Where does motivation come from?

There are a million fish in the sea and so it seems there are a million theories on motivation, and that’s no joke!

What keeps us motivated?

Well, before one can even consider being motivated it is believed one’s needs must be met: a safe house to live in, food, health, family and community; then we can talk about motivation.

But what about people in situations of hardship and stress who survive and thrive to tell the tail? Often, their motivation is based on a thing called ‘Self-efficacy’, the belief you can succeed on your own, using your own means.

Self-efficacy was a theory defined by Albert Bandura, professor of psychologist at Standford University in the USA.

Bandura hypothesised that self-efficacy was the very foundation of human motivation and in turn our emotional well-being.

So, to put it bluntly, unless you believe in your-self there is no incentive to take action, to get back-up after failure, or to keep trying.

I came across the theory of self-efficacy and the self-determination theory while studying Sport and Execise Medicine. I was intrigued by the many theories on motivation, but what struck me was that ‘belief’ appeared to underpin them all. And without sounding too airy- fairy, the more I read in this field the more I discovered that putting your intentions out into the public arena or even just on paper meant you were more likely to have your wish granted! ( By the universe course!)

If you are struggling with motivation or doing something you’ve always wanted to do I can recommend a workbook called the Artist’s way by Julia Cameron. It’s a beautiful book to read alone or with a friend over a few months.

Before reading this book some years ago, I had always thought I really looked after myself- took time to exercise and meet friends; however, I was wrong! Through the written exercises in the book I realised I spent little time just looking after myself. And so each week for three months I took myself out for a treat- a coffee or bought something that didn’t have to have a use. I also journaled and I put the intention out there that I wanted to finally write -up an interesting case I’d seen some years earlier.

Irish Faculty of Sport & Exercise Medicine Annual conference 2016

And what was the result? I was accepted to present my case at the Irish Sports Medicine conference a few years ago and I won best case presentation- I was elated! And all credit goes to Julia Cameron- thank you.

What ever you task or mountain to climb, you can do it! Good luck!

You can read more or use the readiness to change ruler here.

“All you need to do to receive guidance is to ask for it and then listen”. Sanaya Roman