Engaging Intrinsic Motivation

EQ Durban, EQ South Africa
Written by: Avril Kidd
Engaging Intrinsic Motivation has to do with gaining energy from personal values and commitments instead of being driven by external forces. People who require external reinforcement to be motivated are always at the mercy of others’ approval or reward or punishment system. This ultimately reduces self-efficacy.

Engaging Intrinsic Motivation helps you develop and use lasting inner drives. This allows you to stand up, challenge the status quo, take risks, and persevere when the going gets tough – and it helps you inspire the same in others.

Intrinsic motivation, therefore, ultimately drives performance. Research shows that employees who are more engaged are productive, and students who are more engaged in the classroom perform at the highest levels. Examples of intrinsic motivators are: passion, alignment with values, and sense of belonging or purpose. They are intangible, abstract, and self-perpetuating.

What can you do to engage your intrinsic motivation more?

Start with these …

  1. Discover the top three values that drive you most in life. Think about how they drive you and why.
  2. Seek out mentors or role models: people who are working to make things happen in their lives. Talk to them and see what it is that motivates them.
  3. Look to bring out the best in yourself. Recognize what your special gifts and talents are. Find your ‘signature strengths’ and celebrate them – this is key to leading a happy and successful life. Be proud of who you are and through it all learn to laugh and have fun whether at home or at work.

If you can figure out what drives you internally, you will be able to keep that passion alive. An intrinsically motivated person will work because they find what they do enjoyable, and the challenge of finding a solution provides a sense of pleasure. When you rely on your motivation from external forces, it is comparable to being the passenger in a car. But when you are self motivated you become the driver of the car. Which would you prefer to be?

If you want to be the driver, determining your own direction, then start looking within to see what drives you and what motivates you to keep going, even when times are a tough. There is definitely more to life than just striving for reward, status and praise; or doing things for fear of punishment, loss of status or popularity. Start today and do it for yourself!

This competency is one of the energy competencies and is also a competency that defines top leaders.