As just previously mentioned, motivation can greatly fluctuate. It can come and go in waves. However, when we are committed to something, it means that we can perform even without motivation. For example, we may not be motivated to work on a project, but because we are committed to our job, we complete the task at hand anyway. It may take longer and not be the best work we have ever put forward, but we got it done because we were committed to completing the project. Commitment can be helpful for those days when we aren’t feeling inspired, but if we rely on commitment too frequently and do not find our motivation, we can become burnt out and lose our quality of work. Because of this, it is important that we find ways to build our motivation long-term.
There are two main types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Both are strong sources of motivation and can be useful in getting our work done, but intrinsic motivation can be a steadier source. Realistically, both motivators are going to be present in most scenarios, so it is important that we understand what they are and how we can use them to drive our performance. Once we understand what gets us excited, we can tie these into our individual development plan.
Psychologists Ryan and Deci defined Self Determination Theory as a way to explain motivation through three basic psychological needs: Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness. If we can develop these three areas, then an individual is going to feel more secure, engaged, and motivated to perform at their best. The three areas are all inter-related, so when we start to develop one of the areas, we are typically developing the other facets as well. People naturally want to improve and grow, so if we can identify the what and how, then we can start to focus some energy in building our autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Want to watch a video instead of reading? Check out our Lunch and Learn on Building Motivation.
There are several avenues in Truvelop you can use to build your autonomy:
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough” - Walt Whitman
When you improve one of these areas, you improve all of the areas. When you feel more connected to your team, you are likely going to feel more supported, which can help you to feel more competent. When you are feeling more competent, you may be more willing to take initiative, helping you to feel more autonomous. If you feel like you are in control of your environment, you may be more willing to collaborate with your Manager, increasing your sense of relatedness. It is all inter-related, so when you put in the effort to increase one domain, you are actually able to increase all of them. Building motivation and engagement doesn’t have to be difficult!
As we build our motivation and engagement, it is important that we know how to face obstacles and challenges. If we face a challenge with the fear of failure, then we could actually lose motivation. Instead, if we go into a challenge with the understanding that this is a chance to learn and grow, then we could be inspired and motivated to face the obstacle head-on. Do you have a growth mindset?
If someone has a fixed mindset, they believe that their talent and intelligence is stagnant. They typically avoid challenges due to the fear of failure. They also may view temporary setbacks as permanent failures. They may also feel like any constructive feedback is criticism, and become demotivated.
If someone has a growth mindset, they believe that talent and intelligence can be improved. They typically see challenges as a learning opportunity and embrace the idea of being uncomfortable in order to grow. They view temporary setbacks as temporary and are willing to make adjustments in order to continue on the journey towards meeting their goals. They take constructive feedback with an open mind and implement it in their work.
Looking for additional guidance for developing a growth mindset? Check out our Growth Mindset Reflection Guide.
Even once you build your autonomy, competence, and relatedness and face your challenges with a growth mindset, there are still going to be days where you don’t feel as motivated or as engaged as you may hope. On these days especially, it is important that you take the time outside of work to recover, rest, and recharge.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Employee Resource Center, as well as our Resources page in Truvelop Tips. We have links to TED Talks, blogs and articles, interviews, and podcasts.
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