Why choosing Intrinsic Motivation builds True Self-Esteem

Do Whatever the Fuck you Really Want to Do.

Photo by Tim J on Unsplash

Let’s compare two different ideas of where confidence comes from:

Confidence comes from how objectively competent we are.


Confidence comes from the reputation we have with ourselves.

Let’s use Greg as an example.

Greg is a highly successful investment banker who hates himself. Greg pulls in 7-figures a year, yet has zero time to even figure out how to start spending it. He doesn’t recognize the person he sees in the mirror anymore. He feels like a shell of himself, who’s just going through the motions of his life. He doesn’t know how this happened, and where he went wrong. “Why am I not happy? People would kill to have the kind of life I have…”

He was a Straight-A student all throughout his childhood and adolescence, and continued to receive praise from his parents and extended family because of it. He made his decision to go to an Ivy League School for Finance because he wanted to continue to experience this praise. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Greg also really loved drawing anime in his youth, but never really thought of it as something that a career could be built off of. So he made the “safer” call of listening to his head, which was infested with the ideas and opinions of others, rather than what he truly wanted.

Greg’s example shows us that confidence is not about how objectively competent you are. Rather, it is about the reputation you have with yourself. Greg’s decision to go an ivy league school, over time, made him hate himself, because deep down he knows that he betrayed himself and the possibility of an outward manifestation of his true potential.

Of course Greg hates himself. Imagine cherry blossom tree that decided to stop growing into a cherry blossom tree 20 years in, and instead become an investment banker. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but I hope you get what I’m trying to say! Lol

If Greg’s a painter, and he doesn’t become one, then it’s literally the case that his inner energies are blocked in lower self. We can only live as our higher selves when we are living a life that is in alignment with who we really are.

Where did Greg go wrong?

Psychology differentiates two types of motivation.

There’s intrinsic motivation, which is motivation that comes from a genuine place of fulfillment, inherent satisfaction derived from the task itself, etc.

Then there’s extrinsic motivation, which is motivation derived from wanting an external result, like money, or validation from others.

I guess that means that as cliché as it sounds, your heart and your gut may make better calls for those big decisions.

It’s pretty obvious that our families, society and the cultures we live in massively influence us.

This forces us to start a process of deconditioning ourselves from those around us, to get back in touch with who we really are, and what we really want.

This is probably one of the strangest predicaments about being human. That the most difficult thing is to just be who you actually are.

It’s the only answer.

Everyone has their own opinion on the best way to live life.

Someone who is industrious, conscientious, and relatively close-minded will praise the investment banker that works relentless 12 hour days and has a 7-figure salary.

Someone else might scoff at this lifestyle because of it’s lack of balance, hobbies, time for relaxing, pursuing pleasure, and hanging out with friends and family.

Ultimately, it really does depend on the person. There’s really no right or wrong.

The only thing that matters is:

How the fuck do you want to live yours?

A Psychology Undergrad sharing wisdom through insights about psychology, self-development and spiritual growth.

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