Motivating Yourself and Others

Motivating Yourself and Others

The more we understand what drives us—the things that move the need forward and keep us in action—the more we better understand how to reach our goals and aspirations. This forward motion yields so many of the important pieces involved in psychological well-being. And as we always center this information on how it applies to us as we’re changing our relationship with alcohol, we remind ourselves that when we have high psychological well-being, we’re less likely to utilize substances to cope, we have joy outside of using alcohol, and our purpose extends beyond our identity as beer pong champ.


As we wrap up this module, how can we begin synthesizing this information into actionable steps? Today, let’s take what we know and determine how we can motivate ourselves and others.


Motivating others

Now that we understand the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, we better understand the power that each one holds. Extrinsic motivation—prizes, consequences, praise, and so on—is powerful, but not as powerful as intrinsic motivation—purpose, self-mastery, confidence. We can take that knowledge and use it to motivate others by:


  • Prioritizing intrinsic motivation: encouraging those we’re trying to motivate to identify what sort of purpose, fulfillment, happiness they might earn by achieving their goal. Prioritizing these motives over extrinsic ones, like punishment, physical incentives, or competition.

  • Increasing engagement in autotelic activities: the ones we do for no specific outcome or reward, but love to do anyway. This increases overall happiness and self-efficacy, which have a direct effect on motivation.

  • Ensuring that the work is interesting, purposeful, and engaging

  • Letting people make their own decisions and choices: encouraging autonomy and agency within the group or organization, empowering the individual to take an active role in the goal

  • Similarly, making space for collaboration