In our professional or personal lives we have a number of wants including those we wish to achieve. Wanting is a passive exercise which could be equated to wishful thinking. Motivating oneself to do that is self motivation.
Self motivation could be said to be the heart which produces the energy / drive or push to produce, develop or achieve ones goals and dreams. It has also been described as that characteristic which allows one to continue to take action, inspite of failures. A self motivated professional would not be a slave of the circumstance or specific situations. He / she would grow irrespective of the environment.
Self motivation involves a combination of how you can set fro yourself challenging goals, your belief in your own abilities and your belief that if you do what is necessary you would succeed.
How to be self motivated?
To motivate oneself there are several steps which are to be taken together. It would include: setting of high goals: self confidence( to take action and belief that one would succeed); optimistic about the future ( positive thinking) ; staying focused; creating an enabling environment. We discuss each of these in brief as under:
Step.1 Challenging Goals: Many motivated individuals would share that the biggest risk in setting goals is that you will reach them!! There is a tendency to set small goals to avoid failure. The goals should challenge you at the same time be achievable. Ideally the goals should be relevant to your endevours. For example if one is in direct tax practice mastery over the direct tax code much prior to its implementation could be a challenging goal. This would automatically enhance your practice. Goals should also be to the extent possible measurable and specific. Maybe complete part 1 by March 2010, part 2 by May 2010 and so on. The specific sub goals should also be such that the progress can be evaluated. Also it maybe a good idea not to set too many goals whereby none are achieved.
Step.2. Self Confidence: This quality comes into being when actions taken to meet the goals you have set come across hurdles or stops. At this time belief in oneself would mean looking for solutions rather than accepting defeat. Over time you may be confident about achieving something but not even know how but surprisingly it happens. Some readers may have experienced this in activities where they are passionate.
Self confidence can be built by looking at what we have achieved till now, do a SWOT on self and build on the strengths, seek out role models ( in and out of profession) who you would like to emulate and most important look for qualities in self that you respect. The more you like yourself the more motivated you could be. For the CA the passing of the exam, going through an excellent articleship experience, opportunities to serve entrepreneurs who have built so much are starting block for self confidence.
Step.3. Optimistic View ( Positive thinking): It has been said that ones attitude determines ones level of achievement. The circumstances/ environment around us being the same a choice on choosing the empowering context would be more likely to have great results. Henry Ford stated – “If you think you can, you can and if you think you can’t you are right.” When you think positively the choice are also positive and chance and uncertainty slowly disappear.
Build Optimism by examining the thoughts and question those which are disempowering. See whether there is any truth in that. When you find that they are not true replace them with optimistic ones. One of the most power techniques in this is to visualize your victory/ joyous end. It is miraculous that when all this is there it appears as if the universe is behind us and will make things happen. When you reach your goal recognize the achievement and it will cement your confidence further.
Step.4. Focus: Once goals have been set, it is a promise to self. Making it public also makes the same stronger. The more you talk about it the more real it becomes. Set a structure in place to ensure that you can achieve what you have planned. Scheduling the milestones and reviewing the same is a good way of keeping ahead. Keeping at it will make any job attainable.
Step 5. Enabling Environment: Be with positive people, achievers, people who believe anything is possible. Make your office an office where people excel and dream big. Join hands with people who have similar dreams ask for their help and also demand that they can make you accountable.
It is said that the universe has a lot to offer and an attitude of optimism attracts success when we work for them. One thing for sure when we are self-motivated our family and office would automatically become empower and a family of achievers.
Acknowledgements – Landmark Education & James Manktelow