The Power of Intrinsic Motivation
Mala found herself at the cusp of her career. As a young professional, she recently completed a year in her…
March 5, 2021 | 4 mins read
Mala found herself at the cusp of her career. As a young professional, she recently completed a year in her first job. Now she wants to do more with her career as a product designer and challenge herself.
She identifies her key strengths, works on her weaknesses and finds the motivation to apply to her dream organizations.
Mala shows immense intrinsic motivation or internal motivation to do what she loves. She’s willing to pursue her passion because she enjoys her work.
If, like Mala, you too want to learn how to listen to your inner voice and act on your passions, read on to discover more about finding your internal motivation.
According to psychologists Richard Ryan and Edward Deci, the meaning of intrinsic motivation is the human tendency to learn, grow and create. Rather than exploring what causes intrinsic motivation, they explain that it’s self-endorsed and authentic—it’s innate.
For instance, if you’re an avid reader, you probably enjoy reading through the night. A bookworm can hardly put down a book until it’s been read cover to cover.
When you’re motivated by internal factors like personal satisfaction, you’ll likely do things with more interest, confidence and persistence.
As opposed to intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation is when you’re motivated by external factors like acceptance, praise or money. For example, working hard at your job because you want a promotion not because you enjoy what you do.
Understanding, reflecting and acting on internal motivators add to your personal wellbeing and growth. If you aspire to be your best self, what’s better than listening to your heart!
There’s a notable difference between productivity that’s a result of internal factors and external rewards. Intrinsic motivation leads to higher productivity and creativity. If you find pleasure in your work, you’ll be more willing to perceive your tasks as what you ‘choose to do’, rather than ‘have to do’. Every person has some degree of intrinsic motivation, it’s only about recognizing where and how it functions. Let’s explore what can motivate you internally (and how):
Goal setting is a satisfactory, streamlined and concrete process that informs you of what you need to do to achieve your goals. Your personal goals can motivate you to do well at work. It’s because you’re driven by a motivation that it’s possible to do well, not because you want to reach the finish line. Acknowledging the process, rewarding your progress and identifying your strengths are a result of internal motivation.
Exercising a degree of control on our actions—and outcomes—motivates us to put our best foot forward. You are your own person, even if you work for someone else. Self-control does wonders to motivate you to be more productive at work. If you’re determined to pursue something, you have the control and authority to do that. Being able to control your environment is a highly powerful internal motivator.
A little bit of healthy competition drives us to pursue excellence. Take teamwork for example. Your performance will impact the entire team’s functions. You’re more willing to work harder at your job in this case. Rather than stepping over someone, healthy competition wills everyone on the team to give their best to achieve larger goals.
Positive feedback is the ultimate motivator. Making an effort and delivering effective results will get you positive feedback. In turn, it helps you perform even better the next time. Positive responses from your seniors, manager or supervisor tell you that you’re doing the right thing—and doing it well.
The most important internal motivator is simply enjoyment. If you enjoy your work, you’ll find it rewarding regardless of pay, rewards or position. You’ll make an effort to come up with creative solutions to problems and exceed expectations.
Taking initiative and requesting to lead a project at work
Collaborating with your teammates because you want to get along with them
Communicating your expectations without qualms to improve interpersonal relationships
Recognizing your weaknesses so you can do an even better job
Stepping out of your comfort zone to learn more and challenge yourself
These examples of intrinsic motivation are applicable in the workplace. There are other internal factors that motivate you to pick up a new skill like learning a language, volunteering or even planting trees.
Find what motivates and inspires you with Harappa’s Interpreting Self course. Our course will teach you to recognize your actions and behaviors. With frameworks like The Johari Window, you can learn to identify individual blind spots so you can be your best self. The River of Life is another key exercise to reflect on your experiences. With time you will find that self-motivation is the key to success, if you know how to channel it well!
Explore topics such as What is Self-Motivation, How to Develop Self-Awareness, How to Improve Self-Management, What is Extrinsic Motivation & Guide to Personal SWOT Analysis from Harappa Diaries to become the best version of yourself.