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The 4 C’s of Self-Motivation

How can we inspire people, and ourselves, to be self-motivated?

In his TEDx Talk titled, The Psychology of Self-Motivation, Scott Geller says self-motivation comes down to 4 words: competence, consequences, choices, and community.

When people believe in their ability to do something, when they feel like the reward is worth the effort, and when they have the right people around them, they are more likely to choose to make decisions today that will benefit them in the future.


Competence is your ability to do what you are being asked. When we have the time, knowledge, and training to do what we are asked to do, and we are good at it, we are more likely to be motivated to do it. Want to have more self-motivation? Learn how to do something better.

Can you do it? Can you do what you are being asked to do?


Dale Carnegie once said, “From the day you were born, everything you have done was because you wanted something for doing it.” Are the results or consequences worth the action? Is the feedback and recognition worth the effort?

Is it worth it? Is the juice worth the squeeze?


When you believe you have choice or control, you feel more self-motivation. How do we get people to make the voice to become success seekers rather than failure avoiders?

Do you HAVE to do something or do you GET to do something?


We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. The community we are in can help us grow and reach our full potential, or it can hold us back and be the barrier between who we are now and who we want to be or can be.

Are the people you spend the most time with helping you and motivating you or hurting you?

Three Questions

When trying to motivate yourself or others, think about these three questions:

1 - Can you do it? Can they do it?

2 - Will it work?

3 - Is it worth it?

4 - Are you around the right people or on the right team? Are they around the right people or on the right team?

For a printable PDF version of this post, click here: The 4 Cs of Self-Motivation

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