Motivational Style: How Knowing Yours Can Get You Moving

A good friend called me last week asking me for some tips on how she can become super motivated to finish a book she’s been writing. If you’re a writer, you can most likely relate to the feeling of hitting.the.wall.

You sit and stare at the screen. The only words going through your mind are, “What the heck was I thinking making this goal?” You feel nothing. In fact, you’d rather go scrub the toilet than to try to conjure up the words on the pages.

I get it. It’s a motivation issue for sure. Motivation. I think we could all use more of it on a consistent basis. Why do you think some people have more motivation than others? Even when we want something super bad, why do we put off taking the steps to actually get it? I’m fairly motivated, but there are times I just want to zone out and binge watch Netflix. I don’t want responsibility and I certainly don’t want others telling me, “Oh, you got this! Just do it!”

As a researcher, I like to learn and study many topics, including motivation. I want the answers to A LOT of questions. I like to study motivation because I believe it is a tool that can build amazing things!

“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.” Vince Lombardi

Now, motivation varies from person to person. What may motivate me may not motivate you. In addition, there’s different types of motivation and today, I’d like to go over just a few.

Motivation Types

Motivational Style 1:

Those that fear consequences This is the person who is motivated to do something because they want to avoid a certain negative consequence. It’s the “avoid-action” motivation type.

For example, the person who fears getting health problems will avoid smoking. Or the person who fears getting fired will go to work and do a good job.

Motivation Style 2:

Those that want a reward This person wants to get something (reward or incentive), so they take a particular action. For example, the person who wants to begin a career as a lawyer will attend law school.

Motivational Style 3:

Those that value achievement This is the person who loves achieving things, so in order to be consistently achieving things, they take action toward their goals. For example, the student that loves receiving awards will spend a great deal of time in school doing his or her best, keeping in mind that the top students receive awards and/or recognition.

Motivational Style:

Those that value growth (personal or spiritual) This is the person who really values positive momentum and growth. For example, the person who has this motivation style may attend workshops, read books, and talk to mentors regularly with the intent to keep growing.

Motivational Style 4:

Those that value community This is the person who really values community. Social factors play a big role in his life. For example, the healer who wants to feel part of a tribe will attend community activities regularly.

Motivational Style 5:

Those that value power

This is the person who loves to feel powerful, so she will perform actions that make her feel powerful. (Take a leadership position, manage a large group of people, etc.) Do you see yourself in any of these motivation styles? Motivational experts say that if you try to line up with a motivational style that doesn’t really resonate with you, you’ll end up slacking in a quick minute. Making progress will feel painful and oftentimes you’ll end up quitting.

You know how I know this? Been there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve signed up for some community event that had an “amazing cause” only to dread showing up. Yes, they were events that blessed people.

Yes, my friends would be right there with me to celebrate and be a part of something bigger. But I just couldn’t sync with the events. Sometimes I would just opt out at the last minute. Why? Not because I don’t like people or think fundraisers or good causes aren’t worth it. They are.

I’m just not motivated by social factors. (The desire to belong to a tribe, community, etc.) I never really have been. This is probably why I’ve not really been keen on participating in writing groups, meetup groups, book clubs, and so on. Unless it’s a team sport, in which the “achievement motivational style” comes into play, I’m not too keen on wanting or needing to belong to a tribe.

And you know what? I’m ok with this. I know my motivational styles today. I am motivated largely by achievement and growth. I value learning, books, mentors, workshop, etc. I desire to be continually growing mind, body, and soul. I am motivated to achieve things and will do what it takes (much of the time) to follow through.

Knowing my motivational styles helps me when it comes to work and play. Does this mean I never go to community events? No, but with there being so many options, I pick and choose wisely. Sometimes I have to think about the “growth” that will occur as a result of my attending an event. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s important to show up at events just to inspire, motivate, and well, shower love other people- even if it’s out of my comfort zone.

Because I actually do love souls. What about you? What are your motivational styles? Still not sure?

Check out Oprah’s Motivational Style Quiz! Now that you know, line up your goals in accordance and get to doing whatever it is that excites you! Create the kind of life that you really want!


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