MOTIVATION – Not Just a Factor but a Driving Force for Women

MOTIVATION – Not Just a Factor but a Driving Force for Women

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”  Wayne Dyer 

The quote says it all. Don’t you need a boost every now and then to get up from that couch and do something for yourself, or for your family? 

It is not the 90s when you probably had to stand a step back from the other gender, because you were not considered good enough for the job, or for that promotion you had been working towards. The world has entered the 21st century and enough time has passed for you to understand that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. Motivation is not just a factor for you today, but a driving force. So, let’s a build up to it! 

What is motivation? 

Yes, it is not something that you can see but it is something that you feel from within. It is not specifically associated with work or life, but several factors play a part to make it relevant to your job or life. By definition, it is a process that initiates, directs, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what motivates you to act in a certain way, like a sudden feeling to take a walk and clear your mind and get a clearer perspective of life.  

It, itself, is a big factor that plays a role in picking yourself up after every downfall or tragedy. It involves the emotional, biological, cognitive, and social forces that drive behavior. Motivation cannot be defined enough to explain its importance and how it plays a role in an average person’s life. Another researcher, (Nevid, 2013) defines motivation as: 

"The term motivation refers to factors that activate, direct, and sustain goal-directed behavior... Motives are the 'whys' of behavior—the needs or wants that drive behavior and explain what we do. We don't actually observe a motive; rather, we infer that one exists based on the behavior we observe." 

The Gender Divide 

The debate can go on for a long as to whether motivation is the same for both genders or are there clear differences between the two. If one looks at it from a general perspective, money and other financial gains are mandatory for living, and therefore have the same effect, irrespective of whether it is a woman or a man. Moreover, both genders want to feel respected and an important asset to their company.  

Employers who offer monetary rewards may only benefit them in the short term since money soon becomes an achievement that was worth the efforts put into routine tasks. In fact, an article published by the University of Phoenix Business School in 2011 highlighted that increase in motivation as a result of a pay bump is only temporary, and that employees start spending more. This actually reduces motivation since a person’s financial standing remains the same. 

On the other hand, acknowledgment is a big factor that actually contributes to motivation, especially for women. Even though you may disagree or will find exceptions to the statement made above, many studies highlight the fact that women tend to respond more favorably to acknowledgments than men. However, the corporate world still appears to be stuck in a space-time continuum where workplace recognition is seen as a biased practice. Most employees, especially the female gender, often complain about being unrecognized when their male counterparts are handed over the trophy. Research shows that women are generally more motivated than men, and by the following: 

  • Aesthetics 
  • Hedonism 
  • Recognition  
  • Affiliation 

On the other hand, men are more motivated when the rewards are power and money-related, which again wears off after some time. Therefore, it can be reinforced that while men consider motivation as just another factor to stay put, it is more than just a factor for women – It is a driving force that pushes them to perform better and stay committed. 

Do You Believe in Destiny? 

Debatable, AGAIN! Not everyone wants to believe in it, but again, if you don’t, do you really have a purpose to work towards or something to look forward to. It is not just about being religious, but about the overall feeling that your life is taking you somewhere.  

If you self-analyze, you will realize that you often make mistakes that put you in trouble, but what do you do? If you kick yourself for it all your life and lose all the interest in working towards your goals, you are actually making the situation worse for you. You remain flustered and irritated, just because things didn't go as planned. However, if you believe that there are no mistakes and that everything is leading you to a new, different path, because the previous one was not right for you, you will have a purpose to walk on earth another day, with confidence.  

For those who do not believe that there is a greater purpose for them on earth, and are still facing barriers in their life, they must realize that they have not yet truly heard and felt what their destiny is trying to tell them. There is a supreme message your destiny hides, and once you get in touch with your inner self, you will understand that failure is just a wakeup call to help you realize where you are wrong. 

Destiny plays a big role in motivating a person. If you believe in destiny, you will realize that your life matters beyond your daily routine and the difficulties you encounter along the way. It is not the end, but a fix that reignites the fire in you, shaping your decisions and leading you towards a rewarding life. Oprah Winfrey is a big fan of destiny, and if you are inspired by her, like the millions of women from around the world, go through some of her interviews and you might realize what has been missing from your life. 

Three Important Components of Motivation 

If you have ever had a goal in life, like a target weight you want to achieve or a 5 mile run that you will take out time for every week, you will realize that unless you really make the necessary changes, your goals will only remain a desire. Goals require you to exercise persistence and endurance no matter how many barriers you face. The three important components to motivation include: 

  • Activation 

This involves the decision to start a behavior, such as start drinking a glass or green smoothie every day, before work, and work towards a healthy lifestyle. 

  • Persistence 

This is pushing through the obstacles and continuing your efforts, like no matter how late you get, you will still get to drink that glass of green smoothie and not substitute it for a Frappe from the coffee shop down the block. 

  • Intensity 

This is the concentration and the strength with which you go into pursuing a goal. For example, no matter how tiring it gets to buy fresh vegetables every day after work, you still go out of your way to stay committed to your healthy lifestyle. 

Is Motivation Only Possible if You are Doing a Job? 

If you know for a fact that failing is not an option, would you truly be motivated? If you have truly understood this question, it will inspire you to go beyond your comfort zone and try things that challenge you.  

Some jobs are challenging while others are routine, repetitive tasks that do more harm than benefiting your spirit. As mentioned earlier, a job may offer you acknowledge, the environment and a tight-knit team of people that you really look forward to meeting every day you wake up, but if still not challenges you enough, are you truly working towards your goals? Motivation is a drive to work in a certain way, and your job may not be the only thing motivates you. If you look around, you will find different reasons to get inspires and renew your goals.  

Working Towards Motivating Yourself 

Successful women entrepreneurs from around the world mention the following five things that motivate them: 

1. A Vision 

A vision of the future is what makes you put efforts and work towards a goal. Whether you are working towards a big promotion that will pay big too, and bring all the perks of a separate cabin, or planning to start your own bakery, your vision is what will be the driving force, motivating you to work through the obstacles.  

Start with creating a vision board, and repeating the affirmations every morning. 

2. Work towards Change 

Peter Senge, a popular systems scientist, from MIT Sloan School of Management says: 

“Great entrepreneurs are motivated by a desire to change the world.  If they’re good at what they do, they’ll make money. But, it’s more important that they have something that they’re passionate about.  If business schools continue to reinforce the idea that the purpose of business is to make money, we doom ourselves to mediocre business.” 

Working towards change does not mean leaving your job just because an idea popped into your mind, and without working out its feasibility, you handed over your resignation letter to your boss. However, working towards change does not mean that you should be risk averse. New things involve risk, and failure is how you will learn. 

3. Ownership & Responsibility 

If entrepreneurship is the goal, you are already on your way to owning things and accepting responsibility for your actions, but do not think differently if you are working a 9-5 job. Employers that offer a culture of ownership actually give you an opportunity to learn in a flexible environment where your irresponsible behavior will have consequences, but if you work with dedication and are in control, you will be rewarded. 

Yes, owners do not follow a job description and your job may be holding you back, but if you feel that you need a bit more time to learn the ropes, there is no harm to put your plans on hold for another year or two. 

4.  Freedom & Flexibility 

Of course, a 9-5 job will not bring back those cherished moments you could have spent with your newborn if you were not doing a job, and this is one of the many reasons that will push you to work towards your own goals, and not be a part of someone else’s vision. It will provide you the flexibility and freedom to live life on your terms, and give you more self-confidence. 

On the other hand, workplaces today offer more freedom and flexibility when it comes to maintaining a balance between work and life. However, the feeling of being in-charge of your own schedule and setting your own work goals will keep you more motivated and goal-driven. 

5. Take Oath Not To Procrastinate 

Remember… If you start procrastinating, you are putting your goals on hold. This is a bad idea because someone else, who may have a similar idea, might be working towards his / her goals with more intensity. Time does not wait for anyone so if you are just putting your plans on hold because your boss or your company needs you, you are making a difficult bargain. 

Motivation is important for everything in your life, whether it is parenting or starting a new business. You will want to set challenging but achievable goals and establish a rewards system that motivates you and your workers. Your destiny plays a huge role in identifying your true calling, and if you have been experiencing the signs, it is time to fire up your brain and start thinking about leading life your way. 


Luci McMonagle

Luci McMonagle

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