What Is Achievement Motivation and How to Use It?

“Keep going!” “You can do it!” “You got this, don’t quit!” These are just a many of the exclamations of support from others

Achievement motivation is defined as the need for achievement and is an important determinant of aspiration, effort, and persistence when an individual expects that their performance will be evaluated in relation to certain standards of excellence.[1]

While the dictionary definition can provide more context, you still might be wondering, what is achievement motivation and how does one use it?

Let’s take a deeper look to help you not only understand but maybe even get a leg up in your workouts and other areas of your life.

AMT explains the integral relationship between an individual’s characteristics and their need to achieve something in their life. It also considers the kind of competitive drive a person must achieve and set goals. Other examples you may can relate to are how you perform at school, work, or even a local football league.

In all cases, there are multiple forces at work. An essential component to note is the presence of internal and external factors, which play a key role in motivation. The theory explains that the motivation one must achieve something in life is closely controlled by these factors.
All in all, both the internal and external factors gave me the boost needed to finish.

Other Influential Factors
Apart from the other factors mentioned above, various factors also have potential to influence and interact with your achievement motivation, especially in a setting with others such as CrossFit. Some can be categorized as internal and others external, but they all intertwine and can play a part.

Your values, cultural background, educational background, external support from the organization you may be a part of, awards, the celebration of accomplishments, recognizing success, providing constructive feedback, and one grow by providing a proper support mechanism are all important and play a vital role in achieving the required motivation.

The old saying is that “we are a product of our environment” this can be true when it comes to achievement motivat environment. This example shows us the power of the external components.

Achievement Motivation Success Depends on You—Or Does It?
Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Sure, I can agree that the outside world influences me, but I make my own choices. I’m motivated from within.” Yes, this is true. We all make our own choices and are driven by our inner emotions.

We are all emotional beings who occasionally think and not the other way around. Here is where you take a step back and consider what your usual motivators are in each situation. Are you usually driven more by intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? Here’s a refresher on those two pieces of the puzzle in case you may not be familiar with.

Extrinsic motivation – an external incentive to engage in an specific activity, especially motivation arising from the expectation of punishment or reward.

It sounds like, “I really want that promotion to make more money.” You are driven by the external reward of money.

Intrinsic motivation – an incentive to engage in a certain activities that derives from pleasure in the activity itself rather than because of any external benefits that might be obtained.

It sounds like, “I’m going to work hard to get that promotion so I can be more fulfilled at my workplace.”

You are driven towards the achievement getting that promotion by your persistent hard work.

When you add these into the mix, the picture becomes clearer. Your experiences may differ from situation to situation, but you will typically have an affinity towards one over the other.

Success Vs. Failure
Another key aspect is the concept that achievement motivation stems from two separate needs. One is the motivation to achieve and is related to one’s desire to accomplish successful goals, and the other is the motive to avoid failure.[2]

Some individuals are hesitant to take on the responsibilities of having to accomplish goals or employ in activities because they are afraid to fail. The motive to avoid failure includes worries about the consequences of failing, self-criticism, and diversion of attention, accelerated heart rate, or nervousness, which can all lead to poor performance.

In contrast, those who feel the need to achieve successful goals are more motivated to persist at goals they know they can accomplish, which means that your achievement-oriented behaviour is influenced by the strength of your tendency to achieve success.

These are especially prevalent in areas where performance can be evaluated as attention is drawn to the determinative role of extrinsic motivational tendencies which appear to be achievement-oriented activities. This means that it may be difficult to tell whether the driving force is extrinsic motivation or achievement motivation.

Is It Really Achievement Motivation?
At this point, you may be confused and wondering if achievement motivation really exists or if it’s just another type of motivation in disguise. Trust me, some of these components may muddy the waters a bit, but there is one over-arching principle that will shake your belief in achievement motivation.

According to Achievement Motivation Theory, a person’s needs to achieve something and the reason behind his/her motivation to achieve a certain goal, often, comes from within and is strongly related to an individual’s need for affiliation and power.[3]

Another way, yes, you do make your own choices and your desire for control is what drives you to make these choices.

I bet your as happy to hear that. The key is to remember that achievement motivation stems from an emotional place.

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