Getting to the Next Level: Self-Motivation
by Lisa Miadovnik, MSc.
Whether in your diabetes management, sport performance, academic pursuits, or any area in life, there are common skills that help you get there. The first 2 articles covered Resilience and Smart Choices. This article will talk about the importance of Self-Motivation.
Think of a time when you were really good at something.
Maybe you raised a lot of money for a cause. Maybe you improved a lot in one particular athletic season, or did really well in a contest because you put a lot of hard work in. Maybe it was something else…
Most times, in order to be good at something, we first have to want to be good at it. When we want to succeed in something really badly, we don’t need constant encouragement from other people, but instead are self-motivated to do well and work hard.
Self-motivated athletes are the ones who practice on days off and constantly push themselves to do more and reach new heights, even when no one is watching. In skating (and in school, and work), I have always found that the more I put in, the more I get out. If I put the minimum effort into a practice, I don’t improve much – but if I show up to practice, ready to listen intently to my coach’s instruction and apply the instruction I’m given, that’s where the real progress happens.
We can all look back and find times when we have been self-motivated – but it’s easy to be self-motivated to do something we’re passionate about. It’s much harder to be self-motivated for things we are obliged to do, or things we feel are chores – like taking care of our health at times. Nevertheless, the same need for self-motivation applies, if we want to succeed.
Being self-motivated with type 1 diabetes means doing the extra work when no one is looking over you, simply because you want to be better. It means taking accountability and caring for your diabetes, without anyone having to nag you about it. It means checking your blood sugars regularly, asking yourself what might have caused a high or low, and thinking about how you can balance your sugars better in the future. While you didn’t choose to have diabetes, diabetes doesn’t have to hold you back. I hope you can find the same motivation for your diabetes, that you do for things you are truly passionate about.
Remember, this is your life. You only get one, so take control and know that you can live the life you dream of if you want it badly enough. It all starts with a decision to be better than average. If you can make the commitment to be the best you can be, and demonstrate resilience, smart choices, and self-motivation on a daily basis, you will find yourself accomplishing amazing things!