Last week, I was in beautiful Vancouver Island, British Columbia, facilitating workshops on “Motivation” and “Trauma and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.” The workshops were sponsored by Community Health Associates of British Columbia. This organization does a terrific job of bringing together, and training, skilled community health and addiction workers in First Nations communities within the province.
The first workshop I delivered was on the topic of Motivational Interviewing. Motivational Interviewing evolved from the observation that if we want to help people change their behaviour, we need to change the way we communicate with them. Also, if we want to change anything ourselves, we need to be aware of the reasons for change.
Principles of Motivation:
In researching and preparing for this workshop, here are some of the points that stood out for me on the principles of change and motivation.
- Motivation is a key to change. Throughout our lives, we discover things about ourselves (and our life) that we would like to change. However, before we start changing anything, we need to feel motivated. Without motivation, change is difficult.
- Motivation is dynamic, NOT static. An important point to remember about motivation is that it is never the same at any one time. Motivation is always evolving, just as we are always changing and evolving. People think that you either have motivation or you don’t. This is not true. The truth is, a person’s motivation, and the intensity of their motivation, changes for a variety of reasons.
- Motivation is influenced by internal and external factors. Our thoughts and emotions represent the internal factors that influence motivation. Our family, culture, society, and friends represent the external factors. Even though we may have the internal factors that lead us to be motivated, there may be external factors that work against us. We need to be aware of these and figure out how to listen and honour the factors that are most important to us.
- Motivation is influenced by social interactions. When I was attending graduate school, there were many times when I thought about giving up. But, I knew I would regret it if I did. So, when I felt my motivation dropping, I would surround myself with other people who knew what I was going through. My interactions with them helped strengthen my motivation to continue with my PhD and achieve my dream.
- Motivation can be modified. People can feel different levels of motivation for different behaviours, and at different times in their life. When I started blogging in 2011, I was highly motivated to write. Then, it’s almost as though the motivation to write just disappeared. A few months ago, the desire to write came back. Just as I became motivated to take my business to a higher level, I also became motivated to write again. My motivation was modified based on the circumstances of my situation.
Sometimes, we feel disheartened and discouraged because we no longer feel motivated to do the things we once were highly motivated to do. When this happens, the best thing to do is to take a step back and reflect on the different reasons for why your motivation changed. Remind yourself that your motivation will return, but you need to figure out the reasons why it went away in the first place. Then, start being proactive in building it back up.
Hoping this bit of psychology helps in building your motivation for change….
Links In This Post
- Sponsors of the event: Community Health Associates of BC
- What is Motivational Interviewing?
- This site provides clinicians, trainers, supervisors with handouts and valuable information on MI.
- Here’s the beautiful resort that hosted the workshops – Tigh-Na-Mara, and where I had the privilege of staying.