What are the four ‘C’s to achieve self-motivation?


Scott Geller, in his TEDx Talk, elaborates on the psychology behind self-motivation. A renowned professor in psychology, he begins by highlighting the term “empowerment.” He distinguishes between the dictionary definition of empowerment, and feeling empowered. “Feeling empowered is when you’re self-motivated,” he says.

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In order to personally apply this distinction, he proposes three vital questions based on research, revealing the four Cs to feel self-motivated — consequences, competence, choices, and community.

Q1. “Can you do it? Do you have the time, the knowledge, and the training to do what we are asking you to do?” — Geller shortens this to “self-efficacy.”

Q2. “Do you think what we’re asking you to do will work?” — terming it “response-efficacy.”

Q3. “Is it worth it?” — believing this is the motivational question, he says, “This is about consequences. From the day you were born, everything you did was because you wanted something for doing it.”

Placing these three questions at the centrestage, he further says, “If you’ve answered a yes to all the questions, you would naturally feel competent.

Geller continues and sheds light on choice. “Be mindful of the choices you have. When you perceive choice, you perceive motivation. When you believe you have a sense of autonomy, a choice in what you’re doing, you feel self-motivated,” he says.

He urges the audience to push themselves and others around to become success seekers, instead of failure avoiders. “It’s all in how you see it. It’s all in how you communicate to others and how you communicate to yourself.”

Amid our journey to self-motivation, he introduces us to the final C, community — a sense of interdependence over independence. “Social support is critical. People who perceive a sense of relatedness and connection with other people, they feel motivated,” he says.

Geller believes the path to self-motivation lies in togetherness. “Give them the perception of competence. Teach them that consequences drive us. Let them perceive choices, and let it be known that its a community work. We’re all in this together, and we need each other,” he concludes.

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