Human beings have 5 psychological motivators: *Prestige, Curiosity, Security, Experience, or Connection.*
To quote PhD students working for Tickle.com, these motivators are defined as:
*Prestige:* The Prestige Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to be publicly admired, to win in competitive situations, to be in a position of authority, or to have enviable possessions or wealth.
*Curiosity:* The Curiosity Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to be independent, to understand how things work, to have new and diverse experiences, and to explore your physical relationships.
*Experience:* The Experience Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to be attractive, to indulge in sensual pleasure, and to be stimulated by your environment or activity.
*Stability:* The Stability Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to be safe, to understand cause and effect relationships, to avoid ambiguity and uncertainty, and to accomplish difficult tasks through skill.
*Connection:* The Connection Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to belong to a group, to have fun, to care for others, to be the center of attention, and to be publicly recognized for your efforts.
Everyone has a bias towards one or two of these. You have a primary and a secondary motivator.
Being able to identify these in yourself is critical for helping you to consciously control your motivation level toward anything at all.
The first step is identifying the motivators that apply to you. Then with practice, you can control your motivation by adjusting your perspective towards a task.
*My primary motivator is Prestige* – “Fear of Failure” is an attribute of the prestige motivator. It can be problematic to have Prestige as your primary motivator because it requires you to insist on coming first. Nothing wrong with that – except that if you feel you won’t come first, you’ll avoid/detest the task altogether. I therefore find myself hating sports, etc.
*To control this problem I’ve learnt adjust my perspective* on the task and fall back onto my secondary motivator which is curiosity: a thirst for knowledge about any given subject or task. Doing this can increase my motivation level towards a task I might otherwise detest.
This is a handy skill to learn. Try it out for yourself, I hope it is similarly useful.