Types Of Motivation: Helping You to Be A Better Person and Reach Goals

types of motivation

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Do you have trouble staying focused on your goals? After you read the types of motivation, you will see it isn’t that hard to achieve those goals and be successful.

The types of motivation will be something you will refer to as you move down your road to success. We all have different ways of motivating ourselves. What will keep you going through the tough times might be different than what helps another, but everyone needs to stay motivated in order to get where they want to go in their lives.

What Is Motivation and Why Is It important?

Motivation is the desire or willingness that drives us to go forward on our path to success. It is what keeps us going even when the outcome looks bleak. We need something that pushes us to complete that task, job or whatever it is that challenges us. Having something that motivates us gets us through the rough spots. It keeps us focused on the end of the tunnel or getting the golden ring. It is important that you know what the types of motivation are so that you can find the best one for you.

What Are the Benefits of Motivation?

Motivation has many benefits in our personal and professional lives. It provides us with a means to an end. Knowing that there is a definite end will keep us in the game and see something through. With proper motivation, you don’t let problems get in your way and can work them out. The benefit of having something that motivates us is that it helps us keep up self-discipline in order to achieve the task or goal.

What Are the Two Categories of Motivation?

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is an internal drive within us that pushes us along. This is a desire that we have decided is important to achieve for us. No one has told us to do this: we are in the driver’s seat.

For example, you notice that you are putting on weight and do not like it. When you bend down to tie your shoes, you get a headache. Even going upstairs, you get winded and must stop midway. So you head to a gym and start working out. You want to lose weight to look good for you and not someone else. This is your desire to look good. This is intrinsic (internal) motivation.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is the direct opposite of intrinsic. This is an external desire motivating you to do something. The pressure comes from outside of you and is not your own desire. You are not in control of this one and are putting someone else’s wishes above your own. It is best to be in control of what you want to do.

For example, maybe ever since you were a little girl you have always wanted to be a teacher. You taught your dolls every day when you came home from school. When you grew up and it came time to choose a college, you knew exactly which one you were going to. Then out of nowhere, your dad tells you to become a lawyer. You feel you must do this, for he is paying the college tuition.

As you learn more about the types of motivation, you will see how important it is to be in control of what you decide to do. This will be where you will pull your strength from when it gets tough.

What Are the Types of Motivation and How To Take Advantage of Them?

Knowing the types of motivation will help you determine where to start in applying them to your own needs. You need to find the motivation to achieve your goals and be successful in your life. Here are the types of motivation:

Achievement Motivation

Achievement motivation is common in the workplace. This happens when a person wants to strike out and achieve specific goals. They are motivated by the task, not the money. This is a person who values the process of getting to the goal rather than the result.

Enjoy playing the game and don’t worry about the reward. Look at problems as challenges, not catastrophes. Keep thinking how great it will feel when you accomplish this goal. Achievement motivation is a great way to stay focused and enjoy each step towards accomplishing the goal.

Incentive Motivation

Incentive motivation is for those that focus on a reward that they will get at the end of accomplishing that goal. This could be an increase in salary or a day off for example. The incentive motivation isn’t good in the workplace, for you should be motivated by what you do, not by what you get after you do it.

You could take advantage of this particular type if you were in a sales position. You could use the increase in your bonus if you hit the top sales as an incentive. But it would be best not to make this your only motivation to do a good job. Making more money isn’t a good motivator, especially when working as a team player.

Fear Motivation

When you think of fear, some might consider this a negative way to be motivated. But it actually can be used in a positive way. Fear motivation is a way of helping you stay accountable and focused on your goal. But some think of fear in terms of failure, and no one wants this.

Knowing that you are working without a net shouldn’t be something to fear: it should be a challenge. Fear of failure is not something that should be frightening but something that motivates. You need to know that people are counting on you, and that will keep you from dropping the ball.

Power Motivation

power motivation

Power motivation is those that want to achieve their goals for the reward of gaining more control. They seek to be in a higher position, and that is what motivates them. They want to make a difference and be in a position that can really help the company.

Power has gotten a bit of a bad name nowadays. But in the case of power motivation, it can be a good thing to utilize when seeking a position that could change the world or a company. Those that seek to change the world need to have this type of motivation.

Affiliation & Social Motivation

These types of motivation are based on who you know and your social skills. For those that believe that it is who you know that determines your success, then this is their motivation. You strive to connect up with those that have more influence in the area that you wish to be in. It is also a good way to get your work noticed by those connections that will push you further along to success.

Social networking is the name of the game these days. Those that know how to utilize it to gain recognition are advancing in their careers. Knowing how to link up with them and tag along with their success is a great force to get you where you want to be in the world.

Competence & Learning Motivation

These types of motivation, competence, and learning are based on achievement. Learning all we can could be a great way to increase our competitiveness. This is good when it comes to learning something new or improving at a hobby that you love to do. You value learning a new skill over getting a pay reward.When you push yourself to learn more in any area, you are desiring to be more competent. This will give you more confidence and that will help you obtain your goal. Using this type of motivation will get you where you want to go.

Attitude Motivation

When we let our attitude control us we are closing the door on opportunities. Our perspectives and beliefs can get in our way and keep us from achieving our goals or getting that job. We lose our desire to live life and be happy. We feel that there is nothing to look forward to that makes us reach for anything better. We can let this get the better of us, and that will ruin any chances of achieving success.

Attitude motivation is for those that want to change how they see themselves and the world. You must set goals in the areas of your life that relate to self-change and self-awareness. Keeping a positive attitude will move you farther ahead and open up doors. When you have a negative one, it is unlikely that you will even see the door if were open.

Expectancy Theory of Motivation

The expectancy theory of motivation is based on psychological theories. It is similar to the incentive and extrinsic motivation in that it deals with outside incentives being your motivation. The difference is that your incentive, which is your reward, must be set realistically. You have to know that at the end after reaching your goal you will actually get your reward. You must plan this out beforehand so that you know that the reward will not change or possibly not be there when you are done. It should be an incentive that you can achieve, otherwise you will become unmotivated.

Set realistic rewards when you are using external motivation. That way, when you get the job done, you will really get the reward and not be disappointed. The whole reason we are learning the types of motivation is to know how to keep ourselves focused on our goals.

Equity Theory of Motivation

The equity theory of motivation is based on being treated fairly. Those that utilize this motivation are not interested in any external reward. They look at fairness, also known as equity, as a motivation. Those that have this motivation have a different definition of equity than others. To them, it means that it isn’t just how fair someone is to them but also how fair other people are to others. They care about how others are treated. This is someone that you want on your team, for they care about what is happening to others and not just themselves. This would make a good team leader.

You can become unmotivated if you think that you or a co-worker are not being treated fairly. Knowing this is happening can kill someone’s enthusiasm for working hard and trying to move up in the company. When you are part of a team, you want all your team to be treated fairly and get the raises or rewards that they deserve.

Arousal Theory of Motivation

This type of motivation means that you need to stay alert mentally and attentively. When you are not mentally focused on your job, it can cause you to stress out, become depressed, and not be motivated to do anything.

You become stressed when you are not able to concentrate and start making mistakes. This is something you must work on or it will sabotage your success. Staying alert mentally is a balance from within that takes work to handle. You can achieve your goals by staying focused and keeping yourself mentally sharp.


Now that you know the types of motivation, you will be able to keep yourself in check and continue to achieve your goals and be successful. There is no stopping us once we get back our willingness and desire to make it through even in the toughest of times. In the world we live in now, we need all the motivation we can get to get through all the chaos that is going on around us. Knowing how to help ourselves stay motivated will help others do the same.

Whatever your incentive, you must have a strong purpose that keeps you focused. Find out what motivates you and stick with it until you achieve your goals.

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