The interesting thing about Motivation is that it is largely internal. and let’s discuss how it works.
If someone wants us to be motivated to take some action, the most that they can do is influence us — appeal to us. They have to key into our needs, emotions, and goals. Marketers, sales professionals, and politicians understand this well. Some articles also help to stay motivated and optimistic
Let’s apply this concept to you. It makes sense that no one can force you to want to do something. They cannot tell you what your needs are nor can they insist that what they value is what you should value. Finally, they cannot give you a strong desire to fulfill certain goals. Your motivation (needs, values, and goals) comes from you.
When someone, like your boss, wants you to do something, you may comply because he or she has power over you. The fact that you did what they want does not mean you were happy about doing it — nor, does it mean that you ever wanted to do it.
Your motivation to do something must come from within you! It has to be something that you want to do. The same is true for your team of employees.
Our needs, cognitions, emotions, environments, and relationships can play a crucial role in procrastination or avoidance.
All needs are born either out of deficiency or need for growth. Physiological needs are a particularly strong force in determining behavior. Our bodies will signal our brain if our wellbeing is threatened, and this can lead to avoidance and procrastination when we are suffering from hunger, thirst, or lack of sleep, for example.
Psychological needs are also significant drivers of motives as they represent inborn needs for the development of a sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. When we try to force ourselves to do something that contradicts those needs, these innate forces can be tough to overcome.
The conflict between chosen behavior and the need for satisfaction of psychological needs like autonomy can create dissonance, which can lead to avoidance or procrastination. While the fulfillment of physiological needs is about preserving wellbeing, satisfying psychological needs is about thriving and growing as a person (Reeve, 2018).
There are also implicit needs which are acquired from our environment through socioemotional development. They vary from person to person as our experiences vary, and unlike inborn psychological needs, implicit motives are acquired.
Implicit here means unconscious. These needs occur without conscious awareness and are trait-like and enduring. Implicit needs motivate us toward the pursuit and attainment of specific social incentives (Schultheiss, & Brunstein, 2010).
An implicit motive is a psychological need that arises from situational cues that cause emotional reactions, which then predict, guide, and explain people’s behavior and lifestyle. They can be inferred from the person’s characteristic thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. What a person “needs” within an implicit motive is to experience a particular pattern of affect or emotion.
For example, if we have little or no need for achievement, we may experience negative affect, such as anxiety, shame, and embarrassment while engaging in that challenging task and will avoid or procrastinate as a result. Implicit motives predict our behavior far more accurately than do explicit motives, which are basically what we tell others about what motives us (McClelland, Koestner, & Weinberger, 1989).
Our cognitions can also influence our tendency to avoid or procrastinate. Cognitions are mental constructs like goals, mindset, expectations, beliefs, and self-concept, to name a few that influence our motivation. If we have conflicting goals, for example, we may be more likely to avoid or procrastinate.
Emotions, although closely linked to cognitions and psychological needs, in and of themselves can motivate or demotivate. They can signal the importance of particular behavior. We may feel joy or pride at the possibility of goal attainment through engagement in particular behavior, or we can be afraid of failure and choose to avoid or procrastinate.
Our environment can also be either ideal and supportive or an obstacle to staying motivated and achieving our goals (Reeve, 2018). It can be full of distractions or lack optimal conditions that allow for sustained motivation. Optimism is one of the greatest aspects of motivation.
Finally, our relationships can be supportive and empowering when it comes to change. This can be explained through a concept like the Michelangelo phenomenon, where our relationships support our potential. They can also be demotivating as in the Blueberry phenomenon, where the relationship brings out the worst in us and can contribute to procrastination and avoidance.