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. 1001
    candy says:


    • 1001.1
      Pam says:

      Wow, its hard to pic just one! I can relate to almost every reply so far. In the end I have to say it’s been pain thats effectively motivated the changes in me. I’ve wanted out so desperatly that I took the shovel I used to dig the pit and started diggin for answers because I was so sick of hurting.

  2. 1002
    Bridget Cook says:

    I guess I am motivated out of fear of regret. When the towers fell, I finally decided to homeschool my two children. My husband had wanted me to since my son started Kindergarten. He was in second grade. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made, but it took a huge wake-up call to make me realize it.

  3. 1003
    Anne says:

    My motivator is love. Love for my children, grandchildren, my partner for life, his parents, sister. My sisters. My friends. My God. My Christ. My life. I love it all. Yes, there are bumps. But they are just that. Bumps. The bottom line is LOVE.

  4. 1004
    Stephanie Smith says:

    No doubt…SHAME.

    God let’s me roll around in it a while so I get a good dose, and then uses it bring light in my life by saying, “It doesn’t have to be this way. I have something better in mind and most importantly…I DON’T SEE YOU THAT WAY.”

  5. 1005
    Rachel in Arizona says:

    My husband’s approval.

  6. 1006
    Sharon West says:

    Being relied upon & counted on by family &/or friends (and having their confidence) to ‘come through’ and ‘make it happen’ some way, some how.

  7. 1007
    Tammy says:

    I would have to say the approval of others…mostly my husband’s.

  8. 1008
    Becky says:

    Trying to just do the next right thing.

  9. 1009
    Cinnamon says:

    Seeing someone else do it…I know I can’t do everything…nor do I want to. But, if there is something in my mind that I know I want to do, but am afraid or don’t know how…I learn best and am motivated by watching and learning from others who do something well.

    • 1009.1
      connie says:

      I agree with you Cinnamon! I keenly remember times of using others’ victories as well as their mistakes to help me better live my life in Christ’s ways and not my own.

  10. 1010
    Heather N says:

    Mission trips. When I went to Africa for the first time, I was wrecked (thank God) for the rest of my life (so far) Puts priorities and life in perspective

  11. 1011
    Holly Belt says:

    mine is spending quality time with my friends or immediate family

  12. 1012
    Jenny says:

    Adversity seems to bring out the best in me. That’s a real shame too!!

  13. 1013
    pat w says:

    PAIN to act. then KINDNESS to follow thru.

  14. 1014
    Nesha says:

    My boys, plain and simple! God gave me these 2 precious boys and as their mother I am working hard stopping the cycle of past generations of unstable situations.

  15. 1015
    Tammy Bellinger says:

    I am not really sure. I know competition does NOT motivate me. It just makes me quit before I start. I think that is a serious fear of failure, so I don’t even try.

    To motivate me, it has to really matter, and be important to me. On every day stuff, deadlines definitely help me get things done. Memorizing verses has been great for me this year. I saw your challenge last year, and wouldn’t even try, I was so sure I couldn’t do it. But, God has been growing me a lot this year, and He said NOW IS THE TIME! So far, He has blessed, and I have memorized more verses this year than I have since I was little. Praise you, Lord!
    Tammy, Ingleside, TX
    Praying for our sisters in Alabama. I don’t live there, but my kids do. So far, they are fine.

  16. 1016
    terryfunke says:

    Pain. Nothing makes me want to make a change in my life like pain. Emotional, mental, physical or spiritual pain

  17. 1017
    Diane says:

    Fear: of letting my kids down/failure because I didn’t do “enough” to do the right thing. It is a constant challenge for me to not give in to.

    First and foremost because of being a single parent; and second, because of the problems I face with my son. Not everyone allows me the “luxury” of remembering that I am human and have limits, it’s ok for me to be human & need support/help from others. Sadly, some still see me as “needy”, expect me to be superhuman, and judge how differently (I have to!)raise my son by their standards & their “normal” view of child rearing.

  18. 1018
    Sethy says:

    Passion for something motivates me…you won’t get me shifted otherwise as I bore easy! I work best to deadlines when the pressure is truly on.

  19. 1019
    Julie says:

    Words of affirmation.

  20. 1020

    Warmest Greetings always to you Beth,

    Overwhelming circumstances, it is what, more often than not, the Lord uses to motivate me to change. I’m led to rely on Him, to crave His presence, and to eagerly desire change in my life for the better, every time. I realize all over again that I can do nothing apart from Him, but He is able to enable me to do all things that He desires me to do through Himself (Christ) Who strengthens me. Hallelujah!

  21. 1021

    * VOICE OF GOD ~ God speaking through ordinary people – Luke 10:16 When you hear their words, you hear the Voice of God. In the past 24 hours, I have received Psalm 57:1 from several people I don’t even know. Have mercy on me, O God! He is!

    * SUFFERING ~ I went through PTSD, severe depression, and I thought I’d never be able to pull through it. So motivated me to find God in my despair. Then I went through cancer. So motivated me to wrestle to find a Good God. Suffering breaks us or we become self-made. Job 40:4 Job had it right—hand over mouth in Awe at our Author!

    * LONGINGS – Luke 18:1 We ought to always pray and not lose heart. The word in the Greek means to long (not a list of petitions) in the interior of our heart. My longings for my Beautiful God motivate me to love, and surprise me—a sinner, and draw me to Him.

    Loved reading the comments on this post!

  22. 1022
    Brooke Buffington says:

    I know there are over a thousand comments and mine may not be read…but my biggest motivator lately has been a christain friend. she loves me, and encourages me and motivates me to LISTEN and OBEY God even when I don’t wanna. Even when He tells me to contact my biological father who lives in my small town whom i have never even met. She encouraged me and gave me the strength to follow through. You can do it she said, you must do it.
    He wrote me back.

  23. 1023

    I know you said one, but I would like to encourage those who listed fear, regret, shame, etc. with my past motivator and my present one:

    PAST = Fear of man (what will others think, say, feel about me)

    PRESENT = God’s Love

    Hearing his voice helps me discover things more clearly, and opens my heart to conviction nearly the second I step off the path. Thanks for asking. It was a long journey from there to here, but as God opened my heart to see the lies I was believing and replaced them with His truth – I became free to live in a place where His direction and love matter most to me.

  24. 1024
    moongirl says:

    My very first thought was passion. IE: Seeing your PASSION for God’s Word stirs in me a GREAT passion, and a want for that kind of passion too! (For God’s Word)—THANKS!

  25. 1025
    Dee says:

    My kids in our crisis shelter. My passion is to be there for them since their parents cannot.

  26. 1026
    Annette says:

    What motivates me? When I finally get it, meaning the light bulb in my brain finally turns on and I understand, you know the ah-ha moment. Then I realize the Lord is working strongly in my life, I can see the print of His hand, and I feel lifted up, encouraged, and thus motivated to continue persevering.

  27. 1027
    Dora says:

    Other people motivate me. Especially when they raise the bar so high that I’m sure I will break my neck trying to reach it. I don’t like doing anything that’s easy – the tougher, the better. The challenge of it turns into passion for me.

  28. 1028
    Jagette says:

    The Lord is my biggest motivator.

  29. 1029
    Radical Abandonment says:

    Short term goals motivate me. Also pleasing people is something that motivates me. Sometimes it is positive, sometimes not.
    Ultimately I would like it to be pleasing the Lord!

  30. 1030
    Astrid says:

    what motivates me most? deep, heartfelt yearning/ desire, even more specifically a longing unfulfilled. the longing for a child in the face of fertility issues was very powerful for me and became the catalyst to exploring what was truly at the bottom of that overwhelming desire. it made me confront some real deep wounds and thinking errors that i would have never dug into otherwise, including issues with faith and Gods involvement amidst our obstacles. all i can say is that i have become whole in a way i never thought possible in addition to expecting our third child 🙂

  31. 1031
    Fancey says:

    Fear has been my secret motivator for a lot of things for years. That was until Saturday. On Saturday, I picked up my copy of So Long Insecurity that I bought six months ago. It has been a year since my husband left. I was teetering on the edge. Then, I delved into that book. I have never read or written in a book so feverishly in my life. So today, having finished the book. I can say that I am now motivated by a passion to be the woman God has called me to be since I heard his voice at five years old. And I can say that because I had the chance to act of out fear today with my ex-husband and didn’t. Just a baby step that was as big as the first step onto the moon for me.

  32. 1032
    Sherry Smith says:

    I have just been watching a video series on why Motivation is dangerous (www.stopsabotage.com) (Sean Smith has free videos on youtube) Motivation wanes! Has to be renewed constantly. We have a saying that Motivation like a Bath needs to be done daily. Motivation can be good for short term things.

    It has to come from within (inspiration) passion from what drives you…your beliefs and your values….when they aline with your passion you continue to be driven. You then have a PURPOSE for what you are doing!

    Sorry about the length of this, It may not be anything you are looking for.

    But one of the videos said that our drivers (beliefs and values) are things that are under the surface (unseen) but they drive our habits and language(self talk) (the seen).

  33. 1033
    Jackie says:

    I’m afraid of letting someone down. If I say I’m going to do something or if I’m expected to do something I do it.

    I’m working on not letting God down right now. Pray for me please! 😉

    • 1033.1
      Fancey says:

      I will, seriously, pray for you. And I wanted to say that you can’t let God down. He is with you and in you. In your weakness, His power gets the chance to shine through. He loves us so fully and knows us so fully. Rest in Him. As long as you are seeking Him earnestly, He can take care of the rest. I just felt I needed to say that.

  34. 1034
    Stacey says:

    The people I love motivates me. Looking in their eyes and having to tell on myself, or share a story in hopes they will not repeat my mistakes, or do something the opposite of what I want to do because I fear I will have to share it with them. Does that mean I’m a people pleaser. I don’t want my people to be ashamed of me just in love with me. I have issues I guess 🙂

  35. 1035
    Cheryl A says:

    Sadly, what usually motivates me is anger. The kind of anger that says “that’s it, enough is enough” or “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired”. It’s a useful kind of anger that’s with me just long enough to get me up and past the pity party. The anger motivates me to pick myself up by the nap of the neck and head out the door for a long walk and develop a plan to get back on track. As my pastor says “re-rack”. I set in motion a plan of some kind of a fresh new bible study as a spring board for spiritual satisfaction, something for emotional feeding and some kind of physical challenge. This seems to be my pattern to quickly get me in a place that I am better able to serve others in a giving way instead of a needy way.

  36. 1036
    JoAnn from Houston says:

    To please my God in everything ! I’m in no way perfect in this, but the desire to please Him who loves me in spite of myself helps to lead me back in the right direction.

  37. 1037
    Joy from Arkansas says:

    To hear Him say, “Well done.” Raised with fear, then guilt motivating me, I now just want to honor Jesus by doing what He asks of his people.

  38. 1038
    Melissa says:

    On a negative note, anger has motivated me to change jobs, when I could’ve easily stayed in that same job for years and never gone for my dream of being a hair stylist.
    On a postive note, I think being encouraged, is a strong motivator for me.

  39. 1039
    Donita says:


  40. 1040
    Shawna says:

    The desire to help someone else, especially those who are facing a difficult situation. Sometimes I wonder if this is self-serving, because there is such reward in helping another. My prayer each morning is “Please Lord help it be for the right reason.”

  41. 1041
    Tautchia says:

    without a doubt, for me it is the need for approval. Sometimes it is approval from others, including my kids and my husband, and sometimes it is approval from myself. I seem to think that I am only worthy if I have gone above and beyond. Approval from total strangers even plays into the mix. Sometimes I am concerned with receiving God’s approval, forgetting that He loves me regardless.

  42. 1042
    Deirdre says:

    fear mostly. or if you want to phrase it in a positive direction – what motivates me is the desire for approval. Fortunately I’m trying to focus on God’s approval at the moment. But there are plenty of times when the threat of someone removing their approval rocks my world and makes me move mountains to win it back.

  43. 1043
    Michelle says:

    “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

  44. 1044
    Kelsi says:

    I’m 16, and when people tell me I can’t do something, I become intensely motivated to do it. Recently, my mom said I couldn’t memorize James 1 and 2, and I memorized it in two weeks!

  45. 1045
    Judy Adkins says:

    Very interesting and thought-provoking. I’m giving my answer serious thought

  46. 1046
    Sarah says:

    Hate to admit it, but I think my biggest motivator is attention from others. I’m sure that is the embodiment of insecurity, but I’m reading your book now so I’ll let ya know. 🙂

  47. 1047
    ouida says:

    let the words of my mouth and the meditaions of my heart be acceptable o LOrd My redeemer. ps. 19 ;4 ouida

  48. 1048
    Pam Wright says:

    The Cross!

  49. 1049
    Erin says:

    I am behind and trying to get caught up on blog posts I’ve missed. This really struck me because it is an issue I am currently dealing with. I would love to say that Love itself is my true motivator, but honestly, it is approval. I am an approval addict.

  50. 1050
    Myra Price says:

    Hey Beth, Thought you might enjoy this one from us Senior Citizens (66 and counting.)See we can learn to use text messaging! LMDO (Oh, I don’t have dentures.)See I learned not to lie about LOL from your teaching.
    ATD -at the doctor. BFF -best friend fell. BTW -bring the wheelchair. BYOT -bring your own teeth. FWIW -forgot where I was. GGPBL -gotta go, pacemaker battery low. GHA -got heartburn again. IMHO -is my hearing aid on? LMDO -laughing my dentures out. OMMR -on my massage recliner. ROFLACGU -rolling on floor laughing and can’t get up. TTYL -talk to you louder! Repost to share a laugh♥

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