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Today, motivation is declined around the concept of self-determination. Self-determination implies the principles of self-efficacy and responsibility. Motivation, therefore, is no longer understood as a reaction to simple stimuli such as hunger or pain. It is not only a “drive” corresponding to physiological needs but it is a process using psychological components including self-worth, self-esteem and self-efficiency.

These psychological components are determined in part by our character traits but also and for a large part by our education, environment and experiences. Each one of us develops overtime a personal relationship to motivation. We may acquire an intrinsic motivational orientation or an extrinsic motivational orientation. We may also navigate happily between the two extremes.

An intrinsic motivational orientation is one that is mainly concerned by a sense of mastery. It is doing something for our own satisfaction, just for the pleasure of accomplishing a task as well as we can without outside (external) recognition. Of course, we all like accolades but the satisfaction here comes from our inner sense of achievement. Artists and athletes, for instance, who practice individually have a heightened intrinsic motivational orientation.

Athletes who practice team sports and/or are regimented by a strict scoring system have a stronger extrinsic motivational orientation. Their sense of self-efficacy and achievement is directly impacted by others recognition. A musician will find energy and inspiration in his/her public ovation. Research has shown, overall, that success results from a healthy balance of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational style.

It would be interesting to examine our own motivational style to assess our own strengths and our potential psychological issues such as procrastination, self-defeating behaviors, or deflated self-esteem. Where do you situate yourself? What motivates you the most? Do you feel like you have choices to make? Would you like to share your experiences with me?

Letting Go

With the beginning of a new year comes often the desire to explore new avenues, change daily routine, establish new goals, move on from a past relationship and start fresh!

Easier said than done for all too often we forget to clean up and make some room for new behaviors. What prevent us to move forward? To get out of the rut, we need to rethink our position. It is not necessarily a matter of amputation but rather of alteration.

The difficult part is to go beyond the emotions that anchor us down: love, fear and rage. So the first step is to be aware of those feelings, accept them and question them. However, to move forward also requires proactive behaviors. According to psychologist Judith Sills, there are six actions that will help you. Let’s start with the first three.

1-    Look Ahead

Reminiscing, lamenting and regretting belong to the past which cannot be changed. Anchor yourself in the future. Start a new activity: an online class, a physical training, a professional goal. The trick is to focus on results! Sure, it is difficult to add to your schedule but the time and energy spent on thinking about the past will largely make up for it. Besides, your present will be positively busy and your future will look brighter

2-    Discard

Throw away the memorabilia, toss, donate, sell and make some room. Do not think twice even though you will go through pain and anxiety, anger and grief. Keep going and clean up! You will feel lighter and more available to opportunities.

3-    Deal With Your Remorse

Write a letter of apologies or reach out face to face in a three steps process: state clearly what you feel you did wrong, allow the other person to express personal feelings and accept to eventually be hurt by the answer and finally offer an authentic expression of remorse without expecting anything in return but the satisfaction to have put that plaguing part of your past to rest.

Feel free to post your comments and/or your experiences. Please, remember to be positive and supportive. Thank you.

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