What is Internal Motivation and Why it is Important

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What is Internal Motivation and Why it is Important

January 30, 2018


You are always tired, there’s no desire to do anything, you want to lie on the sofa with a book, watch Youtube videos, scroll FB news and procrastinate… Is it familiar to you? If you ever had problems with self-motivation, this post is for you.

Belle Beth Cooper, an entrepreneur, Hello Code founder and Buffer blog author points out two types of motivation: external and internal. External is provided by outside world factors: the boss encouragement, colleagues’ support. Internal motivation is your own desire to do something for yourself, when completed work brings you satisfaction and happiness. You can’t control external motivation but it’s possible to deal with internal type. However, it’s not easy. Internal motivation might be “natural” – when you are hungry or tired, and “artificial” – when you need to operate some work – this motivation we need to develop.

Motivation is an emotion, positive emotion that “inspires” you to do something, that is why Cooper suggests applying to emotions:

1. Memories

Previous experience might make us do something more willingly. You may recollect good or bad moments – it depends on you and the current task. For example, bad sport experience has great influence on people who like to compete – challenges encourage them and in this case it’s better to apply to some kind of rage to win. Conversely, if you need to do scrupulous work – good emotions are required, like, recollection of the previous word process – what you were doing, what you felt after the work had been finished.

2. Get ready to the “game”

James Clear, famous writer and entrepreneur, was a sportsman. He had problems with motivation – sometimes he had bad mood that didn’t contribute good results. He couldn’t let his team down that’s why he created his own “pregame routine”: before each match he performed particular organized actions – ran around the field, warmed-up and etc. After this procedure Cleaf felt ready to play and win.

Now, James Clear developed such “routines” for all spheres of activity. It doesn’t matter how motivated he is, he just does these actions knowing he will be ready to start at the end of the procedure.
The main rules of the “pregame routine”:

  • actions should be so simple that you will have no opportunity to skip them;
  • actions should include a physical work – it would help you to warm-up;
  • actions should be performed each time you are going to do the task, even if you are already motivated.

3. Gamble something away

We experience stronger emotions when we lose something then when we get it. We hate losing things. That is why Cooper suggests promising yourself to refuse of something really important in case of uncompleted work. These things must be really valuable to motivate us perform effectively and have great results or feel sad if the task is not done.


Internal motivation won’t increase without any actions. Try listed advice and find out the most appropriate for you.

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