciousness.

Managing attitude is associated with the strengthening of emotional intelligence. It requires a volitional act to "choose" and maintain the attitude one wants to have. The awareness of attitudes is vital for the ability to motivate oneself.   In the end, the person understands that he cannot always control what goes on outside of him, but he can always control what goes on inside him.

A positive attitude generates creative energy, so the work in this area is to bring to consciousness the attitude that is needed at any given time, produce it and maintain it.

4.      Motivating position

In a perfect world, the tasks that an individual perform in his position are in some way linked to his purpose, and the work he performs helps him move towards his personal vision. If this were true, almost all positions would motivate those who occupy them. The reality is that this is not always the case. However, every worker can influence the design of his position, seeking to participate in activities and add tasks that are more in line with his personal interests (his purpose and vision). 

To the above proposal, we must add that many positions, by design, do not help generate motivation in those who occupy them. According to the "Work characteristics model" of Hackman and Oldham, a position will be intrinsically motivating when the occupant has a positive experience about the meaning of his work, the responsibility for the results he generates, and information about the actual results coming from the work itself. This generates five critical dimensions to work with: the variety of skills that are used in the work, the identity of the task (that is, that the task is complete, not only a part of it), the importance of the task, the autonomy at work, and the feedback received by the work itself. 

The work in this area is to influence the design of the position by the worker, seeking a better association with its purpose and vision, and incorporating elements that make your work generate motivation by the way it is designed.

5.      Positive energy

Motivation, as energy, feeds on the sources from which it is taken. Therefore, the internal dialogue and the influences of the environment can add or detract from the motivation. Internal dialogue can be controlled through meditation, the use of affirmations, and working on resilience. As in the attitude, in the construction of positive energy there is a work of emotional intelligence and choice that can have a great impact on the energy that each person generates. Cultivating positive attitudes and thoughts, and visualizing the future with optimism are some of the practices that generate the type of energy desired.

The influences of the environment are varied and can affect energy levels: food, lifestyle (exercise, sleep hours, changes in routine, etc.), family relationships, relationships and social networks, television programs, and readings, among others. The work in this field consists of choosing the sources of energy that have a positive impact on mood, attitude, and life in general. 

6.      Self-concept

The self-concept includes all the beliefs that a person has of himself, that are important to him, and that are relatively constant throughout the stages of life. It develops and changes over time, but it does so slowly and selectively. It is based on past experiences, on mandates of childhood, and on the meaning that the person gives to those experiences. Once a self-perception is established as part of the self-concept, it will affect the way the person experiences future situations.

From a motivation perspective, it is especially interesting to explore limiting beliefs. These beliefs include all the "I cannot", "I should not", and the negative labels that a person assumes as his own. Limiting beliefs are a perception of reality that prevents us from growing, developing as people or reaching all those things that give us hope. They are not true, but since we have adapted them almost always unconsciously, they become true norms for us. We incorporate them through life, especially in our childhood, through experiences, opinions or judgments about us.

Work in this area includes discovering limiting beliefs, replacing them with new beliefs, reinforcing self-esteem, and cultivating a successful and full-fledged person concept.

We have developed different resources in training, coaching, and neurolinguistic programming to work on self-motivation. These tools have been tested in different industries in different countries. If you would like more information about this program or other programs offered by our company, we invite you to contact us or visit our website,