Here Is Your Ultimate Guide to Self-Motivation

Have you ever thought about the role self-motivation plays in your everyday life?

Self-motivation is the ultimate driving force behind your behavior. And the science of motivation has taught us it’s possible to influence your level of motivation. Most often, adults are more motivated by internal influences.

When you have a healthy and natural sense of Self, you’re able to understand what’s behind your decision-making process. Furthermore, you recognize the underlying reason(s) why you to take action the way you do.

How? By splitting what motivates you into two categories: Direct Motivation and Indirect Motivation.

Direct Motivation

This type of motivation is ordinary, simple, and based in the present. Direct motivation drives a healthy person to take action. It’s motivation in the purest sense, without needing to fulfill an unconscious plan.

Example: eating when you’re hungry to satisfy hunger and provide nutritious foods to support your body.

Indirect Motivation

This type is opposite the simple present based motive. Instead, it moves you to recreate the emotional state that substitutes for a sense of wholeness. The subliminal motive driving the action connects back to an emotional need or state created in childhood.

Example: eating a lot of sweets in a feeble attempt to satisfy an emotional need.


Now that you know more about motivation you can apply it to healing yourself.

If you suffer from anxiety and depression or need to overcome your fear (of something), there are tools you can use. Take a moment to reflect on how setting and achieving goals can help you take control of your life. What are some ways you can use this knowledge to reach your goals?

Developing an awareness of your indirect motivations will strengthen, over time and with practice, your sense of Self. You’ll begin to recognize the reasons WHY you make certain choices in your personal and professional life. You’ll also strengthen your ability to make better decisions.

Tips for Self-motivation

Try to make self-awareness a daily habit or routine, and you’ll be on your way to discovering your true Self. Imagine the benefit of being able to achieve your goals at work or with your creative accomplishments!

Most of us are aware of our inner voice or self-talk. But did you know that internal dialogue influences the way people motivate and shape their behavior? And studies have demonstrated humans need more than positive affirmations to achieve goals.

For example, setting an intention, by asking a question: “Will I accomplish . . . ?” influenced much higher rates of achievement. That’s right! By asking yourself this question, you’ll be more likely to build your motivation.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”  – Christopher K. Gremer

As you continue to sharpen your self-awareness skills, don’t forget to practice self-compassion.

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown writes: “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth.”

Perfectionism can hamper success because it prevents us from being our true selves as we are trying so hard to “avoid pain of blame, judgment, and shame.”

“When we become more loving and compassionate with ourselves, and we begin to practice shame resilience, we can embrace our imperfections.”

– Brené Brown

As you develop strong self-motivation, be patient with your progress; set daily goals; break them down into small action steps and celebrate your accomplishments.

Have you already decided what area of your life you most want to improve using self-motivation?

Think of ways you can check-in with your progress on a regular basis. Start with just one: family, relationships at work, your health, or a new exercise schedule.

Having a self-motivated mindset will not only improve your self-esteem, but it may also reveal the secret to being your best Self.


Do you want to learn more about how to strengthen your sense of Self?  Take our quick HySoS Quiz.  Remember, you can start anew no matter how far astray you’ve gone. Here’s to self-motivation!



  1. Art jefferson Marr on June 24, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Quick Motivational Procedure you never heard of.

    Want to make popcorn taste better?
    Then eat popcorn while watching an exciting movie.
    We ‘know’ this non-consciously when we buy the stuff for the latest Tom Cruise movie.
    The reason? Opioid-dopamine interactions. Opioid and dopamine systems are comprised of clusters of brain cells or ‘nuclei’ in the mid-brain that adjoin each other. Opioids cause pleasure or ‘liking’ and are activated in sex, eating, resting, etc., and dopamine systems cause attentive arousal or ‘wanting’ and are activated by the perception or anticipation of novel and positive means-end expectancies, like that Tom Cruise movie. These two systems interact, thus if we do something pleasurable, we get attentive, and if we get attentive our pleasures increase.
    This also happens when we follow a resting protocol such as mindfulness, and alternate it with the anticipation and performance of meaningful behavior which may be defined by the virtual perception of novel and positive mean-end expectancies (writing your great novel or just making the bed).
    So just get rested and alternate with doing meaningful behavior, and you will have such ‘flow’ like experiences and find that motivation becomes pleasurable, and thus much easier.

    More on this on the web site of the affective neuroscientist Kent Berridge of the University of Michigan who thought much of this stuff up, all of whose research articles are available for download.

    A more formal explanation based on Berridge’s research (or a neurologically grounded theory of learning) is provided on pp. 5-6, and 44-51 in a little open-source book on the psychology of rest linked below.

    Berridge Lab, University of Michigan

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