Tag Archives: motivation


12 characteristics of self motivated people


motivation photo

12 characteristics of self motivated people

What gets a person up in the morning, raring to go and eager to get stuck in with their goals and tasks? We are motivated by different things and the key to being motivated is to find your individual ‘hooks’ that propel you forward. Money isn’t a huge motivator for me – I see it as a means to an end. What I really want and what motivates me is the freedom to make choices and have options. There are certain characteristics that self motivated people share however. Cultivate these 12 characteristics of  motivated people and you might just find that reaching your goals becomes that little bit easier…

1) Visionary thinking and purpose. Self motivated people are able to see the bigger picture easily.

2) Optimism abounds and self motivated people participate fully in life.

3) They possess  good self esteem with an attitude of success. They expect to win but can cope with failure as they see it as a learning curve.

4) There is a thirst for challenge and willingness to take risks.

5) Self motivated people are committed to life long learning – there is always more to know and understand.

6) They have endless energy – not just physical but mental and emotional energy as well.

7) Persistent and determined. They don’t give up at the first sign of trouble.

8) Strive for balance in work/play and within themselves – health wise and with their emotions and spirituality.

9) Self motivated people are able to rise above adversity – don’t sweat the small stuff.

10) They engage in searching self reflection. Possess self awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.

11) Sincere self forgiveness. Self motivators are humble and willing to admit when they are wrong.

12) Revelling in success. Self motivators give themselves credit for a job well done.


Mandy X

Photo by opensourceway

mental inertia

Overcome Mental Inertia

motivation photo

How do we overcome mental inertia? People by nature are fearful of loss, whether that is financial, emotional or related to status or power. We are obsessed with accumulating safety, security and certainty. What we often ignore though is the fact that life is inherently uncertain. There are no guarantees or real security no matter how hard we try to play it safe. Too many fearful thoughts can lead us to mental inertia, where we feel safer in our well known comfort zone. The problem with our comfort zone is that it doesn’t stretch us in any way. I believe we all owe it to ourselves to find out our strengths and weaknesses and to figure out what we are truly capable of. This cannot happen if we consistently remain in our comfort zone. A little bit of discomfort creates a large amount of personal development.

Ways to overcome “Mental Inertia”:

  1. Visualise the positive results of your action and how good you will feel about yourself.
  2. Take action. If you start move physically, the brain will follow comply.
  3. Take small steps to begin with and count every small step as a victory and proof that you have it within you to make changes.
  4. Take a balanced approach. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There will be times when you feel less motivated and that’s okay.
  5. Be optimistic about your capabilities.
  6. Adjust your concept of failure. See failure as never trying at all rather than trying and it not working out. There is a valuable lesson in every attempt that doesn’t quite work out.
  7. Self belief is key. Talk to yourself in a motivational way – “I can do it”.


Set yourself deadlines, don;t get caught up in the tiniest of details and get stuck in. I remember in one of my past jobs, there was this sales guy with the letters GOYA scrawled boldly above his desk. He told me they stood for:


Get Off Your Ass

Now that’s good advice – plain and simple. No excuses….   🙂

Mandy X

Photo by runonbeat


Stop Doing, Start Being

mindfulness photo

I have come across many people in life who measure their self worth by how busy they are and by how much they have achieved. There seems to be an explicit link between tasks, action and personal value. If we are not doing something (even if the results are inane and non-productive) then we feel we are not a productive member of society and we are therefore redundant…worthless.

The danger with this type of thinking is that we end up running around like headless chickens, endlessly ‘doing’ in the hopes that we will finally be given that sought after badge of worthiness. Somehow, we imagine that our blood, sweat and tears will allow us to finally feel “good enough”. I know that I find it hard to be still and focus on one thing at a time. Even watching a movie can be a challenge and I find it very hard to resist googling things on my laptop whilst watching TV. What’s that all about?

What is SO bad about being rather than doing? Too much action leads to less monitoring of the effectiveness of what we are doing and we can get caught up in a frenzy of directionless activity, while hoping on an unconscious level that all this  manic activity means we are doing good, getting ahead in life. What a huge misconception!

One of my aims is to learn more about meditation. About being mindful. In this fast paced world it has become even more essential to be able to detach and centre ourselves. Taking regular checks of whether we are still on track and feeling we are going in the right direction is vital. I meet many clients who have worked so hard for many years without coming up to breathe. Years down the line they are exhausted, older and so far off track that they feel empty and unfulfilled.

What to do:

  1. Take time out – away from TV, media, computers and phones and assess your current life position.
  2. Ask yourself whether you are happy with what you are doing? Do you enjoy at least 80% of what you engage in daily?
  3. Make time for pleasurable activities. Pleasure is the key, not task-orientated achievement. If you achieve whilst gaining pleasure that’s brilliant but it shouldn’t be the main focus.
  4. Engage in real life – meet with friends, play with your children and engage with animals and nature.
  5. Spend time alone. If you feel unease at quiet time alone, ask yourself why. Time alone is essential for regeneration.
  6. Give back to society – donations, volunteering…whatever you can. This adds a sense of purpose to life and extends your impact in the world.
  7. Understand that it is okay, even essential, to stop doing, start being. Challenge your resistance to quietude.
  8. Meditate to centre yourself and tune in to your essential self – where your real peace and happiness lie.

Many people are busy achieving nothing. Stop doing, start being by seeing your inherent worth. Disconnect the unhealthy link between self worth and being busy. Too many people work themselves to a standstill, affecting their health in the process. They scurry around promising themselves that their crazy, hectic lives are temporary and that once they have the money in the bank, the status at work or the retirement package they will be happy and will begin to take it easy. I get to see the reality. These people wish their lives away, have a poor quality of life yet fool themselves on a daily basis.

Step back, take regular ‘health’ checks on your life and reject the idea that being busy will bring value and happiness. It doesn’t.

Mandy X



What is it that drives us?


Brad Paisley Tomorrow is the first blank page ...

Brad Paisley Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one (Photo credit: symphony of love)


Do you ever wonder what it is that motivates people? Some would say love and others would say money is behind our driving force in life. I don’t believe that it is love or money, the issue goes deeper than this. Our underlying  urges and drives go way back and are closely linked to a revolution. Yep – we are all driven by a need to feel safe and secure. The mad fact in this situation is that no matter what we do, we can’t ever really be truly safe. It’s not all negative…there are a lot of positives to the statement and I will elaborate here:

During my observations as a psychologist, I have come across many examples where we inadvertently engage in behaviours in order to make ourselves feel safe. We look for relationships-a partner that will be there when the going gets tough. Someone who will sit by your bedside when you are unwell. Being in a relationship brings a feeling of security to many and ultimately we all want to feel safe, we just have different ways of trying to achieve this.

The insurance industry is thriving. We dutifully pay our insurance premiums in the hope that these payments will somehow keep us safe from trouble. We comfort ourselves by telling ourselves that even if an accident occurs, we will somehow have more protection and paying our insurance lulls us into a false sense of security.

We do our utmost to eat healthily and exercise regularly to keep our bodies fit and ready. this soothes our mind and promotes  a feeling of security and safety. We contribute to a pension, we put savings in the bank and we want to buy a house instead of rent. Buying a house offers a sense of security for many.

I hate to burst people’s bubbles, but most of our attempts to secure safety are fruitless. Many of the ways we try to feel safe and secure are man-made processes. This may leave you feeling aghast, but it doesn’t need to be that way.

When you realise how little real safety there is in the world, the more you can relax and stop giving in to fear. The more we seek to feel safe, the more we maintain our fears. We engage in safety behaviours which maintain our dysfunctional thinking about the world. See life as an adventure-the end result is the same for all of us and there are just some things that we cannot control. Acceptance of the precarious nature of life can be a huge mental release. You will find that you begin to appreciate every day and become more mindful of your immediate surroundings. You stop fighting and resisting and become more in tune with the rhythms of life.

I regularly tell myself that I will deal with whatever comes my way, almost with a daredevil attitude to life. So, compliment a stranger without worrying about how they might perceive you, take that trip around the world that you’ve been dreaming about or wear those funky shoes that make a huge statement. When we step out of our comfort zones we no longer feel safe but the more we do this, the more our comfort zone expands. Stop ‘diluting’ yourself in order to feel safe and fit in with the world. Understand that time here is finite and make the most of each day. Be wacky, be strange and above all-be yourself. Make your mark instead of existing on the ‘sidelines’.

Mandy X


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Insufficient Self Discipline – What To Do About It

Self Discipline [Remixed]

Self Discipline [Remixed] (Photo credit: alphadesigner)

Insufficient Self Control/Self Discipline

Do you lack self discipline? Is there a pervasive difficulty in exercising sufficient self-control and frustration tolerance to achieve your personal goals, or to restrain the excessive expression of your emotions and impulses?  In its milder form,  people with insufficient self discipline present with an exaggerated emphasis on discomfort-avoidance:  avoiding pain, conflict, confrontation, responsibility, or overexertion—at the expense of personal fulfilment, commitment  or integrity.


How to Develop Will Power and Self Discipline

An effective method for developing and improving these abilities is to perform certain actions or activities, which you would rather avoid doing due to laziness, procrastination, weakness, shyness. By doing things that you usually do not like to do. or feel too lazy to do, you overcome your subconscious resistance, train your mind to obey you, strengthen your inner powers and gain inner strength. Muscles get stronger by resisting the power of the barbells. Inner strength is attained by overcoming inner resistance.

Remember, strengthening one of these abilities, automatically strengthens the other one.

Here are a few exercises: (a few suggestions  to give you an idea)

1) You are sitting in a bus or train and an old man or woman, or a pregnant lady walks in. Stand up and give up your seat, even if you prefer to stay seated. Act so, not just because it is polite, but because you are doing something that you are reluctant to do. This is an exercise in overcoming the resistance of your body, mind and feelings.

2) There are dishes in the sink that need washing, and you postpone washing them for later. Get up and wash them now. Do not let your laziness overcome you. When you know that in this way you are developing your will power, and if you are convinced of the importance of will power in your life, it will be easier for you to do whatever you have to do.

3) You come home tired from work and sit in front of the T.V., because you feel too lazy and too tired to take a shower first. Do not succumb to the desire to sit in front of the T.V, and go and take a shower.

4) You may know your body needs some physical exercise, but instead you keep on sitting doing nothing or watching a movie. Get up and walk, run or do some other physical exercise.

5) Do you like your coffee with sugar? If you do, then for one whole week drink it without sugar. Do you drink three cups of coffee each day? If you do, then drink only two cups a day for one whole week. I must admit – I would find this one very tough as I like lots of sugar in my tea.

6) Sometimes, when you want to say something that is not important, decide not to say it.

7) Don’t read some unimportant gossip in the newspaper, even if you want to.

8) You have a desire to eat something not too healthy. For the sake of the exercise refuse the desire.

9) If you find yourself thinking unimportant, unnecessary, negative thoughts, try to develop a lack of interest in them, by thinking about their futility and uselessness.

10) Overcome your laziness. Convince yourself of the importance of what is to be done. Convince your mind that you gain inner strength when you act and do things, in spite of laziness, reluctance or senseless inner resistance.

Never say that you cannot follow the above exercises, because you certainly can. Be persistent no matter what. Motivate yourself by thinking about of the importance of performing the exercises, and the inner power and strength you will gain. Self discipline is possible.

Trying to attempt too many exercises when you are still a beginner, might end in disappointment. It is better to start with a few easy exercises at first, and then gradually increase their number and move to the more difficult exercises.

Most of these exercises can be practiced anywhere and at anytime, which means that you don’t have to devote special times for them. They will help you develop your willpower and self discipline, enabling you to use them whenever you need them.

If you practice weight lifting, running or aerobics, you strengthen your muscles, so that when you need to move or carry something heavy, for example, you have the strength for it. By studying French each day, you will be able to speak French when you travel to France. It is the same with will power and self-discipline; by strengthening them, they become available for your use whenever you need them.

Benefits of Possessing Will Power and Self Discipline

You need these skills to manage your thoughts, improve your concentration, and to become the boss of your mind. The stronger these skills are, the more inner strength you possess.

Being the master of your mind you enjoy inner peace and happiness. External events do not sway you, and circumstances have no power over your peace of mind. This might sound too unreal for you, but experience will prove to you that all the above is possible.

These skills are vital for achieving success. They give you more control over your life, help you change and improve habits, and are essential for self improvement, spiritual growth and meditation.

Practice the exercises presented here earnestly and persistently, and your life will start changing.

Self discipline is a state of mind. Ask yourself what the “pay off” is for not doing something that would benefit you. Why are you denying yourself good things in life? Where is the self sabotage coming from? If you must, FORCE yourself to do one small thing every day that you have been putting off. Just this small act will boost you psychologically allowing you to feel more positive about your abilities to achieve whatever it is that you want.

We all struggle with self discipline at times in our lives and it’s okay to relax at cut yourself some slack. It’s when the resistance and lack of self discipline begins to create negative feelings towards ourselves followed by anxiety and other negative emotions that we need to get ourselves up and doing things.

As the Nike motto goes: “JUST DO IT”

Mandy X


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Your Many Different Sides…your strength within


personality (Photo credit: hang_in_there)

Our personalities are dynamic. By this I mean that they are constantly changing. The more open minded we are, the more willing we are to take on new ideas and incorporate these new concepts into the way we see the world.
No one is completely consistent in the way they behave. We all have idiosyncracies in the way we react to external stimuli and we all have different aspects to our personalities. For example, we might remain the same character on a basic level but do you find that you  tend to change your behaviour depending on who you are with?
Keep an open mind with this next bit:
We can all be strong, we can all be weak. We all have strength within us. There are many different resources within us – we just need to learn to access these resources when we need them.
A strategy that I have tried and that has worked for me is to call upon “strong Mandy” when I feel weak and ask for help. Almost like putting on another ‘hat’, I call upon that part of me that can be strong and forthright. This strategy of calling upon strength within will only help some people – it depends upon how easily you can file thoughts away and temporarily engage in another set of thoughts to get a task done. Almost like an actor who takes on a new role.
It doesn’t always work for me either but when it does, I tend to accomplish a lot. I only use this strategy though when I am going through a prolonged period of procrastinating or lack of self discipline.
I call upon ‘strong Mandy’ almost as if she is an employee of mine. She reveals herself at around 9am in the morning and leaves around 3pm. Then I go back to relaxing and being a bit slack. You can frame this however you want, do whatever works for you. Visualise that part of you that is strong, capable or that part of you that is sociable and engaging..whatever you need yourself to be.
Remember times when you have been incredibly go-getting or when you were the life and soul of the party. Those parts of you have never gone away – they are still there waiting to be called upon. This strength within is always there – it never disappears.
This technique takes a little practise but it is a quick effective way to slot yourself into the right frame of mind in order to get on with what needs to be done. This strategy is less likely to work if you are clinically depressed or suffer from a diagnosed mental health disorder.
Give it a go and send me your comments and stories!
Mandy X


English: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Resized,...

English: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Resized, renamed, and cropped version of File:Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs.svg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


What does it mean to be self-actualized?

According to Abraham Maslow, who was instrumental in developing the theory of self-actualization, self-actualization is a continuous process of realizing our own unique potential. The theory proposes the famous hierarchy of needs to show that self-actualization sits at the top of all of our motivations. Often, this theory is wrongly described as suggesting that you can’t consider fulfilling your higher-order needs until your lower-order needs are fulfilled. However, you only have to think of a few examples of some of the most famous self-actualized individuals to see that this is not necessarily the case. Many creative people, such as authors and artists (e.g. Rembrandt and Van Gough) lived in poverty throughout their lifetime, yet it could be argued that they achieved self-actualization.

In fact, Maslow himself believed that many self-actualized people specifically chose to make, at times, life-threatening personal sacrifices in order to fulfill their inner potential. It’s also important to realize that there is no one state of “perfection” that characterizes self-actualization but, instead, each of us has our own idiosyncratic way of achieving inner fulfilment.

 Abraham Maslow’s book Motivation and psychology started a philosophical revolution out of which grew humanistic psychology. This changed the view of human nature from a negative point of view – man is a conditioned or tension reducing organism- to a more positive view in which man is motivated to realize his full potential. 

Characteristics of self-actualizers:

1. They perceive reality efficiently and can tolerate uncertainty;

2. Accept themselves and others for what they are;

3. Spontaneous in thought and action;

4. Problem-centered (not self-centered);

5. Unusual sense of humour;

6. Able to look at life objectively;

7. Highly creative;

8. Resistant to enculturation/social conditioning, but not purposely unconventional;

9. Concerned for the welfare of humanity;

10. Capable of deep appreciation of basic life-experience;

11. Establish deep satisfying interpersonal relationships with a few people;

12. Peak experiences;

13. Need for privacy;

14. Democratic attitudes;

15. Strong moral/ethical standards.

Behavior leading to self-actualization:

(a) Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration;

(b) Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;

(c) Listening to your own feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority;

(d) Avoiding pretense (‘game playing’) and being honest;

(e) Being prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority;

(f) Taking responsibility and working hard;

(g) Trying to identify your defenses and having the courage to give them up.

The characteristics of self-actualizers and the behaviours leading to self-actualization are shown in the list above.  Although people achieve self-actualization in their own unique way, they tend to share certain characteristics.  However, self-actualization is a matter of degree, ‘There are no perfect human beings’  (Maslow, 1970a, p. 176).

Mandy X





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