Motivation: What Motivates You?

a sign on a desk that says 'you got this' sitting behind a laptop


Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal (Psychology Today). Motivation is what gets you out of bed, what gets you to put in effort towards a goal, and to try new things. However, how do you know what motivates you? There are two main types of motivation: internal and external. In this blog, we will discuss the two main types as well as how they work for you.


External motivations, also known as extrinsic, are the outside influences that push you. Examples of external motivators are money, praise from others, trophies, and avoiding a consequence/ punishment. These types of motivators are useful when you are struggling to find something inside of you to motivate. Moreover, they give you something tangible to strive for and to show after completing the task.


Internal motivations, also known as intrinsic, are the things inside you that drive you. Examples of internal are wanting to learn, wanting to get better, pride in yourself, doing something for fun, doing something for a bigger purpose than ourselves. Internal motivation is usually the harder of the two to identify but, sometimes, even more important. This type of motivation is what drives you when there isn’t a prize to gain or something to show your friends. Therefore, it is vital that you spend time thinking of what motivates you outside of the external motivators that could disappear.

What Type of Motivation Works for You?

The type of motivation that works for you, is usually a combo. Most people need some internal and external motivators. If you only have one type and it stops working, then you lose your motivation.

Motivation and Mental Training

Mental training is helpful in helping you identify your motivators, especially the internal. Mental training allows you to recognize what motivates you and be able to put those in your forefront during important moments.

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