Whether you are a boss or leader in your workplace, a parent, or a life coach, motivating other people is a huge part of your life. It is one of the most rewarding yet challenging tasks that we can undertake. In this article, we will discuss how you can inspire and motivate others in your life.
Before we begin the discussion on how to motivate others, there is one piece of information that you must learn and accept.
It is not your job to change or “fix” anyone else.
You are not responsible for their decisions or their actions.
It is their responsibility. Their job.
There are many people out there who lack any interest in becoming more motivated. These people are not willing to do the work to change or upgrade their lives in any way. Your best motivation strategies would not work on them no matter how pumped up, energetic, or inspiring you might be towards them.
The Self-Determination Theory of Motivation states that we are the very source, cause, or origin of our own freely chosen behavior (Ryan & Deci, 2008).
Some people might not have the willingness or capability of change and that is their decision. If you want to motivate others, they must first make the personal choice that they are willing and ready to work on themselves in order to change their lives. If not, allow them to go their own way. Life will be their coach.
There are some who might need help developing this potential within themselves. Their willingness is there – it’s just hiding beneath a surface of insecurity, confusion, and emotional baggage.
This is where you step in.
Lacking motivation is a sign that they are lacking a few other things in their life. These include competence – knowledge, skills, and know-how – and confidence.
Competence and confidence are tools that cultivate motivation.
Your job is to supply them with these tools.
Empower them by giving them the resources they need to succeed. Educate them on how to go about reaching their goals. Instruct them. Give them valuable advice. Help them feel competent and they will grow in confidence, which will inspire motivation within themselves.
That being said, your job is not to give them orders.
When someone is given a direct order on how they need to change, they will want to defy it. Instead, you want to involve them in creating a plan of action that they are freely willing to undertake.
If they help create the plan, they will be more likely to support it. They will feel included, involved, and thus more motivated. When they don’t participate or feel like they helped to come up with the idea, they will sit back and do nothing but judge and criticize.
How do you do this? Ask questions.
Be genuinely curious when asking them questions like:
“What excites you?”
“What would you want your ultimate dream life to look like?”
“Why is this your dream?
“What small step can you make in the next 30 days to help get you there?”
“What do you think holds you back from starting?”
Then, actively listen with empathy and without judgement.
This will begin to generate the motivation and passion they need to go after their goals. Sometimes all people need is to be heard, seen, and validated in order to feel motivated and confident to change their lives.
With a newfound sense of confidence in themselves, they will be ready for the resources you provide them. They will be ready to learn a new set of skills or learn what steps they need to begin taking.
They don’t have to be big steps, so long as they start moving their feet.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”Confucius
Hand them the reigns to their own life all the while letting them know that you are sitting in the passenger seat cheering them on. Your goal should be to empower them with decision making authority.
In order to effectively motivate others, you must know when to take a step back.
Allow them to try, fail, then try again.
The best way for someone to learn a lesson is by making the mistake. There will be many lessons to learn as they start taking steps towards their goals. As their motivator, it is essential that you are there for every win and every loss.
Be their role model when they need you to be.
You have a story on why you made it to where you are now. You experienced feelings of failure and triumph while taking steps down your own path. You learned the harsh, valuable lessons. Now share them with someone who needs to hear them.
While it is not your responsibility to change others, it is your responsibility to share your story with others.
Your story is beautiful and can be used to motivate others to change their lives.