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. 201
    Carol says:

    Functional or Dysfunctional.
    Constructive or Destructive.

  2. 202
    sherrylu says:


    fear of rejection…..i am an obessive-compulsive-over-achieving people pleaser. i wish i could grasp the truth that because of the blood of Jesus i AM accepted. man, the enemy sure knows how to get me on this one.

  3. 203
    Jerry Ann says:

    When I had a very difficult decision, Christ placed a question into my daughters mouth, and I answered. It was very difficult to leave an abusive marriage, but knowing that it made the difference in her life on how marriage works, truly priceless.

    My kids still motivate me, but more to get up to be the example that they need on a daily basis. To walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

  4. 204
    Donna says:

    If I am going to be truly honest, I am most motivated by discomfort. Emotional, physical, spiritual, mental pain and discomfort are always the things that motivate me to LASTING change.

  5. 205
    Ericka says:


    I’ve been told so many times in my life that I could never have it. And now I strive for it, like a dog for a biscuit, it’s so sad.

  6. 206
    Amy says:

    One word: Desperation.

  7. 207
    Christy says:

    Feeling loved and accepted–a heartfelt “atta girl” gets me a long way!

  8. 208
    Melissa F. says:

    Encouragement. When someone takes the time to encourage me, verbally affirm me then I want to take on the world!!

  9. 209
    Renee says:

    Peer pressure/positive role models
    I’m 54!

  10. 210
    Stephanie says:

    If I’m being completely honest with myself…and all of you….unfortunately the answer is nothing. I think I have managed to crawl my way back into the darkened trance of the walking dead. Not living, not dying, just existing. I know there’s hope, though. Perhaps, as others have stated, when desperation takes complete hold motivation may come.

    • 210.1
      Paula says:

      Praying for you, Stephanie, that you will come out of this season of darkness with a new song in your heart and on your lips for Him (Psalm 144:9.)

  11. 211
    Margie says:

    (I hope this didn’t post already b/c my computer isn’t working!)
    Unfortunately, fear motivates me more than I’d wish on anybody. Fear of being alone, of being destitute, of being ignored, disapproved of or being left out…. personally or professionally.

    No one would know this sad truth. I look very involved, active, relational, cheerful, etc…. Only God knows how encouragement soaks in like a teeny drop of rain on the parched soil!

  12. 212
    Laura says:

    Holy Dissatisfaction. I am not even sure that is a real word! It really takes me being really, really miserable before I am willing to change. I would rather stay in a bad situation than risk having no situation at all. Thankfully, I have a faithful God who won’t let me get away with it. PRAISE YOU FATHER!

  13. 213
    Chesney says:

    Around January and February I went through a very dark season of feeling worthless about myself. Jesus gave me Isaiah 62:4 (which is now in my spiral). What He spoke to my heart was that I am not desolate or deserted, but that He DELIGHTS in me. I do not have to earn His delight, rather His delight in me MOTIVATES me to please Him. I adore Him! His timing is perfect…I’ve been discouraged today and reading my Sister’s posts has strengthened me. Thanks all! : )

  14. 214
    Stacy DeWitt says:

    I think the most powerful motivator in my life is seeing an outstanding quality in someone else’s life and wanting to duplicate that. It’s so motivating to me because I see that it’s possible to walk it out!

  15. 215
    waylene says:


  16. 216
    Katie says:

    The joy that I know will come and does come when I use the gifts God gave me. This is hugely motivating to keep pressing on, serving and moving forward.

  17. 217
    Ginnie says:

    Sadly, the approval of others.

  18. 218
    Dawn says:

    My Kids are my biggest motivator – I don’t want to pass down my struggles. I want to pass down victory and knowledge – blessings and not curses. The second motivator for me is a deadline. When something absolutely must be done and cannot be put off any longer, I find a way to get it done.

  19. 219
    MrsRitz says:


  20. 220
    Natalie says:

    Deadlines. Pure and simple!

    Thank you for your servant’s heart, Beth, and for your passion for God’s word. It is catching! Praise God.

  21. 221
    Mandi says:

    Desperation. I changed when I was desperate for God. My marriage changed when I was desperate and out of options. I wish I could say “faith” or “dedication.” Desperation feels so weak. But there it is.

  22. 222


    A paper due in University would only get done the night before it was due. While I try to prepare as a speaker, I find my best prep and practice for a talk happens the night prior. I successfully lost weight when I knew I wanted to get x number of pounds off by a certain date – the date we were leaving for a Dominican vacation.

  23. 223
    Rebecca says:

    What other people think.

  24. 224
    Sarah S. says:

    A goal, any goal, will motivate me to PLAN how I could actually accomplish it: get out my day timer/ calendar, schedule all the work to be done, break it into incremental goals — I can PLAN like nobody’s business.

    But to be motivated to ACCOMPLISH my plan? Accountability. (Stickers are fun, too, as some have mentioned — but it isn’t the prize, it’s the approval of the sticker- police. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) A real human asking me where I am in the project. And holding my feet to the fire about it. Love someone that will love me enough to do that.

  25. 225
    Tammie Head says:

    I couldn’t stand it. I HAD to comment on this one!

    Here is my answer: Predominate changes have come in my life when I’ve grown so sick of myself, and the bondage, that I couldn’t take it anymore and WHOLEHEARTEDLY cried out in surrender.

    I love you to pieces and am praying for you!!

  26. 226
    Jillian says:

    My son… I want to be the best me so he can be the best him… I do so many things I don’t want to do because I know it is best for him, right down to cooking healthy meals!

    • 226.1
      Melissa Wang says:

      Jillian I just wanted to say that I am right there with you on this. God took my world and flipped it and turned me into something I never wanted to be. A home school mom to a special needs child who requires so much including the meal thing. But it is everything I was meant to be.
      Just wanted to say you are awesome for being your son’s hero ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. 227
    Rebecca says:

    Fear of not gaining love and approval (or gaining it). That almost sounds like three or four, but I promise they are all rolled into one.

    Prayers and blessings,

  28. 228
    Kerri says:

    Regret…not wanting to feel it anymore – as much as it is in my power – over what I have or more often, have not, done.

  29. 229
    Meagan says:

    I am 100% motivated by words. My love language is not surprisingly “words of affirmation”. That applies in my love life, work life, and pretty much everything else. I want to KNOW that I have done a good job. When I don’t get those words, rolling around in the back of my mind is “what did I do wrong?” For the first few years of my work, my boss didn’t know that was my language — so needless to say, the first few years of work I felt like I completely stunk. And now that I have kids — the biggest compliment I can get is that I am a good mom or I have decent kids. Totally words. The end ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. 230
    Barb says:

    Based on the question example – what motivates me the most to change is when I am completely tired of being heartsick from the pity pit I am in, desperately wanting out, it pushes me to seek understanding, find ways to get out, and search for unconditional love!

  31. 231
    Nancy says:

    In a normal sense -economic reward motivates me (i.e paycheck for work, money for surveys etc). But in the big life changing sense -emotional ruin (like having a depressive episode, losing a friend, having some chaos in life) motivates me to make lasting change

  32. 232
    Barb Schwarz says:

    Guilt – that I haven’t done ‘enough’.

  33. 233
    Tina says:

    People. People that have faith in me and encourage me and give me hope.

  34. 234
    Alyssa says:

    Honestly—-crisis situations motivate me the most effectively. And I really don’t like that about myself. When the going gets tough, I get moving in whatever area of life I find myself in: finances, my children’s behavior, relationship struggles, and it goes on and on…I immediately become more consistent and disciplined in those areas during the crisis.

  35. 235
    antnette says:

    The scale. No. No, I’m not kidding.

  36. 236
    Carolina Cheesehead says:

    A great mentor or someone who is authentically in love with the Lord. Just watching their life motivates me to want more of Him. (You have been a motivator for me in the area of loving the Word more)

    That and accomplishment. I love the feeling of completing a task well.

  37. 237
    Dana says:

    I would say a sense of accomplishment for myself and/or pleasing the people around me!

  38. 238
    Susan says:

    What truly motivates me most is the sheer brevity of life and knowing that this journey ends in seeing Christ’s beautiful face.

  39. 239
    Ivy Six-Pack says:

    The fear of looking bad. I clean my house for fear someone will think I am a bad housekeeper. I make a healthy meal for fear someone will say I feed my kids junk. I dress nicely for fear someone will say I look frumpy. I do my Bible study for fear someone will say I don’t have a good relationship with Jesus. It’s ugly, but it is the truth.

  40. 240
    Sarah G. says:

    Someone beat me to it, but mine is also guilt. I knew immediately when I read the question what my answer would be. And if you had asked me when I was a little girl, the answer would’ve been the same. The guilt usually involves feeling like I might let someone down if I do or don’t do something…..sometimes that applies to feeling I will let God down. Btw: Living Proof Live in Little Rock meant a lot to me, especially because we are in the middle of a problem-plagued international adoption of a child with special needs. I needed then encouragement to endure the hard for the sake of the good. I even blogged about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. 241

    Sweet Beth,
    As much as I hate to admit it, & for so much of my life–the #1 motivator –approval addiction!

    Thankful the Lord hasn’t given up on me yet.

    Still seeing the aftermath of what God used you to do in the lives of women at LPL-LR!
    We are crazy about you!

  42. 242
    Becky in Indy says:

    Knowing that certain people that I highly respect/love will appreciate it (I don’t care that much if others will appreciate it, but the appreciate of those chosen few close ones are very motivating for me)

  43. 243
    Valerie J. says:

    Not my only motivator, but is definitely one of them – Desperation!

  44. 244
    Tiffany says:

    I have always struggled finding motivation in my life. I often feel I’m not motivated by anything and get frustrated trying to make up a motivator.

    When I really think about the things I have done and how I’ve been able to see them through the answer is my husband. If he isn’t supportive or even outwardly encouraging me in what I am doing it seems to dwindle. But if he’s right there with me, spurring me on, I see it through.

    Thank you for asking this question or I may not have fully realized this!

  45. 245
    Tara says:

    The fear of failure is a major motivator for me.

  46. 246
    MiChal says:

    Desperation motivates me — looming deadlines, a marriage crisis, bad medical test results. But motivation to clean house can also comes from anger (when I’m made I clean; go figure)…or an iPod loaded with music that makes me want to dance and sing.

  47. 247
    Brittany says:

    I think what motivates me the most is the desire to be perfect, really unhealthy I know.. but I hate seeing my faults and I don’t want others to see them either. When they are exposed, I try really hard to figure out what’s going on so that I can work on it. I even feel bad now for admitting that perfection is my greatest motivator..lol.

  48. 248
    ForeverHis says:

    Satisfaction of a job well done.

  49. 249
    Shelley says:

    I know you said one, but there is ONE for TWO separate situations.

    1. When others are involved – I’m motivated by the fear of letting them down; I never want to disappoint anyone or go back on my word. I’ll work so much harder for someone else than I ever will for “just little ‘ole me.”

    2. When others are not involved (a personal goal or commitment) – Success/rewards – even in the tiniest amounts. Those little moments when “it works” really help me to press on or keep going. On the flip side, when I get so far “gone” that I feel I’m falling beyond the boundaries, I’ll get a little nudge to pick myself up and not quit. The first moment of success gets me back in the saddle again. I’ll even give myself a “reward” for the success – a sticker for my journal, or weight chart, or a good little encouraging talking to in the mirror. I’m with Elaine (above) when it comes to those little rewards – even if they are self-given!!

  50. 250
    Deboranne says:

    Pleasing others motivates me best most of the time…and I would not say that’s always a “healthy” motivator.

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