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5 Reasons Why Self-Motivation Can Prove to Be Your Strongest Armor to Stress

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Stress is a detrimental force that impacts our health at all levels. It exposes us to physical pains, emotional troubles, and mental chaos. All these impacts of stress eat away our enthusiasm for living. We feel drained of all our energy, we don’t feel interested to do anything in life and everything appears meaningless. This vicious circle of stress keeps going on and on. It seems nearly impossible to find a way out of it. But it isn’t impossible in actuality. There is an infinite source of power within all of us by utilizing which we can end this vicious circle. But, rather than accessing that power from inside, we keep looking for it from outside sources.

The power we are talking about is ‘Motivation’. The motivation we derive from external sources is transient and short lived. Whereas, motivation when derived from internal sources, is eternal and everlasting. It is far more powerful than the kind of motivation we derive from external sources. This ever powerful motivation is known as ‘Self-Motivation’.

Given below are 5 reasons why self-motivation can prove to be your strongest armour to stress:

1. You can access it anywhere and at any time

Stress isn’t confined to a particular place. It can happen anywhere and at any time. It can come stealthily like hovering clouds, block the sunshine of optimism and wrap you in a mist of negativity. So, it is important for you to have an elixir against it, which we can access at all times and Self-Motivation it is. This is because self-motivation is ever present right within you.

Whenever you get engulfed by stress, you just have to access your inner armor to prevent us from dwindling. Although, you can also carry many external sources of motivation along at all times in your smartphone such as motivational videos and podcasts. It isn’t possible to access them at all times.

For instance, if you are in the middle of a conversation with someone and it turns out to be stressful, you cannot just stop and start looking for a motivational video. You’ll have to hold yourself against stress and all its physical and emotional symptoms, right there in the middle of the conversation. It is only with the armor of ‘Self-Motivation’ that you can do so. You can use it to remind yourself that you have had encounters with stressful situations before and they have never been able to destroy you. This way, you can use self-motivation to guard yourself against the physical, emotional, and mental blows of stress, which together try to buckle you down.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

2. Self-motivation is imperishable

External sources of motivation may temporarily cease from being there for you, but self-motivation will never. For example, you are so stressed about your performance in an important presentation that you feel like giving up beforehand. In order to counter your feelings, you choose to watch a motivational video on your smartphone. But, alas! You find your mobile phone out of battery. Under such circumstances, when you have no access to external sources of motivation, self-motivation will still be there for you. It never runs out of battery. Thus, self-motivation is imperishable and you can access its power forever.

3. You can hit the hammer of self-motivation exactly where needed

Stress can have multiple causes ranging from personal to professional. This implies that there is not always the same type of stress you experience. So, the same kind of motivational videos cannot always help you withstand your degrading stressful spans. Along with this, external sources of motivation cannot identify and work exactly on your stressors. As a result, they may not offer the desired support for withstanding stressful moments. Whereas, self-motivation can help you hit the hammer of support exactly where needed. This is because most of the time you are aware of the exact causes of your stress. It is in this light of awareness that you can direct self-motivation in the right direction and guard yourself against the damaging impacts of stress.

4. It empowers your resilience against stress

Self-Motivation is an inside force. As you learn to utilize it for busting stress and its impacts, you become empowered from the inside. This overtime, builds your strong resilience against stress. As a result, you become eminent in the art of withstanding the biggest moments of stress, without dwindling. You no longer experience those stress-induced pains such as chest pain, headache, and muscle pain. Rather, you stand strong amidst the waves of stress. So, we can say that self-motivation builds your defense mechanism against the deteriorating effects of stress. Further, no external sources of motivation can do that for you. This is because external motivation mostly works on the surface level. It doesn’t reach out to strengthen your inner core.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie

5. Self-motivation keeps you from breaking in times of adversity

Difficult situations in life are always stressful. They may relate to your personal or professional life, but they expose you to breaking amounts of stress. Under such circumstances, motivation derived from external sources doesn’t work well in saving you from succumbing to stress. This is because it works only at a superficial level. Whereas, in order to stand strong amidst adversity, you need inner strength, which you can only derive from self-motivation.

Self-Motivation acts from your core and works perfectly in strengthening you from inside out. Thus, self-motivation keeps you from breaking in times of adversity. To conclude, the 5 reasons given above prove that self-motivation is your strongest armor to stress.

Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at 'the Speaking Polymath'. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.

Motivation

How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals

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Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.

What is Motivation?

The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.

Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).

Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.

However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals. 

How to Get Motivated

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.

This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.

4 Ways to Make Starting Easier

1. Schedule it

One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it. 

When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.

An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”

2. Measure something

It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.

3. Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.

4. Make it public

Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

How to Stay Motivated Long Term

When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.

These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:

1. Stay in your goldilocks zone

The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging. 

The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.

2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals

Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within. 

For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.

3. Use “chunking”

Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.

Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.

For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.

4. Be flexible

We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.

5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion

Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.

This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.

Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.

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Motivation

What Is Dark Motivation and How Can I Use It to My Advantage?

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It’s Thursday, 8 PM. I’m relaxing at home, doing normal things, and scrolling social media. Tomorrow is a big day. There are lots of things to do with moving pieces of furniture because I’m moving to another city. On top of that, a repairman is coming to my house at 8AM, so I’ll have to get up early. (more…)

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The Killer Morning Routine to Boost Motivation

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If you’re anything like me, waking up in the morning is a hard task. Over the course of a number of years I’ve built a routine that helps wake me up and keeps me motivated. (more…)

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Motivation

Why “No Pain, No Gain” Is More Powerful Than You Realize

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Chances are you’ve heard the quote “No pain, no gain” before. Especially if you enjoy hitting the gym and getting a nice pump going on. What this means is that in order to make your muscles grow, you’ll have to shred the fibers so they can grow back bigger and stronger. This progress causes physical pain because you’re tearing apart your muscles, but the reward for the pain is always worth it. (more…)

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