Internal Vs. External Motivation in Recovery

When you’re in recovery, you’ll start to think about and talk about what motivates you. Motivation is a big part of recovery because it’s a huge driving factor of whether or not you’ll successfully move in the right direction. Not only is it crucial in the early stages of recovery which can be some of the toughest times but it’s important to keep it going all along the way so that you don’t become content and leave your recovery on auto-pilot.

Here are some of the common internal and external motivators that people use to help get themselves through recovery.

Internal Motivation
Being a parent – the love one has for their children is often enough to really help them get off denial train and go after recovery.
Respect for themselves – some people just want to earn back their own respect as well as respect from family, friends, and loved ones.
Sometimes all it takes is that sense of achievement, the competition, feelings of being responsible again, and/or love. There are so many internal motivators that can a huge push forward when paired up with some external motivation in recovery.

External Motivation
External Motivation is those factors that come from outside of your mind and body, like a career, money, housing or family situations that need tending to.
For those that hold a high value on their career, income, or housing situation, will find the destitution of addiction unbearable. For those not used to living in poor conditions, it’s often a pretty big jolt when they realize that squandering away their money on drugs will cause them to lose those things they value most.

Especially in the career field, it can be eye-opening for some who have previously worked very hard to build a career and then subsequently get passed over for promotions or even find themselves getting warnings for poor work performance, etc. when they thought they had their drug addiction “under control.”

 If you have the motivation that’s not listed here, we want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments what drives you to keep going day after day.

N.D. “Internal and External Motivators for Addiction Recovery”. Support Recovery. (website). 2017

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