Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation: The Difference Between Drive for Success and Punishing to Success

In this post, we will explore the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how it can impact your success. We will also discuss how to identify your motivation and what drives you toward your goals.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

What motivates you to succeed? Is it the desire to achieve your goals or the fear of failure?

There are two main types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from within, such as the desire to learn new things or to help others. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside, such as the desire to get a good grade or to avoid getting punished.

Intrinsic motivations

In the context of success, intrinsic motivation is often seen as more beneficial, much like a true north star of purpose and passion, than extrinsic motivation. This is because intrinsic motivation is more likely to lead to long-term success. When you are intrinsically motivated, you are more likely to persevere in the face of challenges and setbacks. You are also more likely to find satisfaction in your work, even when it is difficult.

Punishing to Success

Extrinsic, tangible reward-type motivation can also be helpful in some cases. For example, if you are trying to learn a new skill, it can be helpful to have a deadline or a goal to work towards. But if you are like many high achievers, this can turn into a form of self-punishment. Saying things to yourself like ‘Get it together’, ‘What’s wrong with you’, ‘What is your problem’ are all things that become what I call enemies in the container (ie the container of the mind and body). These enemies often create sleeplessness, chaos in relationships, and being too harsh with your teams.

So, how can you tell if you are driven by intrinsic motivation or extrinsic motivation?

Identifying Your Motivation

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I enjoy the process of working towards my goals, even when it is difficult?
  • Am I more motivated by the desire to learn and grow than by the desire to achieve a specific outcome?
  • Do I feel satisfied with my work, even if I don’t receive external rewards?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you are likely motivated by intrinsic factors. If you answered no, you may be more motivated by extrinsic factors.

The Importance of Self-Awareness

Of course, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to motivation and achievement. But anything that was once good often becomes the enemy after you’ve worked to increase your emotional intelligence, spirituality and consciousness. This is when you need an external support conversation from a coach who truly gets who you are and how you behave.

The coach that knows you will know you’re a good person, are out there doing amazing things in life and yet will be able to catch you on the small yet sabotaging self-punishment situations.

If you are struggling to find motivation, try to identify your intrinsic motivators. Once you know what drives you, you can start to set goals and make plans that will help you achieve your dreams.

Are you motivated by the desire to succeed or the fear of failure?
What motivates you to succeed?
For me, it’s the desire to learn new things and to help others.
What’s your motivation?
Let me know in the comments below!


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