In life, everyone needs motivators. We all need something that gets us going and wanting more and wanting better. You can have different motivators for different things. You may have a motivator that helps you with work, and then a motivator that helps with your home life. You need to determine what motivates you. Others cannot tell you this. Experiment and find what works for you.

Need for Autonomy

To understand the need for autonomy, we need to understand what it is. Autonomy is related to a person's ability to make informed and un-coerced decisions for themselves. It is one's abilities to act on their own values and interests. The term is actually derived from the ancient Greek word which means self-governance.

Ways to be more autonomous:

  • Get to know yourself
  • Challenge your beliefs and assumptions
  • Become more assertive
  • Make your own decisions
  • Make sure you can meet your needs
  • Learn to soothe yourself


Do you know what self-efficacy is? If you don't, let me tell you. It is a person's belief in their capacity to perform behaviors and complete tasks to reach different goals. Bandura is the person responsible for creating this definition. Self-efficacy determines how people think, behave, and feel.There are four major sources of self-efficacy, according to Bandura. They are: mastery experiences, social modeling, social persuasion, and psychological responses.

Individuals with strong self-efficacy:

  • View challenging problems as things to master
  • Develop deeper interests
  • Have a strong sense of commitment to their interests
  • Can recover quickly from setbacks

Individuals with weak self-efficacy:

  • Avoid challenging tasks
  • Believe difficult tasks are beyond their capabilities
  • Focus on personal failures
  • Lose confidence quickly

External Factors

We all need to find what motivates us to live a happy life. Extrinsic motivation is related to behavior that is driven by external rewards. Not everyone will be driven by the same thing. Some people may be driven by money and fame while another may be driven by praise. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside the person. You need find what motivates you. It may take some trial and error, but once you find what you want, you can become more motivated.

Internal Factors

Internal motivation is different from external motivation. Internal motivation is driven by doing something because you enjoy doing it. Intrinsic motivation is not concerned with external rewards like awards or praise.What you feel inside from an experience makes you want to do it again in the future.

Needs that lead to intrinsic motivation:

  • Competence- Succeeding in what one does
  • Relatedness- Connecting with others
  • Autonomy- Being in control of one's own life

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©Dr. Tracie Hines Lashley