Build Self Motivation Skills
Using Your Emotional Intelligence For Lasting Results

Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.

Your self motivation skills decide your success level in any and everything you attempt to do in life. I guess you'd say that makes them pretty important.

Self motivation is like having an internal coach and cheerleader, always pumping you up, inspiring you and spurring you on to the next best step, and the next, until you cross the finish line and reach your goals.

There are four components to emotional intelligence, and the first two are directly tied in with motivating yourself to think, act and feel like you want to to get the job done.

Here are the four parts of emotional intelligence:

How Does Emotional Intelligence Affect Self Motivation?

emotional intelligence

You can easily see that self motivation falls naturally under the heading of "self management." Emotional intelligence is a building process, and each component feeds right into the next.

In other words, you can't have good self management without good self awareness. And you won't have accurate social awareness or relationship management skills without self management.

Likewise, you can't have high levels of self motivation without self awareness and self management. The awareness basically tells you what you're working with, and the self management skills are directly tied in with your ability to motivate yourself.

"The biggest self motivator is self love. When you really and truly love yourself, you will be highly motivated to provide a good and valuable life for yourself."

William DeFoore

Think about it...if you have high self esteem and a positive self image, you will naturally want to provide a good diet, a great exercise program, successful work and a wonderful social life for yourself, right? Yep, that's how it works.

Now let's tie this in with emotional intelligence. If you successfully develop deep and authentic self awareness, you will discover great and lasting value in the core of who you are. Why?

Because at the core of who you are is a brilliant, creative, loving person who wants to contribute to the good in the world. Now let's get down to some specific self motivation skills.

What Are The Basic Self Motivation Skills?

We'll look at the skills you need in three different categories. It always help to divide things up into bite-sized chunks, instead of making the project too big and overwhelming.

We've already talked about how self awareness and self management key into self motivation skills...take a look at the chart below to get an overview of the three areas.

self motivation skills

Now let's zoom in on these self motivation skills, to give you as much practical information and guidance as possible. To get more information about emotional intelligence, be sure and visit our article entitled, What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Self Awareness

  • Know your role models: Write out a detailed account of the example set for you by your mother, father, and any other significant role models that you spent a lot of time with while you were growing up. Separate out two lists, one of what you want to keep from these role models, and one list of those things you'd like to shed and leave behind.
  • Identify formative experiences: This would include any experiences you recall that had strong positive or negative emotions associated with them. That's what makes them formative. Write about each of these in as much detail as possible. Ask yourself when you felt the happiest, the most loved, and the greatest sense of pain, fear, abandonment or neglect. The reason for this part is that these experiences (especially the negative ones) will literally hold you back and "de-motivate" you if you leave them unaddressed.
  • Make a list of old beliefs & behaviors: Take a look at the stories you've written, and the lists you've made, and ask yourself, "What did I decide or conclude from these experiences?" Make two lists, one of positive, empowering beliefs and behaviors, and one of negative, self-limiting beliefs and behaviors. Use these tools to replace all of the negative beliefs with positive ones.
  • Know your worth and value: Here's where the self-love comes in. Look back at your positive memories, especially those in which you felt happy, loved, powerful, successful and strong. Make an effort to see yourself in the most positive light possible. There's a lot to this...I strongly encourage you to read this article on self love.

Self Management

  • Self-calming & relaxation skills: Relaxation is key to virtually everything you want in life. It helps your brain to work better, and it is good for the functioning of every organ in your body. Learn basic relaxation skills here, and keep reading on this page for other self-calming techniques.
  • Positive imagery & visioning: Your ability to imagine and visualize the future you choose for yourself is one of your most prized skills as a human being. You're using it all of the time anyway, and when you use it in a positive, intentional way, it actually becomes a strong tool for self motivation. Learn more about guided imagery here.
  • Create a structured schedule: Some people can get motivated without this, but they wouldn't be here reading this page. The best approach is an electronic calendar with reminders, to keep you on track with your tasks you want to accomplish. It doesn't have to be perfect, just keep setting your intention and putting those things on your calendar, no matter what.
  • Setting attainable goals: Make sure and take small, doable steps toward what you want to accomplish. The whole thing looks overwhelming, but there are always small steps you can take, and then more, and then more, and pretty soon you're getting more done than you expected!

Self Motivation

  • Positive self talk: You may not realize it, but you're talking to yourself all of the time anyway, so why not make it work for you instead of against you? Your brain is a powerful tool, and practicing these positive self talk tools will greatly add to your self motivation skills.
  • Daily vision refocusing: Every day when you get up, take a few moments and visualize the kind of day you want, and picture yourself accomplishing everything you want to accomplish. Also picture and imagine yourself feeling really good about what you're doing, while you're doing it and after you get it done. Refresh and renew every day.
  • Focusing on the next best step: Keep yourself grounded and on task by thinking in small steps. Everything great that was ever accomplished began with a small step, and another. Just don't stop, don't give up, and always start again when things get in the way.
  • Self appreciation and optimism: We talked about self love above as the basis for your self motivation skills, and here's where it gets practical. Write notes of appreciation to yourself on a daily basis, acknowledging your good work and efforts. Then be sure and journal your optimistic views of your future outcomes, using these Goodfinding journaling practices.

It's all here, if you want to use it. Read and re-read this page, and follow all of the links, and you'll find yourself becoming stronger in your self motivation skills every day.

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