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Signs of Self-Motivation at Work

by Christian Fisher

Self-motivated employees assert themselves, strengthen teams, solve problems and seek challenges. An organization where managers and employees can take reasonable risks, envision a successful future and earn credit and recognition for the results they produce can fuel self-motivation within its ranks, explains a Forbes.com article titled “The Top 9 Things That Ultimately Motivate Employees to Achieve.” You can recognize someone’s level of self-motivation by his energy and eagerness to get to work.

Persistent Achieving

The drive to achieve trumps the fear of failure in self-motivated individuals, many of whom have a need to invest in themselves through lifelong learning and personal growth. Achievement-driven individuals have beliefs and interpretations about failure, rejection or setbacks that help them move forward through obstacles rather than be sidelined by them. For example, a self-motivated person might see a sales prospect’s rejection as an opportunity to improve his approach when communicating with prospects rather than as a sign that he has a bad product or that he’s lousy at sales.

Passionate Contribution

Enjoying your job can make workdays more fulfilling, even when they’re stressful. Passion to achieve goals and do work that is meaningful contributes to self-motivation, as employees with passion love their work. They recognize the larger impact their work has on their lives, the organization’s success, customers’ lives or the community overall. Passion is apparent in someone who stays focused when overcoming challenges, works to improve his skills and knowledge and brings a positive and engaging attitude to the workplace.

Productive Patience

Self-motivated workers want to do things right. Sometimes, that means balancing the drive to accomplish with the patience necessary to pay attention to detail and ensure things get done to the highest quality standards. Patience does not mean passivity, however. Intrinsically motivated employees usually don’t have to be asked to use down time productively. When their own duties are finished early or delayed in some way, they’re inclined to seek out new tasks or see if co-workers need help.

Leadership Performance

Employees and managers who are self-motivated are likely to step up to leadership positions within groups whenever necessary. When you believe your success and fulfillment depend on your own decisions and initiative, you’re compelled to act on opportunities, adapt to changing situations and guide others to do the same. Self-motivated individuals also apply the time and the effort that a project or goal requires of them in order to create desired results. Such high performers are likely to break beyond their scheduled hours or limited job descriptions if the success they're aiming for requires it.

About the Author

A writer since 1995, Christian Fisher is an author specializing in personal empowerment and professional success. From 2000 to 2005, he wrote true stories of human triumph for "Woman's World" magazine. Since 2004, he has also helped launch businesses including a music licensing company and a music school.

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