Just Curious

Hey, Siestas! I have a question rolling around in my mind and I’d love to throw it to my favorite community. Here goes:

What motivates you most effectively?

That’s it. Pure and simple.

Ground rules:
*You can only name one kind of motivation. Think of the one that tends to work on you more often than the others.

*You are asked to name your real, live most effective motivator and not the one you wish you had. (You may honestly respond best to a healthy motivator and, if so, say so! But, if the truth is, you are more often effectively motivated by something negative, please also say so.)

This hint might be of help to some of you as you roll the question around in your sweet head: Think back on times of substantial and lasting change in your life. What motivated the real change? (Of course, we all know that, ultimately, the Holy Spirit brings about transformation, but what did He use???)

You bless me to no end. Watching for your responses!


1,127 Responses to “Just Curious”

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  1. 501
    Karen says:

    My biggest motivator is someone who is on fire for God and strong in his/her faith and encourages me to be the same. I try to surround myself with those kinds of people because I know I will rise to the challenge. Beth, you are also one of those people to me!

  2. 502
    Reggie says:

    I’m motivated by the approval and praise of others.

  3. 503
    jeannie says:

    “the need to please”

  4. 504
    Martha Helen says:

    gosh.. maybe i shouldn’t have read through most of everyone’s responses before i left my own. πŸ™‚ made me realize i’m not sure what my biggest motivator is. the first word that came to mind: pain. but oddly, also, love. affirmation. and then, definitely fear. sorry to break the rules and leave more than one. πŸ™‚

  5. 505
    angietheesteemed says:

    Perhaps a tie between feeling of accomplishment and getting approval. One is when I’m self-motivated and one is when I’m motivated in order to please others…whether that be people or even God. I think both vary between being positive motivation and sinful motivation. It’s a fine line I’m not sure how to walk on very well.

  6. 506
    Cathy Bartrum says:

    Desperation, it’s one of the fews things that defeats my procrastination. It can be that I am miserable to the point of being desperate, or I can be desperately in fear of what may happen in a situation not handled correctly.

  7. 507
    Linda says:

    I am such a procrastinator, I think the thing that usually motivates me is disgust. Disgust with myself for letting a project go so long without doing it ( ex: cleaning out my closet) and the next thing that motivates is the feeling of accomplishment when it’s done.
    Ouch that hurt!

  8. 508
    Carrie says:

    Although God’s been working on me for awhile now to overcome my irrational fears. Ironically, I think fear is what initially motivated me to stay connected with God a year ago through daily prayer and Bible study. I feared going back to where I came from, so much so, that I made it a priority in my life to spend time every day nourishing my weakened soul. It was (and still is) really a “Ephesians 6” part of my day to bathe my mind in truth in order to combat lies. Although it was my intention to become stronger against the enemies attacks God has given me so much more through the time I spend with him. I am now motivated by the pure pleasure He graciously gives me in our time together. I am SO thankful for your Bible studies Beth! I am a true Bible geek because of you. I cannot get enough of His Word!! Rock on!! : )

  9. 509
    Beth Davis says:

    Approval of others. Although I’ve given this to God many times in many different areas of my life, I still fall constantly. But it does get me motivated. Example: Through the winter, of course, I’ve put on first year of marriage “happy weight” and the winter weight. So I caught myself thinking, hubby can’t be happy with this (especially since he’s been working on losing weight), I’m almost outgrowing my clothes, and I look hideous. So I got a gym membership and sulked for about a month before wonderful hubby said snap out of it! Look how depressed you’ve become due to the “expectations you think others have of you”. Can I just say that again?

    EXPECTATIONS YOU THINK OTHERS HAVE OF YOU makes it super hard to feel like you’ve gained their approval.

    not so healthy…still working on it πŸ™‚

  10. 510
    Spring says:

    For most of my life it was what people would think. But that has gradually changed, (thank you LORD!) and now I am more motivated by how it will make me feel in the future… things I just really want to avoid, I use a timer! πŸ™‚

  11. 511
    moreundignified says:

    I certainly have my negative motivators, like being an extreme people pleaser..but at the same time I so want to help people experience the love of God. I know where I was and where I am now, and I want to help others with that. To know that you were obedient to God, and to know that you are a part of someone else’s faith walk or experiencing God in their lives – there is no such joy! To somehow feel like you are working with God as a team. Wow, what a rush! I want more!

  12. 512
    Susan says:

    Beauty calls me forward. Beauty motivates me to drop the chains, stop digging. Beauty calls and sings to my soul.

  13. 513
    Monica Smith says:

    Fear – public humiliation, disappointing my family (father and siblings) and not meeting their expectations, and being without or losing what I have based on mistakes made.

  14. 514
    Brenda Trafton says:

    Brokeness. I am more desperate to lean even closer to the Jesus and hear His voice and what He has to say about the situation, while teaching and refining me.

  15. 515
    Heather says:

    Hmm…..I’m really torn between 2. I had some very rough spots in my life but I’ve accomplished some great things too. The motivator between the 2 are very different. For example, when I was struggling with an addiction, my motivator was a desperate desire to live, change my ways and be done with the obsession. I was tired of it all however I wanted to be “normal.” I wanted the crazy obsessions and destructive behavior to stop. But then I trained hard and received my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. My motivation in that area was setting small goals and achieving them. I was able to track my progress and check them off the list. I could look back and see the steps I had accomplished. So maybe it depends on the situation.

  16. 516
    TA says:


  17. 517
    Kori says:

    confirmation that I am doing the right thing either from the LORD, my husband, kids, work etc. It’s a feeling that wow I can do this! Or I’m glad I listened to the Holy Spirit and did _________! Or in times when I don’t listen to that voice the next time doing my best to do so!

  18. 518
    Rebekah says:

    I think fear is my biggest motivator. There are two different sides to it though. Sometimes it’s positive, and sometimes it’s negative…

    The fear of God (Proverbs 9:10, Psalm 76:7,11) is probably the strongest and most beneficial motivator for me. Not an unhealthy terror, but a profound reverence and respect – an awareness of who God is. This can kick in as the Holy Spirit quickens my conscience and I manage to choose what is right only because I recognize His presence and He gives me strength. Similarly, if I sense God is calling me to do something, even if it’s something I’d rather not do I follow through because it feels like a fire burning in my bones until I do. It’s this holy fear that most often brings breakthrough and freedom in my life.

    By contrast I am motivated by unholy fear more often than I’d like to admit. In this case my actions are guided by fear of man, fear of death, etc. (the list goes on). This kind of fear usually leads to bondage and oppression until God enables me to recognize His truth and pulls me out of the pit I’ve landed in.

  19. 519
    Tracie says:


  20. 520
    ashlee says:

    fear of disappointment . & meeting expectations, but i think thats due to not wanting to disappoint.

    [that & my husband & my father & now my little boy]

  21. 521
    Kim says:

    JOY! Providing joy to others as well as my own joy. When I am happy or full of joy I can accomplish so much more. When I am able to provide joy to someone else it is such a blessing! Jesus first, others second, and yourself last.

  22. 522
    lauren says:

    In different situations, I am motivated by different things. I think above all, the approval of others. Having them tell me I did a good job makes me strive harder to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.

  23. 523
    Anita Siecker says:

    I cannot get myself really going without a DEADLINE!

  24. 524
    Lyndsey says:

    Pain and suffering!

  25. 525
    Lauren says:

    What motivates change for me? Good old fashioned fear. Fear that I will make the mistakes of my parents, fear that my brokenness will get played out in my children. That fear has brought me to a place of spiritual poverty and absolute need for God to be present in my lift and bring healing and transformation. So the motivator is “negative” but the outcome has been so so good.

  26. 526
    Darlene says:


    Nothing else motivates me like praise does. It absolutely energizes me. It makes me want to take on more projects and serve in new and different ways.

  27. 527
    Jean says:

    Pleasing others! I know!…. it was the big one when I did “Breaking Free”. I am a pleaser and that will motivate me every time~ it’s good and bad. Have to run everything past the Holy Spirit!!! Have to KNOW Im pleasing the one and only first!!

  28. 528
    r. says:

    LOVE. Love motivates me as when I receive the unconditional acceptance, forgiveness, mercy shown by someone else, it humbles me and it makes me want to pay it forward, it is compelling. It fills me up to overflowing and I cannot hold back. Love.

  29. 529
    Gayle says:

    CHOCOLATE…it does a lot for me! Really though, give me a deadline, and I’m in high gear.

  30. 530

    “Think back on times of substantial and lasting change in your life. What motivated the real change?”

    I’m assuming by this you are meaning heart change, and if so I would have to say pain or suffering.

    I wish it wasn’t. But I’m such a creature of habit that I’d stay in my pit/destructive patterns forever just because it’s what I know. But when the pain/suffering becomes severe then I’m motivated to change.

  31. 531
    Marti says:

    Authority figures. My dad, boss, pastor…if those guys get involved, I’m gonna start hopping to it!

  32. 532
    MIchelle says:

    In loking back over years past sadly it would seem my motivation lies with the approval of those close to me. I am by nature a people pleaser and want everyone to like me and my decisions. Therefore, the approval of my parents and spouse seems to factor into my choices. As I strive to grow closer to my heavenly Father I am trying to focus more on his approval but, old habits tend to be harder to change for me.

  33. 533
    Linda R. says:

    Inviting someone over for dinner!!!

  34. 534
    Karen says:

    I guess I am one of the world’s worst procrastinaters because last minute pressure to get something done motivates me! I may know something is coming up for quite some time and I still wait until the last minute. Crazy, I know!!

  35. 535
    Kathy says:

    I think I am best motivated when someone or people tell me that I can’t do something.. It burns something within to prove that I can……

  36. 536
    Judith says:

    Words of affirmation or encouragement from others.

  37. 537
    Jen Potter says:

    I think I am often motivated by someone believing in me. If someone thinks that I can do it and tells me so then I am motivated. When I don’t believe in myself and I don’t think anyone else believes in me I usually will stay in the pit.

  38. 538
    Tina says:

    What motivates me to move forward is scripture. Without it I tend to be motivated out of fear or approval. However, those two things dont usually produce the right motives for anything. However, moving forward and accually sticking with something that matters is always a by product of God’s Word that I apply to my life.

  39. 539
    Tracy Carden says:

    I am motivated when I know something I do will be pleasing to others. Mostly people outside my family. I sometimes put off things specifically for my family. I wish I was just motivated to do the things that matter the most instead of the things that matter least. If I commit to someone outside my family, I will do the task or die trying. Why can’t I take all my commitments as strongly especially the ones to myself?

  40. 540
    wanda says:

    Unfortunately for me…it’s FEAR!
    Nothing gets me charged up quicker than the fear of something going way wrong in my life.
    I guess I was raised in that era/environment.

  41. 541
    Annette Faber says:

    God has used alot of things to motivate me but I think one of the greatest was pure survival. And there was a steady dose of God’s constant reminder that He loves me very much to keep me going.

  42. 542
    Karen B says:

    This is so going to sound cliche but really it is the truth. My children motivate me at least until I get my quiet time in the mornings. When I think back to at least two life changing moments (and I really mean life altering, change in direction, attitude, views and spiritual maturity or lack of), I changed for and because of my children. Daily, so that I do not stay in idolatry, I have to visualize taking my children to the Throne and out of my hands and back to God remembering it is He who entrusted them to me for a season.

  43. 543
    Faith says:

    Fear of failure and disappointing anyone in my path.

  44. 544
    Barbara says:

    To get approval from others. I guess it stems back from my childhood. I’ve always been seeking my mother’s and father’s approval. Now I tend to seek approval from co-workers and boss.

  45. 545
    Terri says:

    I, too, am an approval gal. I like being in a “behind the scenes” position making the lives of the people around me easier. I go above and beyond to wow them, doing things before being asked and before they know they need it.

  46. 546
    Kathy says:

    I’m replying to myself! I may have missed your question.Sorry I got on a roll, but recently both a very negative and a very positive experience motivated me.

    Witnessing (I’m very visual) something that “should be” but isn’t or something that is just downright amazing or inspirational gets my old juices going and gets me up and moving

  47. 547
    Redeemed says:

    The thought of the Enemy getting his “cage rattled”. I can only say this now because I’ve lived so much of my life in defeat! Once Christ set me free for good, any new opportunity I get to see Him triumph over Satan….well, that lights my fire. Makes me wanna jump in there and cooperate with the Spirit. (does that make sense?)

  48. 548
    Karen Sharman says:

    Deadlines…project due dates.

  49. 549
    Debbie Freeman says:

    Nature! Strange as it may seem I can be lonely, in the worst of pain from events or just needing a little encouragement and seeing His wonders, or being bathed in a sea of pink and white blossoms just blown from the tree seems to say I love you child–I am here with you–I care–I am real and alive–Get back up and get back in there.

  50. 550
    Amy says:

    My EFFECTIVE motivator is the Gospel, but the INeffective motivator that works for just a little while is pleasing people (approval of others).

    Isn’t that the battle of the believer, Christ or man?

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