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Exploring Your Motivation: What Works and What Doesn’t?

Exploring Your Motivation: What Works and What Doesn’t?

Discovering your own personal sources of motivation can be instrumental in the process of recovering from addiction

Building new habits and creating a new life takes determination, consistency, and motivation. People are motivated by different things and what works for one person may be less effective for another. Discovering your own personal sources of motivation can be instrumental in the process of recovering from addiction.

Responding to Internal and External Expectations

A 2015 article in the Harvard Business Review notes that people may be motivated by both external and internal expectations. The author believes that people belong to one of four categories, depending on how they respond to what is expected of them. People can be said to be Upholders, Questioners, Obligers or Rebels.

Upholders attempt to understand and meet both outer and inner expectations. Keeping resolutions is fairly easy for them and they are strongly self-directed. They may struggle when they feel they are breaking rules or when expectations are not clear.

Questioners are motivated by fairness, logic and reason. They will only meet expectations if they believe them to be justified. For Questioners to meet an external expectation, it must be turned to an internal one.

Obligers are more motivated by external than internal expectations. They rarely let others down. They find it difficult, however, to self-motivate. External accountability and consequences are what drive them.

Rebels resist both internal and external expectations and any sort of control. They set their own goals and work toward them in their own way. They value freedom, choice, authenticity, and self-determination. They have a tendency to oppose authority and break rules.

The article notes that understanding their personal tendencies and preferences can help people build on the strengths of their type and counterbalance the weaknesses. The author believes that the majority of people are either Questioners or Obligers. This means that for most people, the provision of sound reasons to do something along with a measure of external accountability are what is needed to increase motivation. For Rebels, framing a task in terms of opposing someone who doubts them can be a helpful tool.

Common Motivations

Although people may be motivated by a wide variety of things, common categories include the following:

  • Rewards – A reward is anything given in direct relation to an achievement. Tangible rewards include financial compensation and gifts.
  • Personal Growth – People may be driven by their desire to meet goals and achieve a level of competency and skill development.
  • Relationships – People who value personal relationships may be motivated by the approval of others and the desire to strengthen or avoid damaging friendships and other bonds.
  • Recognition – Praise, awards, and other types of public or private recognition for achievement can be a motivating force.
  • Consequences – Motivation can involve both positive and negative reinforcement. Being afraid of suffering negative consequences can motivate changed behavior.
  • Control – People often have a desire for increased self-direction and control over their own lives. People may also be motivated by the desire for more control over others.
  • Belonging – The desire to belong to a certain social or peer group can be a strong motivator, especially for young people.
  • Pleasure – Pleasure can involve sensory or cognitive rewards. It can encompass the desire for comfort or excitement.

People are generally motivated by multiple things, and it is wise to utilize multiple types of motivation when attempting to initiate and maintain changed behavior. For people in recovery from addiction to clonazepam or other substance, it can be helpful to analyze the motivation for originally using psychoactive substances and to use the same motivation for recovery. People who began using drugs or alcohol to fit into a peer group may need to find another peer group with different values and habits. People who began using substances to relieve stress may need to find comforting ways to reward themselves for abstinence.

Helping People Maintain Motivation

It is generally wise to build on internal motivations for change while also putting into place external sources of accountability. Often, the presence of external sources of reward and negative consequences can motivate initial change, and the rewarding effects of the change can then begin to increase internal motivation. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that people who enter addiction treatment under legal pressure have treatment outcomes similar to those who enter voluntarily. They also note that sanctions and rewards from family members, employers and others can increase the rate at which people enter and stay in treatment, and their ultimate recovery success.

Motivation grows when people recognize the discrepancy between what they want for their lives and what it looks like at the present time. Helping people recognize the gap is one of the goals of a counseling approach known as motivational interviewing (MI). The Center for Evidence-Based Practices at Case Western Reserve University notes that MI helps people discover their interest in change, express it in their own words, and examine their ambivalence about it. As they plan for change, change-talk is elicited and strengthened and their positive actions are reinforced.

Give Us a Call

If you are ready to overcome an addiction to clonazepam or other substance, give us a call. Our toll-free helpline is staffed 24 hours a day with consultants who can help you find a treatment program that meets your needs. They can also check your insurance coverage for you if you wish, at no cost or obligation. Addiction can be overcome. Call now and begin to reclaim your life.