A recent study out of Technische Universität München in Germany found that internal, unconscious motivation can significantly improve performance.
Researchers found that willpower alone is not enough when it comes to rising to a difficult challenge as the reserves of willpower are quickly depleted.
Professor Hugo Kehr, Chair of Psychology at the university noted, “There are three components to motivation. The first is our conscious objectives and desires – for example, the aspiration for a highly paid role in a company in order to achieve a certain standard of living.
We are also driven by unconscious, implicit motives. These are deeply rooted in our emotions and can include the desire to do things well, have an impact on and control over others, and engage in interpersonal relationships. The third motivational component builds on the skills and capabilities that we bring to a role.”
When all factors come together, a person is generally highly motivated, focused and happy in their work, but if one of those components is missing, willpower can often help bridge that gap. Sheer willpower, however, doesn’t sustain us for long.
So how do we improve our own internal motivation?
First keep in mind that everything, good or bad, is based on one’s perspective. While there are outside stimulants and things that each of us react to, the motivation that drives us to accomplish anything comes from within.
If you believe there are more benefits and pleasurable feelings to be gained from doing something, it’s much easier to become motivated, and the opposite is true as well.
To change your inner motivations, you need to learn to reframe the way you think about certain actions, such as transforming negative thoughts into something positive.
For example, if you’re trying to get motivated to improve your health and lose weight, there may be some thoughts that are holding you back such as, “I’ll never be able to resist those donuts at work in the morning,” or “Exercising is miserable, I’ll never learn to enjoy it.”
In order to feel motivated, you’ll need to transform those negative thoughts so that you actually see the benefits of exercising and eating healthfully. Positive associations might include, “If I bring in my own fresh fruit to the office, I’ll feel much better and be on my way toward better health,” or, “Every time I’m physically active I can tell my body is getting stronger and it helps me forget my worries, too.”
Many people have difficulty motivating themselves due to the fear of change. We become complacent and comfortable, sometimes even in our misery. The power to transform your life is all in your hands – imagine a happier, healthier you.
How would you really feel if you achieved optimal health? Use your imagination to feel the sensation of a fit, strong body and a clear, focused mind – even if you aren’t there yet.
Taking just a few minutes each day to remind yourself why it’s important to make the effort can make the difference in accomplishing almost anything, including better health.
-The Alternative Daily