Ten Characteristics of Self-Motivated People

Not all of us are “go-getters” by nature. The world needs hares and tortoises, and everything between. Being more of a tortoise is only a problem if you find yourself stuck in a rut, dissatisfied, or wanting something but never doing anything about it. If so, you may want to cultivate one or more qualities of people who are self-motivated.

Most people, to reach their potential, must sooner or later develop their weaknesses to support their strengths.

Self Motivators:

  1. Have a Destination
    Life is about the journey, but most people find the journey more meaningful when they know where they are going. The destination can be to own a house, raise a family, live with gratitude, finish college, to win an Olympic medal or walk for 30 minutes a day.
  2. Are Willing to Feel Uncomfortable
    There are a few lucky souls that do not experience much anxiety when doing something new or risky. Most of us get anxious when we leave the familiar to stretch our wings. Self-motivated people do not let the discomfort of anxiety keep them from stepping out of the nest.
  3. Dive into Life
    Getting involved in family, organizations, or community activities are opportunities to meet people, feel connected, and give back. This is not a requirement for reaching your goals, but it is a typical quality of self-motivated people.
  4. Have Ready Physical and Mental Energy
    Reaching any destination, near or far, takes energy. It is important to be active and eat a reasonably healthy diet, to say no to negative self talk, and cultivate confidence.
  5. Know They Don’t Know Much
    It is much easier to move forward if you are willing to ask for help when necessary. There is very little any one person knows for sure, and nobody knows it all. Even the most self-sufficient person sometimes needs the benefit of a fresh perspective.
  6. Have a Beginner’s Mind
    Self-starters like to learn. They can access a beginner’s mind to discover what others can offer them. Learning also keeps the mind young and flexible, and less vulnerable to the effects of aging.
  7. Have Success On the Brain
    Just because someone looks confident, doesn’t mean they are. Many motivated people experience doubt, anxiety, and setbacks, but they act as if they know their success is inevitable. It makes others more inclined to help them, and it sends a positive message to their mind and emotions. You can always confide your doubts to a trusted person, but no one else needs to know.
  8. Are Flexible and Tenacious
    To reach a destination often means changing course, mapping alternative routes, taking detours, going back and around. This requires flexibility or the ability to adapt, and the persistence to continue despite difficulties.
  9. Are Balanced
    Take care of all the aspects of your life. Home, work, friends, health, spirituality, and fun are all part of the foundation you build your goals and dreams on. Some areas may be more important to you than others, but it is wise not to ignore any of them.
  10. Challenge Driven
    Everyone runs up against problems along life’s way. Self-initiators treat setbacks or adversity as a challenge, an expected part of the journey. You may have frustration or doubts resulting from a roadblock, but that does not have to stop you from addressing the problem and moving forward.

Further Reading


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