Positive and Negative Motivation

Positive and Negative Motivation

Have you ever felt a sudden desire to change your entire life suddenly? You must have felt that deep need to wake up early, be productive and do all the things that you have been putting off. This particular feeling is called motivation and we need lots of it to fulfill our potential in life.

Let us find out exactly what this feeling is and why it is so important.

What is Motivation?

In simple terms, motivation is the guiding force that makes us want to do things. This internal process is a drive that pushes us to make a change- a change in behaviour, habits or relationships. It is the voice in the back of our mind telling us, “You can do this!” or “You can do  better than this.” 

In a way, motivation is like a cheerleader that we all need. This feeling asserts confidence and self-respect. This is why it is very important. When we are motivated, we rise and take action otherwise we tend to procrastinate.

Why is Motivation Important?

Although motivation comes and goes, it is still a vital part of the human experience. It is in our nature to strive towards a direction that could result in our betterment. Motivation provides great insights into understanding our behaviour and helps us identify what drives us, what we are interested in, and helps us decode the purpose of life. It helps us to identify what makes us truly happy and filter out the meaningless noise. 

Types of Motivation

Can anything be purely positive or negative? Obviously not. In the same way, there are two distinct types of motivation- positive and negative motivation. 

It is not uncommon that people are struggling every day with motivation. For most people, it is hard to understand what kind of motivation they are facing. They start working by being motivated, but they don’t understand which kind of motivation they are using.

Every action relates to our thoughts. Every decision and behaviour is rooted in the mind’s perception of pleasure and pain. Therefore, the kind of motivation we respond to depends on our outlook. 

Based on the above information, there are two kinds of motivation by which we can motivate ourselves, these are  Positive and Negative motivation. In short, positive motivation gives rewards and negative motivation gives pain.


Positive Motivation

It is the reward-based motivation that tries to create a willingness to perform better. It improves performance and increases mutual cooperation among everyone. Positive motivation could mean  monetary, non-monetary or both types of rewards.

What could be the driving force of this motivational technique? It is the imagination of possessions attached to success. It is the visualisation of the results. Whether it is, a chocolate for scoring good marks or a raise after promotion. It is the expectation of the reward that is the key. Positive motivation is the catalyst that keeps you consistent on the path of achieving your goals.

The most helpful tip would be to break down your goal into small-term targets, and you can celebrate each milestone with a reward. This way you will be able to achieve your goal at a much more relaxed pace while enjoying the fruits of your hard work. An immediate sense of accomplishment is a good push in the right direction. Also, it is a good feeling, isn’t it?

Negative Motivation

Negative motivation is exactly the opposite concept. In this case, the anticipation of a bad outcome or the fear of consequences is the driving force. Fear is a powerful motivator, especially when that fear relates to your survival or social standing. In these situations, it is the fear that motivates us to finish our tasks. Fear of consequences upon failure to complete those tasks can also be a huge contributing factor. 

Some amount of fear is healthy. Feeling fear makes us realise the importance of our goals. For example, you are punctual at work, because being late can cost you the job or completing all your deadlines in time because failure to do so will cause unnecessary stress and make you feel overwhelmed. 

Although negative motivation is driven by fear, it can work for some people. The threat of loss can be so powerful, that can actually motivate people to do things. The looming threat of punishment can be so strong that it can motivate people.

Which One is Better?

People are all driven by different factors and they all function differently. Motivation is also a very tricky thing. Once you are motivated, it can last you all week and help you tick off all the tasks in your to-do list, and at other times there just isn’t any to function on a daily basis.

It is rather tough to ascertain which one is better than the other. It all comes down to the person. But, having a healthy balance of both can only help you to achieve all your goals in a much better way in a hassle free manner.


Whether it is positive or negative, motivation is a very important part of our lives. It helps to be aware of which style of motivation suits your personality. It sheds some light on what drives us, and identifying that aspect is key to reaching your goal faster and in a better manner. One which is stress and anxiety-free.

Comments (1)

It's a nice article thanks for giving valuable content zishabh.in

zishabh.in on, 25 Jun 2021 12:06 PM

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