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The Secrets of Internal Motivation

#emotionalintelligence #eqfit #internalmotivation May 01, 2023

Where does motivation come from?

  • Recognition for doing a good job
  • Getting a pay raise
  • Getting likes and followers on social media

These are external motivators, and yes, they can give us motivation. However, they tend to be short term motivation boosters, not long term. Ask yourself how long your last pay increase or bonus motivated you. Most people would say it lasted for a few weeks or even a few days.

So, if external motivators are not the long term answer for motivation, what is?

Internal motivation

Do you find yourself having all the energy you need and want for the entire day? Or, do you have days when you seem to run out of energy and it becomes a real struggle to get things done? The amount of motivation you have will be determined by some key factors.

I promised you insight into the secrets of building internal motivation. Why is this important?

That is the key. Internal resources. One of the most critical internal resources is internal motivation.

There is a specific "pathway" that help us understand how our internal motivation works. Here is one way to think of this:

  • We all have things we believe to be true about ourselves and our place in the world.
  • From these beliefs, we create a set of rules we live by.
  • From our beliefs and rules, comes our self-talk.
  • Self-talk has a massive impact on our motivation. Here is a podcast episode with more insights: The Power of Self-talk

Think of motivation as an internal well, like a water well where you lower the bucket and fill it. Do you find that your internal well of motivation always has enough for you to fill the bucket? Are there times when the well has run dry?

When you are motivated, you get energy to do the things you need and want to do. That is why motivation is so important.

One of the key indicators of motivation is self-talk. If your self-talk around a specific situation is draining you of motivation and energy, then consider how you might want that self-talk to be in the future to give you better results. Let me share some examples of self-talk in a way that might drain internal motivation and in a way that might enhance internal motivation:

Draining Self-Talk

Motivating Self-Talk

I hate this.

I don't enjoy this but I know it is worth the effort.

What an idiot.

I am curious why that happened.

I can't do that.

I may not be good at that yet, but I will try.

Another failure.

Another learning experience.

You get the idea, but please do not miss the profound impact self-talk has on your internal motivation. External motivators are unreliable and generally last only for the short term. Internal motivation is the motivation you control. It is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

Going back to the bullet points above, ask yourself this...are my beliefs, the rules I have created, and my self-talk consistently motivating me? If the answer is yes, then keep doing what you are doing. If the answer is no, then try this:


  • Name something in your life that drains your motivation and energy.
  • Specifically define what you believe is true and the rule you have for that situation.
  • What is the self-talk you have around that situation?
  • Now, what could you change to get more motivation and energy?
    • Is there something in what you believe that needs to change?
    • Do you have a rule you live by that could change to get more motivation?
    • How could you change your self-talk that would be more motivating for you?
  • Do this for every situation that you can identify that drains you of motivation and energy.

 The fuel that drives you is motivation. The only motivation you can rely on is internal or intrinsic motivation. External motivators (money, recognition, appreciation, status, praise...) are unreliable sources of motivation. They are great when you get them, but if you are counting on these to motivate you consistently, you will be disappointed.

Internal motivation is an EQ competency you can grow and develop. How much would it make a difference in your life to have abundant internal motivation?


For more, check out our other resources:

EQFIT® YouTube Channel


EQFIT® Podcast

 Copyright © 2023 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected].

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