Intrinsic Motivation and Competence

Okay how do we motivate ourselves from within? When we were children, maybe we tried to learn something new like riding a bike. When after having learned it, sometimes unconsciously, we reaffirmed ourselves-we say to ourselves we have learned something new and challenging. We have become competent.

Competence and even just the feeling of competency can give birth to motivation. So that is where you can start. So maybe you want to try something new-exercise, school, a new sport or a new job. But maybe, you feel you can not motivate yourself. Well, you can start with your skills and talents.

Skills and talents are the vital components of competence. Even it is just so basic like being able to read-you can turn that into a foothold for motivating yourself from within. Of course, extrinsic motivations can be helpful. Grades, self-rewards and praise from others can be very refreshing and revitalizing. However, there are times, when these are not enough. We need to find the reasons from inside us, from within.

So how do you do that? Okay, first think of a skill or a talent. Remember the time you first learned that skill or used that talent. So, you can imagine the feeling and situation once again how hard it seemed at first. Then also recall the time afterwards when you achieved your goal. Establish that feeling within you. Try to make it available for later recall. The technique is when you are already going for your new challenge; then you will be able to recreate all these feelings from within you. So that is a start for stimulating yourself.

So begin this exercise, and use it for as long as you need to. Being self-assuring is not a kind of self-deception. You should not fool yourself with positive affirmations in the surface. Positive affirmations are helpful when these come from deep informed beliefs based on experience. The experience you have a child is still helpful indeed.

So in any case, intrinsic motivation is based on this sense of competence. We all need this sense of competency in order to have the will to start at something. You can of course complete these with extrinsic motivating factors, but you have to make sure that most of your motivation comes from within you. This is important, because you can lose quite a lot from without, from the external environment, so you then have to look for what is inside you.


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