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When extrinsic motivation is a good thing...

In the field of performance psychology, we always preach that athletes should be intrinsically motivated, to find your WHY, because that is what will keep you going. However, talking lately with successful high-level athletes, and hearing them say that the biggest key to their success was that they wanted to prove people wrong. That those that didn't believe in them was their biggest motivator, something external. So, this trend I seem to be noticing, has me thinking, that this type of extrinsic motivation is a good thing. That we can use what negativity is thrown towards us, as a positive motivator.


Athletes often worry about what teammates, and peers think of them. What will they think if I fail... is often the phrase I hear from athletes in our current age. This is the flip side of extrinsic motivation that can be detrimental. When we have tied our performance to the accolades and approval of others, then we become consumed with gaining approval every time we compete, which is nearly impossible.


So how can we flip the switch on this narrative from "what will they think if I fail" to "watch me be successful" and develop a prove em wrong mentality? Because this is the good type of extrinsic motivation. Prove em wrong, let them think you are crazy...


I think this is how....Stop leaving room for them to dictate your performance. They don't get to decide whether you succeed or fail. They don't get to decide who you are and your worth. They only get to watch. Watch you climb the ranks. Watch you perform well. Watch you become your best self. We must flip the switch on the narrative. Don't leave the space in your mind to fill with these thoughts, lest it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are going to be motivated externally in this way, then this is the only way. Use the negativity to propel you. Use their words of discouragement to drive you forward. It's your decision only, you get to decide.

at is where the power is.

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