All posts tagged: motivation

Confidence in Competence: The Second Basic Psychological Need

This is the third post of a four part series which summarizes crucial research findings about what causes most people to feel unhappy, dissatisfied, and unmotivated in different areas of their lives. As discussed in this series’ first post, there is robust research support for the notion that there are three psychological needs that humans have which, if unmet, prevent them from being happy and fulfilled. The first of these three needs is autonomy, which was discussed in this post. Today, we’re talking about competence, which is the second of these three most important psychological needs. Several years ago in my first developmental psychology class, the professor said something that stuck with me. He said that, for children who suffer from an abusive or otherwise unhappy home life, being good at something is a saving grace. Picture a kid who grew up in poverty and was raised by a single mother who dated a series of aggressive men. If this child felt really confident in their ability to do well in school, or sports, or …

Comparison and Contentment

In a time where we are preoccupied with maintaining appearances both online and in-person, we go through our days managing the impressions we make on other people. We wear clothes we think strangers will approve of, we post pictures we think will accrue the most “likes,” all the while running from the feeling that we’re doing it all wrong. At the end of the day, we pour over the profiles of beautiful people with impressive resumes, comparing our messy life and stained pajamas with that carefully curated picture. We know it’s not real: that the beautiful smiles of airbrushed influencers or the perfect home of that mommy-blogger are not real life. We know that everyone posts their shiny moments, the ones where they look brave, the ones where the dirt is swept beneath the rug, and demons safely locked away. We know that we are comparing our worst moments to other’s highlight reels, and yet, we still set down our phones with the heavy feeling that we are inferior, that we are not enough. The …

5 Ways to Find Motivation to Exercise

We all love the high that comes from finishing a good workout. It makes us feel good, it’s good for us, blah blah blah. The trouble is, getting to the gym is often very, very difficult. Why is it that, after a day of sitting, continuing to sit feels so good?? As a former college athlete, I have been on both sides of this dilemma: at certain points in my life, I have been the person who effortlessly goes to the gym most days. More recently, I have also experienced the daily struggle of not having the motivation to get off the cozy couch. Below are some simple steps to bridge the gap. 1. Expand your idea of what a “work out” is. When a lot of us think of “exercise,” we have a mental picture of sweating on an elliptical, hating every minute of it. Exercise is anything that involves moving your body. Walking is a workout. Dancing is a workout. Spending 2 hours going on what my husband calls a “cleaning rampage” is …

Fostering Autonomy in Your Daily Life: Basic Psychological Needs Part 2

This post is the second of a four-part series on three of the most important needs identified by psychologists. If you have not read part one of the series, that’d be the best place to start! Consider this series a “How To” for becoming more motivated and satisfied in different areas of your life. Why Autonomy Matters What is autonomy, and why should you care? Well, first, autonomy is the sense that you are able to make your own choices. It’s the feeling of being in charge of important areas of you life, feeling you have the freedom to decide your own path. Autonomy is important because so much research has found that it leads to more satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and happiness. Sounds good, right? This isn’t surprising. Ask any teenager whether they would be more likely to enjoy doing the dishes when their mom tells them to, or when they spontaneously decide to do so on their own. We all know the answer to that question. If you’re not convinced, let me spout just …

Series Introduction: Wellness

The connection between mind and body has been widely studied and consistently replicated. Staying active, along with eating some certain kinds of foods, has been found to alleviate a variety of symptoms related to mental health. As a lover of exercise and former college athlete, I love being active in a way that feels good both physically and emotionally. Here, I will explore healthy eating, motivation for exercise, development of a routine that works for you, and body positivity.