9 Examples Of Intrinsic Motivation & How To Use It To Your Advantage

promote intrinsic motivation

Have you ever wondered how to inspire your staff without monetary incentives? Perhaps what you need is a little bit of innate drive. A more constructive alternative to performance incentives is encouraging your team through natural movement and positive feedback.

What Are Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivations?

Intrinsic motivation is doing what you desire. In other words, the incentive to behave comes from inside the person the internal rewards, not outside.

At first, the theory of intrinsic motivation is based on basic human needs like hunger, thirst, and basic psychological needs. It is related to the social psychology and self-determination theory, a framework for studying motivation. It says people become self-determined when they need competence, connection, and autonomy.

Self-determination research focuses on what makes us want to do something, which applies to various situations, such as at work. From the self-determination theory come our “intrinsic needs,” such as being happy at work and feeling connected to other people. These needs often push us to do our best work. Intrinsically motivating people perform things they like and get personal satisfaction.

On the other hand, extrinsically motivated people accomplish things for external rewards. It means that outside inspiration might come from advice and anxieties. Extrinsic rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation if applied too often.

Let’s talk about what makes intrinsic and extrinsic motivation different:¬†

  • Intrinsic motivation is the way to feel good about yourself achieving something without obvious¬†external rewards. Intrinsically motivated behaviors reward themselves. Intrinsic motivators include being curious or wanting to try something new.
  • Extrinsic motivation is about avoiding punishment or getting rewards from the outside world. Extrinsic rewards, like sales bonuses or performance awards, are examples of external reward things that come from the outside and can motivate team members.

Because people are different, their motivations are different. It means that each group’s best ways to motivate a team will differ. One person might react better to things inside of them, while another might respond better to items outside of them. The key is to consider what your team needs and what is best for them. To encourage intrinsic motivation or extrinsic motivation.

When people are intrinsically motivated, their actions are based on joy and curiosity.

9 Intrinsic Motivation examples:

  • Instead of looking for a reward, you play a team-building game because it’s fun and you enjoy it.
  • You should learn a new skill, like coding, because you want to and do not have to.
  • You are working with a teammate because you want to help, not because it’s a requirement of your job.
  • Instead of volunteering to attain a goal, do it because you’re happy.
  • It would be great if you kept learning because you enjoy the challenge, not because you want to move up in your career.
  • Instead of doing a sport to win an award, do it because it’s fun and you enjoy it.
  • It would help if you learned a new language because you want to, not because your job makes you.
  • Spending time with someone because you like being with them, not because they can help you get ahead in society
  • It would help if you cleaned because you like a clean space, not to keep your partner from getting mad.

The advantages of being naturally driven to do something are easy to see. So how can we become more interested in a new behavior or habit we want to form?

1. Independence

Find ways to do the activity in the best way for you if you want to have the most control over it. For example, if you want to be more active every day but don’t like running, is there another way to exercise, like dancing or cycling, that you would be more willing to do?

2. Expertise

If activities are too easy or hard, they aren’t interesting and don’t motivate as much. You can avoid this by looking for ways to change the difficulty level of the goal activity to fit with what you can do. Using the same example, if you want to start running, you might want to aim for a hard but doable distance instead of a full marathon.

3. Connections

If you wish to feel more connected, you can do the activity with someone else or join a club or community. You can also look for ways to help others or serve your community as they try to do the same thing, such as by telling them about your own experiences.

4. Values-alignment

Integrated motivation shows that it is possible to use internal motivation by tying activity to a person’s idea of themselves. You can do this by clarifying your values and figuring out how the exercise helps you live by them (Vansteenkiste et al., 2018).

5. Remove barriers to Intrinsic drive

We don’t always feel like doing anything, not because we’re not motivated, but because other things make us less likely to do it (Fischer, Malycha, & Schafmann, 2019).

It can be caused by having too many other goals that might compete with each other or having unmet physical needs (e.g., imagine your motivation to go for a run after a sleepless night). In this case, it helps to find the things that are getting in the way and get rid of them as best you can.

6. Extrinsic rewards

Schedule your extra rewards. In the past, external rewards were thought to hurt intrinsic motivation. However, recent research has shown that more immediate rewards boost intrinsic motivation by “fusing the activity and its goal in mind” (Woolley & Fishbach, 2018, p. 877).

Final Thought

You probably do a lot of things in your own life that you do because you want to do them. These are important parts of a life that is well-balanced.

If we spend all of our time trying to make money, we might not have time to enjoy the simple things in life. It’s satisfying to balance internal and external motivations.

My Own Terms

My Own Terms is a company founded by Joshua T. Osborne to help people take back control of their lives and live life on Their Own Terms.

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