Self-Determination Theory

Enhancing Self-Motivation by Meeting Basic Needs

Three darts hitting a bullseye.

Discover three basic needs of Self-Determination Theory.

© iStockphoto/CGinspiration

For a moment, think about how motivated you've felt at various times over the last few years. At some points, your motivation may have been high – if so, you will have felt engaged, energized, and filled with purpose. At other points, you probably felt listless, disengaged, or apathetic, and it may have been a real struggle to keep things moving forward.

Many of us recognize instinctively that motivation comes and goes. But what causes these highs and lows? Why are some people consistently engaged and motivated, while others feel demoralized and powerless? And why can't we be motivated and engaged all of the time, so that we can consistently produce our best work?

These are just some of the questions that Self-Determination Theory addresses. In this article, we'll look at how you can use it to increase your motivation and improve your job satisfaction.

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