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. 51
    abbensmom says:

    To be perfectly honest, before I trusted God completely (even though I had the Holy Spirit and the assurance of saving grace, I refused to give up control and trust Him – I refused to make Him the King over all), I was motivated by fear. Mostly fear of losing relationship. I grew up in a broken home with a mentally ill and suicidal mother. I had already learned from my father’s abandonment that often if you don’t make people happy, or give them what they tell you they need/want from you, there is a great likelihood they will leave – go away forever. I was always afraid of letting my Mom down, and what horrible things that might mean for her and for me. I hated the guilt I carried continually that I could not make her as happy as I know she wanted to be. Really, that I could not help her the way she needed help. That guilt and control over the stability over all of my relationships translated itself into an adult sized control-freak tendency. This is already a long explanation, but I’ll shorten it a bit by saying that, ultimately, this underlying fear has almost ruined my already shaky marriage, and undermined most of my friendships. Two years ago God put me in an “if I perish, I perish,” do or die situation, and then He gave me the sense to do instead of die, and trust Him with an almost impossible situation. He saved me from a horrible situation, and really saved me from myself. He is healing me everyday, and now I hope my primary motivation is trying to do what is pleasing to Him. It would be a lie to say I am not moved by fear from time to time, but sometimes I think He’s nudging me to give it all over to Him everyday, to remember that He has been faithful before, and there is no reason why He will not be faithful now. And He is , slowly but surely, healing my marriage and many broken relationships. I want mostly to be motivated by love.

    • 51.1
      Yanna Westmoreland says:

      abbensmom, that was beautiful, I felt every word.

    • 51.2
      Jill says:

      I could relate to every single word, and I want to motivated by love as well.

    • 51.3
      Dianne says:

      Wow, you’re words really spoke to me. Thank you. I feel like I am in a situation just like that right now, where He is trying to save me from myself. But instead of those gentle nudges, sometimes it’s more like a whack on the head (well-deserved). I am always praying to him to heal my heart and my head.

      • abbensmom says:

        Yeah, I’ve got several lumps on my head too!! I’ll be praying for you. He is Good and faithful to save.

  2. 52
    Kathy says:

    I would say when the “gauntlet is thrown down”. When someone challenges me to step up, I move. God can do this by Himself or use others to motivate me. This can also come in the form of constructive criticism. I take that as a challenge to change and do better.

    Little Monkey’s Mama

  3. 53
    Joyce Watson says:

    To be honest, I have been so insecure for so long until recently have I felt better about who I was in God_that approval from others, anything positive said to me, or being good enough made feel good.
    If you told me I wouldn’t be good at something, I would believe it. If you said something negative about or to me, I thought I was being rejected.
    Lately, I have prayed really hard for God to be in whatever He leads me to do and for His will. Usually, if I enjoy doing something, that is a good motivation.

  4. 54
    MaryAnn says:


  5. 55
    Angela W. says:

    Unfortunately – praise of others

  6. 56
    lavonda says:

    Deadlines motivate me more than anything. I hate this, but for some reason, I do my best when there’s an intensity to the situation. Especially if it’s for someone else. I tend to let my own messes go even past the ninth hour, but if it’s for one of my children or my husband, or my family/friends, I’ll get down to business much quicker about things. Makes me so frustrated when I fail my own expectations for myself. Does that makes sense?

  7. 57
    Julie Reynolds says:

    being an example to those He has entrusted to me is probably my biggest motivator lately, although sadly I still desire to please others also. Also at work and in my ministry having a due date or deadline always pushes me onward.

  8. 58
    Shelly says:

    Results! I don’t want to waste my time on something if I don’t see positive results or impact…. I’m very utilitarian that way.

  9. 59
    Andrea says:

    An utter and complete rendering of helplessness. When I realize that there is nothing I can possibly do to change a situation, I first roll around in self pity and pain but then something miraculous happens – I pick myself up and find another route and learn to deal with what I’ve been dealt.

    Praise be to Jesus, for always having a window open when a door slams.

  10. 60
    Terrie says:

    Challenge to see if I can really do it. If I don’t try, then I have already failed. Failure isn’t an option unless I try first.

  11. 61
    Martha says:

    I hate this about myself and often wonder where it comes from, but it’s definitely affirmation. Tell me that I am doing something good, or that I am beautiful, or that I a a wonderful mother etc… and I will be at your beck and call.. isn’t that awful? I confess it to God just about every night..I also do well with a deadline…

  12. 62
    Kaila says:

    Honestly, negative consequences. My biggest, and longest lasting, life changes have come from something negative happening to me. At times it’s been things that I’ve caused, like running my guts out away from God and being caught in the biggest mess you can imagine. At other times it has been things I haven’t caused like life threatning health issues. Either way, the negative consequences have definitely motivated me more than anything else.

  13. 63
    Jen H. says:

    I am always best motivated when I commit to doing something with another person who will hold me accountable. It’s not the competetive nature of doing it together. It’s just that I do not want to be embarassed that I am not fulfilling my commitment and the other person would know about it, especially if they are upholding their commitment. Wow… that sounds really wordy. I hope you get the gist… I’m not as gifted with words as you are, Beth! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 64
    Britany says:

    The pain of where I am motivates me to change – really change. I have to get to the end of myself before I’m ready to turn it over to Him. Sad but true.

  15. 65
    Colette says:

    Love motivates me!! If I love it, I have no problem doing it!! But if I don’t like something, I have a really hard time getting motivated to do it! So I need to pray extra hard when I do not feel motivated or dislike doing something!!! Prayer always helps!!

  16. 66
    Amy Young says:

    What motivates me the most โ€ฆ how sad, but it has to be making sure others don’t think I am the biggest moron on the planet. Im not trying to be super wife, super mom, super child of God โ€ฆ I just don’t want to be the worst one, so I try to be better each and every day at what I am doing. As long as I am not dead last, I feel good knowing that I am trying my very best to be as good as I can be.

  17. 67
    Jane says:


  18. 68
    Shelly says:

    motivator: approval and accomplishment (sorry, couldn’t pick just one–they are tied!)

    de-motivator: fear, nothing stops me in my tracks more.

  19. 69
    Diane says:

    I must honestly say that acceptance is what motivates me most.

  20. 70
    Melissa Simpson says:

    Love–pure, simple, and unconditional.

  21. 71
    ginny says:

    hurt or pain

  22. 72
    Leigh says:

    A thank-you motivates me. If someone shows me appreciation, I would do anything for them. I am embarrassed by public displays of appreciation. A card, an email, a phone call or any private appreciation means the world and motivate me like crazy not only to serve the giver of thanks but to serve others.

  23. 73
    tulip in Idaho says:

    My motivation is when I’m expected by someone, in person, to do something, be some place, etc. If not for that, I would be lazy and not do anything.

    My motivator is not a true friend (I wish) but is the real fear of disappointing someone, letting them down or being known for being unreliable. Being more concerned with outward appearances. I want people to like me.

  24. 74
    CrysHouse says:

    Biggest motivator? Being told I can’t. Then I have something to prove. And not only will I prove it, I’ll go above and beyond so that the person who said I couldn’t would have to turn around and declare that I am amazing.

    A close second would be fear.

  25. 75
    Jamie says:

    For better and for worse, I think my biggest motivator is whether or not I know that someone will be holding me accountable.

  26. 76
    Cassandra says:

    Approval from others

  27. 77
    Debbie says:

    Not so much praise from others (I love love love doing things that the recipient never knows it came from me) but fear of their disapproval. If I think I am about to get fussed at, I will jump into action more often than not.
    An example of that is going on a diet before my doctor’s check-up :0

  28. 78
    pam says:

    I’m motivated most by fear – of the consequences of not meeting someone else’s expectations This makes my own standards impossibly high and unrealistic. Perfectionism is slowly sapping my strength and energy and passion.

  29. 79
    Kim says:

    Challenges motivate me…I never want to be the one to give up! With that being said, fear of failure and control also motivate me! It’s quite a mix. I love to be competitive, but beat myself up in the competition with fear, doubt, and the desire to control the situation. I definitely need Jesus to set me straight each day!

  30. 80
    weavermom says:


    Sometimes that is a positive thing – it’s easy and cheap!

    Sometimes it is a negative thing, as it can be easily become approval of others.

  31. 81
    Ann says:

    The thing that can really get me ‘fired up’ is seeing someone who I think is being treated unfairly…the underdog. My adrenalin starts pumping! I’ll jump right in~ strangers and all.
    Ha, is that the Mother instinct? Or my teacher instinct?
    My own Mother has commented that I’m like a dog with a bone. ๐Ÿ™‚
    On the other hand, trying to get myself motivated to lose weight, pass up Mexican food, sweets, etc…I am sorely lacking. What’s up with that?
    love you sweet Mama Beth

  32. 82
    Kalonni says:

    When I am aware that Satan is tempting me with his calculated plan to lure me away from Christ, I am motivated to follow Christ’s way.

  33. 83
    Anonymous 4 says:

    Pressure motivates me. Sometimes it rears its head as competition, that “You’re not going to do better than me in…!” I have to jerk myself up short on that one at times before it gets out of control and redonkulous.

  34. 84
    Barb says:

    Tell me it can’t be done and I will show you it can.

  35. 85
    Tiff says:

    I think the key word would be desperation. Desperation that a deadline is looming and I must get something done. Desperation that someone might see my house in its normal lived-in state. ๐Ÿ™‚ Desperation that the way I’m doing things is just not working, if you know what I mean. I can relate to a ton of these other motivators, too… certainly can’t truly narrow it down to one, but that’s the first thing that jumped to mind!

  36. 86
    Kristi says:

    It depends. Usually affirmation really makes me try hard to do or be what the person seems to think I can do or be. Love for someone motivates me to do things for them. Fear motivates me to do things sometimes if I think I will look bad or someone will be mad. I HATE for people to be mad at me! Often pride is a motivator as well.

    I would love for my answer to be that what motivates me is the will and direction of Jesus. Maybe I’ll eventually get there…

  37. 87
    Antrobin says:

    Hi! I think one big thing which motivates me personally is when other take an interest in me… or in what I am doing. Is this positive ? Or negative ? Blessings.

  38. 88
    Karen Jokinen says:

    Being accountable seems to work the best for me.

  39. 89
    Becky W. says:

    I’m with Miss Amy Beth above: significance. I’m most definitely the center of my world (but Jesus is weasling in ^_^). But sometimes, I think God uses what He can. He just recently motivated me to some big change with a “I have created you for more than this” kind of kick in the butt. I was still motivated by my own significance, but I’m starting to see how much MORE significant God is.

  40. 90
    Kristi B. says:

    The thing that motivates me the most is Others. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it’s not so good. There are those times where I find myself comparing myself to others around me, this is not a good motivation at all. There are also those times where God places a good strong believer in my life and they motivate me to be a better Christian.

  41. 91
    Cathy S. says:

    Words of Encouragement. From humans and from God.

  42. 92
    twinkle says:

    I think what motivates me the most is having a vision for something. It’s like a little lightbulb that switches on in my head and I can see this cute flowerbed I need to make, or something I can do with a few odds and ends, or maybe a way to help someone or get something accomplished that I really don’t have the skills for. “Seeing” it in my head makes it easier to move forward.

  43. 93
    Susan Knowles says:

    I’ve actually thought about this a bit this last couple of years. I’ve gone back to work in the last 2 yrs. as my other family responsibilities have lessened. My job has been satisfying but has unexpectedly stopped then started several times. I found that I work better when I have purpose. So I think PURPOSE is my biggest motivator. Even if I don’t like whatever job I’m given if I can find purpose I am driven to do my best. I was even asking God in my quiet time recently to remind me that I can “work as for Him and not man” to help motivate me when the task isn’t my favorite thing to do.

  44. 94

    Truly can’t decide if this is positive or negative motivation…

    I am most deeply motivated by the knowledge/realization I would greatly disappoint someone I deeply love, respect, think highly of.

  45. 95
    Kelli says:

    Fear would be my biggest motivator with recognition being my reward. I fear all sorts of scenerios – not being smart enough at bible study, not having a clean enough house, not being a good mom, not always making the perfect food for an occassion, not ‘knowing’ everything about silly stuff, and on and on and on. It is exhausting!

    Worse yet, I fear so many types of situations but yet I throw myself into them in order to get the recognition reward I so desperately crave. I thrive on being the best and hearing someone tell me I’m the best. I love hearing someone say – without your help this task would have been impossible.

    I look for approval from every aspect of life and I am working diligently on getting it corrected in my mind. I have to remember to let Jesus fill my ‘glass’ up to overflowing and not rely on humans to do that. It just isn’t fair to the human race to have my self worth be their burden!

    Kelli in Colorado

  46. 96
    gretchen says:

    What a great question! There are a whole lot of things I wish I could say (Like, “Oh, I read a book!” or “Oh, I just followed so-and-so’s example,” etc., etc.) but the truth is that utter desperation and difficulty motivate me to seek real change more than anything else. I really, really, REALLY wish I could just read a book.

  47. 97
    Kathy Little says:

    Motivation, motivation, golly gee what aggravation.
    Makes me rise and act upon, or tells me it just don’t need done!
    What’s it look like? Let me say, he’s ever changing day to day.
    Sometimes he looks like a treat, “eat me after your work’s complete~”
    Sometimes he looks like a threat, “keep eating those snacks, you’ll get bigger yet!”
    Sometimes he looks like a friend, “cozy latte’s not a binge”
    But for all the looks he’s got, be my friend? No he’s not!
    I don’t need no motivation! What I need’s elimination!!
    Cut that fella outta my world and live on truth that will free this girl!
    Mo-ti-vators twist my thoughts,…… do it? don’t? Should? Should not?
    So I choose to go with the flow, seeking God’s truth, asking Him, “is it so?”
    And if He says, “yes, my child”, then forward I proceed, trusting Him with a smile!
    Truth I can trust—He’ll never change. But other motivators can leave me deranged!

  48. 98
    Patty says:

    Knowing that I can help someone or bring encouragement to another is a great motivator for me. If a friend calls and needs help, that is all it takes. I can add one more thing, a deadline. I really think I am crazy sometimes but give me a deadline and will meet it. I think it is the challenge in that to motivate me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. 99
    Brittany Y. says:

    When I think about what brings change most in me, it would be accountability + deadlines. Knowing that someone will be following up with me, at a specific time gives me the motivation to get something done/develop a changed behavior.

  50. 100
    jill says:

    Reverential Fear

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