The Surprising Science Behind Motivation

One of the most common questions I get is “how do I stay motivated?”

I have been highly motivated for as long as I can remember. I’m blessed, I get it. However, I never really stopped to think about why.

As I got into business for myself almost 5 years ago, the business model I started out in required me to find people who were equally as highly motivated. That wasn’t as easy said than done and what I have found is that a huge pool of women want to be more motivated, they just don’t know how.

Over time I was sick of seeing really generic advice being given out to women who were clearly struggling with their motivation. Sometimes it’s not as easy as looking at your goals every day (although that hugely helps) or “just cracking on with it.”

I knew that women deserved better and deserved more in-depth and tangible advice when it comes to creating and maintaining motivation.

The more I progress in my own career, the more I find myself drawn to the science & psychology behind success and achievement. I want to know what the research says and bring it back to you in a way you can understand and easily implement.

What’s the point of all those people working hard to research these topics if we can’t use the results in real life?

Motivation is very different for everybody but I’ve been researching the actual science behind it and what I have found is surprising. Most people fail at staying motivated because they are using extrinsic (external) motivation to keep them going. This is like putting diesel in a petrol car…you either won’t ever make it to your destination or it’ll feel very funny along the way. External motivation means setting goals that are 100% outside of yourself. The cars, the houses, the incomes, the goals that seem out of reach and up ahead of you.

The key to ongoing motivation comes from having high levels of intrinsic (internal) motivation.

Looking back over my past I can easily identify how my advantage has come from a high level of intrinsic motivation. I can sum this up in four simple words…

I. LOVE. TO. WIN.

For me, the pure act of getting better at something (better than everyone else usually) and the act of winning at something is reward in itself.

Where a lot of people fall down is that they are relying on extrinsic motivation alone. The only thing keeping them going is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and the problem with that is that unless you start off in business with a solid mindset (which 99% of women don’t) then you’ll start to doubt your ability to even reach that pot of gold…so you’ll start to feel demotivated and are far more likely to quit.

It makes sense right? You set a goal to earn say £5,000 per month through your exciting new business idea. You get going but you come across all sorts of obstacles (which you will if you do in business) and suddenly you start to tell yourself “I can do without that £5,000, I’m fine as I am now, it’s not worth the hassle.” This happens all the time when we rely on external goals to keep us motivated.

On the other hand, if you can tap into your internal motivation you will start to enjoy problem solving and overcoming. You begin to relish the challenge. The £5,000 is just the cherry on the top, the real joy comes from the climb, the mastery and the small wins along the way. The real reward is the person you become in the process.

A couple of weeks ago I did a live video over on Facebook that goes into much more depth. You can watch it by clicking here. However, here are my top three tips for leveraging the science behind motivation for your own results and success:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

1. Set goals that scare you. There is a direct and positive correlation between task difficulty and motivation. This means that the more challenging you find a goal the more motivated you will remain to overcome it. However, it’s important to know yourself and know if you are the type of person who becomes too overwhelmed with large goals.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

2. Make sure that the work you are doing is enjoyable in and of itself. This means that you remain motivated while doing the work because you are enjoying the mastery of it…the sheer reward of getting better at something and growing. This gives you high levels of intrinsic motivation. If you don’t enjoy the day-to-day work that is required of you it will be very difficult to become successful. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

3. Have cheerleaders. The most highly motivated people are surrounded by other highly motivated people and people who cheer them on.

I’d love any feedback on how this blog post helped or supported you, feel free to comment below or pop me an email at hello@annamayterry.com.

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