Of Self-Motivation and Affirmation

Let’s talk about self-motivation first.

As usual, the very first question that comes up for me when investigating such concepts is the distinction. The easiest way to start looking at distinction is to look at the definition of the keywords/phrases in the concept. In this instance, the word is self-motivation.

Of course, they are numerous definitions out there; each with its own nuances. Comparing these definitions will give us the distinction of the concept.

One definition of self-motivation is “… the ability to drive oneself to take initiative and action to pursue goals and complete tasks. It’s an inner drive to take action — to create and to achieve. It’s what pushes you to keep going on tasks… “ (soulsalt.com)

Another definition is “… the force that keeps pushing us to go on – it’s our internal drive to achieve, produce, develop, and keep moving forward. When you think you’re ready to quit something, or you just don’t know how to start, your self-motivation is what pushes you to go on.” (mindtools.com)

So with just these two definitions, we now know a few distinctions about self-motivation.

·     It comes from within. If it comes from the outside, it is not self-motivation.

·     It pushes you to take action. If it just gets you excited without action, it is not self-motivation.

·     It keeps you going. If it gets to you take action and not continue, it is not self-motivation.

·     It has an objective. If it doesn’t get you to focus on a goal, it is not self-motivation.

There could be other items in the distinction but I feel, for now, these suffice for general use.

Now that we know the distinctions, my next question is how do we get self-motivated?

To answer this question, one way is to look at how we get demotivated. If we can identify how we get demotivated, we can also find a way to motivate ourselves.

Some of you must be asking “But why not look at what demotivates us instead of the how?” The answer is, yes, we can do that too. Once we know what demotivates us, we still need to know how those elements affect us.

So, how do we get demotivated? An interesting question yet the answer is somewhat simple and obvious based on the distinction of self-motivation. For some of us, we will not like the answer while for some, not on we do not like it, we will resist it.

The answer to how we get demotivated is our self-talk! This means we are the ones that talk our self into being demotivated. We talk our self out of being motivated because by nature we are motivated. It is inherent in all of us. It is we who demotivates our self; not other people, situations or even circumstances. These might be the trigger but never the cause. We cause it to happen, nothing more, nothing less. No one is to blame. We are fully responsible for being demotivated. This is the blunt truth. That is why I said earlier that some of us might not like it or even resist it.

Now, back to how do we overcome this? How do we have healthier self-talk?

One of the ways is what we call affirmation. Affirmation is loosely defined as positive self-talk.

There are numerous ways to craft an affirmation.

One popular way is to state the final outcome of what you want. Say, for example, you want to be the best salesperson in your company and right now you are not that yet. So the affirmation is “I am the best salesperson in my company.” This method is easy yet some believe this is not the best way because sublimely you know you are not yet you say you are.

Therefore, the other way is to craft an affirmative statement that you believe in besides stating the outcome. Therefore, the affirmation will be “I am heading towards being the best salesperson in my company.”

Personally, I like this third method. In this method, the positive and negative self-talk is stated to affirm us of what to do and what not to do. Many a time we have a positive affirmation but we still fall into negative self-talk because we are not cautious of what is not. Some feel this way is not effective because we still bring the negative into being. This is true yet it is remedied by the way the affirmation is structured, making sure the positive comes after the negative. Therefore, the affirmation is “I am not the best yet but I am on the way to being the best salesperson in my company.” If you notice, this statement sounds ‘truer’ as we say it. This statement is more believable and that is actually the power of an affirmation. The believability of an affirmation is vital in adjusting our self-talk. The addition of the word but also allows us to negate it, making the first part of the affirmation loses its power.

As an entrepreneur, I would like to share the affirmation that I have been using all these years to keep me going. It is in the graphic above. It has served me well, not only in my entrepreneurship journey but also in my personal life. It is a constant reminder of what not to do and what it is that I need to do. If this can help you, please feel free to use it in its entirety or modify it according to your needs.

May we keep moving forward to achieve what we desire in life.