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How to motivate yourself: 9 key lessons to practice now

Learning to motivate yourself is a process. It is not achieved overnight. And once earned, it is not learning that lasts forever.



Learning to motivate yourself is essential to achieve the proposed goals. Only when there is real motivation, our effort goes on stage to achieve what we so desire. But it is thanks to the flame of passion that this ends up being executed.

Discipline and perseverance are essential. However, both are usually only enough to carry duty. Indeed, this duty is sometimes carried out optimally, but it is the motivation that brings the magic touch to everything.

It is that “extra,” that “plus,” that not only serves to fulfill the purposes but to conquer dreams.

Now, no goal is easy to achieve. That is why it is so important to learn to motivate yourself.

Tenacity, an indispensable virtue to persevere in difficult times, is the daughter of motivation. Fortunately, learning to motivate yourself is within everyone’s reach. Below, we’ll dive into nine critical lessons for how to do it.

“As high as I get, I can grow. As much as I seek, I can find. As far as I look, I can get to see. And as big as I dream, I can become.” -Karen Ravn

1. Visualize a cause

The first lesson to learn to motivate yourself is to know that the reality with the most significant power to mobilize is a cause.

Goals and targets are intermediate steps. In other words, we do not need to achieve something specific but rather define the underlying reason that drives us to achieve it.

From that point of view, your goal may be to get to know another country. But the cause that moves you is to discover what your real abilities are when you are alone in an unknown context.

Even the reason for being could go further. Perhaps, in this example, you could be aiming to overcome the barrier of fear. Or maybe, extend the frontiers of thought and undo prejudices.

Thus, when the reason for being of behaviour is profound, the motivation becomes more robust. It is impossible to learn to motivate oneself if you do not learn to identify the root causes that move us to act.

Use visualization techniques to imagine yourself achieving your goals. Picture the desired outcome in vivid detail, including how it will feel and what it will look like. Visualizing success can increase confidence and motivation.

2. Think about the future in an inspiring way

What is to come must be viewed from inspiration and passion. The future has to be there, like a magnet that attracts.

Creating a compelling vision of everything we want to achieve is the best motivation to bet on our dreams.

It is essential to project yourself into the future always. How will I be in a month? In a year? In five years?…

The crucial thing is to nurture these visualizations with positive expectations. Allow yourself to dream. Put aside the fear of failure.

See yourself as someone who is decisively moving towards a purpose and who, no matter which way, will reach it.

3. Nurturing passion, a high key to learning how to motivate yourself

Passion is an extraordinary feeling. It makes us feel alive and strong. A flower that is not born in all gardens.

It is impossible to experience passion when fear or anger keeps us blocked. These emotions consume us so much that they leave no place for the flame of desire to burn.

On the contrary, they take away vitality and lead us to inaction.

To get it turned on, you have to untie the ties that keep us in that position. Passion only nests in free spirits, and we are all able to free ourselves.

woman with bicycle prepared to learn to motivate herself

4. Increase the scope of the objectives

It is possible and recommended to dream big and aim for high goals. Only if the target is too high, does a desire appear intense enough to achieve it?

We make small goals only when we are discouraged or unmotivated.

There is an exercise that can be very interesting to learn to motivate yourself. The first thing to do is to write the objective to be achieved.

Then multiply its size by three. Then assess what the landscape looks like after you’ve expanded that scope.

The mind will most likely react and say, “Why not?”

We usually appreciate that which involves excellent efforts.

5. Build your own path

It is essential to understand that your own way is unique.

Comparing it with other paths or even being judged by other people does not make sense because it is a personal experience, known only to the one who goes through it.

From its beginning, it is necessary to understand that the only person to overcome is oneself, being also the only benchmark for comparison.

Both when defining a cause, and when setting goals and nurturing the desire to achieve them, you should always think in individual terms.

Perhaps there are elements or different realities from which you can learn.

However, the path is yet to be built and must be designed based on the walker that is oneself.

6. Take one step at a time

Learning to motivate means understanding that two perspectives must be combined: that of the here and now and that of the inspiring future.

It works based on projections towards the future. But it is lived in the function of advancing in the present.

So it is essential to take only one step at a time. This step is even more relevant in times of difficulty. When there are obstacles, it is easy to get anxious and lose confidence. But if we keep pace with one step and then the other, the approach is much more positive and encouraging. Also more effective.

7. Learn to drive the emotional state

If someone is depressed or anxious, they will take actions that bear the stamp of those emotions. And, of course, you will get consistent results.

That is why it is so important to learn to recognize what our emotional state is and how to work it to redirect it when necessary.

For this, it is convenient to know that there are three significant aspects in which our emotional state materializes :

  • The body. Under a painful emotion, the body reacts internally and externally. Similarly, it must be managed in both spheres. With respiration, physiological processes can be regularized. With body posture and attitude, the body is refocused.
  • Language. When there is depression or anxiety, a series of expressions appear that reflect those emotions. For example: “I am not going to be able,” “this is very difficult,” or “I feel fed up with everything.” If these expressions are detected, they must be transformed. For example: “A part of me thinks that it is not going to be able, but only I will not be able to if I keep thinking that way.”
  • The focus. When there are negative moods, attention begins to focus only on the negative aspects of reality.

It is then when the will operates and takes that look to a new plane with a more positive nuance and valuing different alternatives.

Also, on our way to high goals, we will often need to take breaks. These fulfill the mission of offering us a margin to manage emotions.

The important thing is to develop the ability to identify the feelings that block us and redirect them.

8. Owning the cycle of success

It has been established that the cycle of success always works the same way. It all starts with beliefs.

If a person believes in himself and in the cause that inspires him, everything becomes dynamic.

Convictions or beliefs are transformed into actions, which are marked by firmness and forcefulness. What follows is obtaining good results.

These nurture faith in oneself, and the cycle begins again, but it is getting deeper.

The opposite can also happen. The belief that we are not capable of achieving something leads to wrong actions or inaction.

This inaction, in turn, leads to the results being very limited or contrary to what we seek. Ultimately, all of this fuels the conviction that we are not capable of achieving.

Now, each one decides which of the two cycles unfolds.

9. Take advantage of inertia

After starting a cycle of success, a point is reached where everything seems to flow on its own. It is inertia. Each reality tends to continue within its dynamics.

This inertia is very gratifying, but it could also involve some risk. It is not the time to “let everything walk alone.” Unlike.

What should be done is to take advantage of that inertia to give more impetus to the high objectives.

In the same way, negative inertia must be dealt with promptly and decisively. A problem only brings more challenges.

A conflict that is allowed to grow only leads to more conflict. Any carelessness has the potential to lead to destructive inertia.

The solution is to set a limit. Even if it is deemed necessary to stop to cut the counterproductive dynamic.

Learning to motivate yourself is a process. It is not achieved overnight. And once earned, it is not learning that lasts forever.

It is necessary to maintain the will to nurture motivation day after day. Performing it is painful, and losing it is easy.

Uniquely when we are programmed not to believe, not to dream …

What is certain is that all these efforts are worth it. A self-motivated person is capable of accomplishing whatever he sets his mind to.

Internal obstacles are always the most difficult to overcome. And when this is accomplished, life changes. One feels alive and master of his destiny. You feel free.