Knowing Yourself is the Key to Motivation

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What is that saying? We can fool some of the people some of the time… When it comes to fooling ourselves, we really can’t even get away with a suspicious look. And if we are looking at goal setting, it is important to truly know yourself.

Motivation is the process you use to continue doing something when it becomes difficult. Motivation can come in the form of rewards, support, self-affirmations, or visual aids. With any goals that you set, there has to be a motivating force behind it to spur you on to success. You have to have a reason for continuing on until you reach your goal.


What motivates? That is the $64,000 question. To begin, learn a bit about yourself. I know that people say that they don’t know who they are, but you have at least a basic idea that you can build upon. Here are a few things to help get the juices flowing and aid in figuring out who you really are. From there, you’ll be able to find your motivation and complete your goals successfully.

What do you like? That’s an easy one. Likes and dislikes come from experiences in life. You may not like snakes or public speaking or high places. So, a goal of climbing Mt. Everest would not be good for you and you wouldn’t use a climbing trip as a motivating factor to run five miles a day.

Motivation is a mind game. To be more exact, it is a tool of the subconscious mind. Negative thinking brings about negative results. All the motivation in the world can’t overcome the power of negative self-talk on the subconscious mind.

Are you a negative person? The next area of really knowing yourself is to get an honest assessment of your thinking pattern.  If you discover negative patterns (and most of have at least a few), then the next step to achieving your goals would be combating those negative thoughts. Simply ignoring them and trying to go on with your goals is self-defeating, because beneath the front you put on for others lays your own subconscious thoughts that will win in the end if not dealt with. You have to kick the negativity not just mask it.

Achieving goals is a process that involves finding your motivation. A lack of motivation results in broken promises. Progress towards a goal can be stopped at any time if you become bored, get upset, or are ridiculed by another. In order to find the source of your motivation, create a list of your attributes. On this list, include:

  • Likes
  • Dislikes
  • Character traits
  • How you would describe yourself
  • Goals you have achieved in the past

All of this information can be combined to determine how motivated you are right now. If you have had goals in the past but never achieved them, look to the character traits and words that describe your for insight. For example, someone with low self esteem will have a tough time getting and staying motivated to do something without a support system.

Look at your list of goals. Are there any goals that require you to do something that you don’t like in order to reach them? One example of this would be someone who wants to start a motivational speaking business, but who doesn’t like crowds or getting up in front of others. These could be the blocks that prevent getting to that goal.

Once you’ve found the things that are keeping you from reaching your goals you can start the process of overcoming them. Begin implementing things which can help you get past those drawbacks. For instance, if you need a support system, enlist the help of a coach, friend or mentor to hold you accountable. If you need pep talks to get you through rough times, ask your coach, spouse or close friend to be there for you during those times and lift you up again.

Learning a few things about yourself is the key to finding the motivation to achieve your goals. Without taking a good look in the mirror, goals will be sabotaged from within more than they ever will from other people or circumstances.  Success requires insight before action!

Janet Slack

Janet is a Professional Certified Coach, well-known author, speaker and blogger on topics related to running a successful small business. She has mentored, coached and supported hundreds of others as they started or grew their own small businesses. Her passion is coaching people to succeed in life through seeking fun, challenges and rewards whether they are small business owners, women in transition or even those conquering fear and learning to find joy. Her first book, Mind Your Own Biz, is a guide to starting and developing a coaching business. Janet is a coauthor of How the Fierce Handle Fear. She is known for her popular social media programs Social Media News Flash and Facebook 4 Biz.

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