What motivates your teen?
How to motivate teenagers.
What motivates you might switch your teen off.
Therefore, trying to get them to do something that they have no interest in, could lead to resistance.
This resistance often looks like boredom, low energy, and avoidance.
They may still do it out of respect for you, but what you see is a half-hearted effort.
Motivation is a personal thing!
True motivation comes from within. In other words, we cannot motivate our teenagers; they need to find it within themselves.
However, if we know what inspires them, we can pour oil on the track and help them tap into their passion.
Therefore, our job is to help them discover what switches them on and then support them to grow it.
The motivation that comes from within is known as intrinsic motivation.
It is genuine, it is emotional, and it is a powerful driving force.
It is also an observable quality. For example, we all know what low-motivation versus high-motivation looks like.
We can see it, and we can feel it! I know you know what I mean because we have all personally experienced both at some point in our lives!
Intrinsic motivation is important because a life without passion, enthusiasm, and motivation leads to emptiness, disappointment, and under-achievement. On the other hand, a life full of inspiration, excitement, and motivation leads to greater happiness and personal fulfilment.
What motivates your teen?
Obviously, this is the million-dollar question! However, it can be answered, and they will be much happier when you help them figure it out (you will be too)!
The first step is gaining a self-understanding, discovering who they are, their natural skills, strengths, and talents. As a part of that process, they will also begin to hone in on the things that interest them. In other words, tapping into motivation is initially about figuring themselves out.
The second step is about encouragement, encouragement, and more encouragement.
Our job is to support growth in their self-confidence and help them develop belief in themselves and their abilities.
The third step is about realising what they value in life. Fulfilment comes from satisfying our personal interests, values, and emotional needs.
For example, someone who says, “I love my job”, is saying that “the work I do is fulfilling”. This is commonly called “job satisfaction”.
A person who feels happy doing what they are doing will appear motivated, enthusiastic, and contented. In contrast, someone who is not getting value satisfaction doing what they are doing will appear unhappy, demotivated, and low on energy.
We’re all different. Therefore, what motivates one person may be of no interest to another. That’s why each of us needs to figure out what switches us on.
Step four is about developing goals and dreams that take advantage of our skills and strengths and satisfy what we value in life.
Sports stars “see themselves” achieving the thing they are aiming at long before they actually do it in reality. Therefore, another vital part of successful goal setting is visualisation. Other must-have ingredients are desire (a hunger to achieve), self-belief, and loads and loads of action!
A final thought for reflection.
There is no magic pill that creates motivation. Helping your teen discover what motivates them takes dedication and time. However, the personal rewards are enormous!
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Being diagnosed with dyslexia, labelled remedial, and regularly told that I was a “stupid boy” affected my self-esteem.
Worse still, I carried low self-worth into my adult life. Yet, later, when I learned how to challenge my destructive mindset, I began to feel happier.
I thought, if I can change my way of thinking, anyone can!
And so, in 1996 I founded Mindscreen and began developing resources to help children to believe in themselves and go after their dreams.
That’s how the Mindscreen experience® came into being. I hope it helps your children as much as it has helped me!