Choices, Motivation & Self-Will - Premier Counseling
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Choices, Motivation & Self-Will

By Casey Hall, LPC, LMFT

If you’re struggling with motivation, you may have people in your life telling you things like, “Just make the choice to do it.” For some people, getting motivated can be that easy, but for many others, it’s easier said than done. Getting or staying motivated does not come naturally to everyone, but the cool thing about working with one of our clinicians at Central Arkansas Group Counseling is that we can help you develop almost any skill, including helping you develop your self-will or motivation. Keep reading to learn a little more about motivation, choice, and self-will. You can discuss these topics and many more as part of individual therapy, group counseling, or couples and family sessions with one of our caring professionals in Benton or North Little Rock.

What Does it Mean to be Motivated?

People have different ideas of what it means to be motivated. For some, it simply means getting up a little earlier or completing a few more tasks in a day. For others, it could mean training for a marathon or taking on a part-time job in addition to their full-time job, family obligations, and hobbies. While we all think of motivation differently, it’s actually pretty simple. Motivation is just the reason we have for specific actions and behaviors. It’s the answer to the question, “Why did you do that?” Despite the simple definition, most people think of motivation as a more complex idea. We think of motivated people as being “go-getters.” The people who are able to get things done and always seem to be going. At the end of the day, feeling more motivated may just mean changing the way we think of motivation to more accurately align with its definition.

What Motivates Us?

For centuries, people have been trying to define what motivates us. At our very core, it may still be as simple as the need for food, water, air, shelter, and love, but that just gets us out of bed in the morning. What motivates people to do other things, especially things they may not want to do? According to some recent research, the answer may be three-fold – autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

  • Autonomy – staying motivated may keep you free from external constraints like micromanaging bosses
  • Competence – the good feelings and confidence in your abilities that result from getting things done and having others see you as competent
  • Relatedness – the desire to do our part as a member of a team and not let others down

What Can We Change to Increase Our Motivation?

So – is motivation almost entirely based on what others think of us? It can be. However, the only person you can control is yourself, so what happens when your hard work doesn’t keep your micromanaging boss from hovering of your shoulder or no one appreciates your competence or team work? You can wait for those around you to get better or you can start looking for your own motivation. That’s where choice and self-will come in. When you do your best every day and you don’t get recognized, you can choose to celebrate your own successes and keep doing a great job. You can always use your years of unrewarded hard work to find a better boss down the road.

How Can Central Arkansas Group Counseling Help?

Saying that motivation is a “choice” or a matter of developing “self-will” in no way means that it’s easy. In fact, it can be difficult to change the way we think and how we act. If you’re struggling to make changes and want to work with a professional who can help you develop new skills to help you get and stay motivated, feel better, and accomplish more. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call in Benton or North Little Rock. We offer traditional one-on-one counseling services in both of our Central Arkansas Group Counseling locations, group therapy opportunities, and we even provide telehealth sessions online. Whatever works for your unique situation, we can help you achieve our goals.

Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash