Which One is Better: Difference Between Positive and Negative Motivation

As you know we require motivation in every aspect of life whether it will be study, job, business, or home chores. Research shows that every decision and behavior is due to two types of motivation, first to gain pleasure (positive motivation) or second to avoid pain (negative motivation).

In positive motivation, we use rewards or incentives to encourage desired actions, while in negative motivation we use punishment or fear to discourage unwanted behaviors.

If you want to get complete knowledge about the difference between positive and negative motivation? Then read this post till the end. We will also discuss which type of motivation is best for you in this article.

Positive Motivation and Negative Motivation

What is positive motivation?

In positive motivation, we use rewards (like chocolate, candy, promotion, money, bike, car, etc) to inspire an individual to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

Positive motivation increases our confidence and it also gives us pleasure. When you have visualized yourself with the reward you want, it will boost your motivation level as well as your confidence level.

In businesses, positive motivation increases the productivity of employees and influences them to work hard. So, if you are the owner or manager of any company you should give your employees some bonus or trip tickets after regular intervals.

Examples of positive motivation: When I was in school. My father said to me that if I got high marks in the tenth exam then they will buy a new phone for me.

Then I read books the whole day and studied hard to get a phone. In the end, I got an A+ in exams. This is the best example of positive motivation. Because in this example I get motivated to study due to the reward of a phone.

What is negative motivation?

Negative motivation is an outside force that motivates us to complete our tasks and work to avoid pain or failure (like a demotion, the anger of our parents, the fear of losing, etc).

This type of motivation is often used to discourage people from engaging in negative behaviors or to prevent them from making mistakes. Driven forces in negative motivation include punishment, fines, or the threat of losing something valuable.

In some cases, negative motivation is good but more of the time it increases our stress. So, you have to decide wisely which one is good for you between positive motivation and negative motivation.

Examples of negative motivation: Our parents often threatened to take away our favorite toys if we didn’t behave well. Due to the fear of losing toys, we don’t mess with my siblings and always behave well. This is an example of negative motivation.

Positive vs Negative motivation

Here is the table of the 7 biggest differences between positive motivation and negative motivation.

Sr.Positive MotivationNegative Motivation
1Positive motivation comes from the inside and is driven by rewards, personal goals, and values.Negative motivation is often externally driven and driven by fear or avoidance of negative consequences.
2Positive motivation increases self-esteem and self-confidence.Negative motivation decreases self-esteem and increases self-doubt.
3Positive motivation leads to a feeling of control and autonomy.Negative motivation leads to a feeling of being controlled or powerless.
4Positive motivation has the ability to foster a growth mindset.Negative motivation has the ability to foster a fixed mindset.
5Positive motivation improves our physical and mental health by giving us pleasure.Negative motivation can cause stress and burnout due to stress or fear.
6Positive motivation is sustainable over the long term.Negative motivation is often short-term and requires constant reinforcement.
7Positive motivation is flexible and adaptable.Negative motivation is inflexible and resists change.

How to use positive motivation

Positive motivation is a type of motivation that helps you feel good about yourself and encourages you to do your best. It’s all about finding ways to inspire and encourage you to achieve your goals and dreams.

Positive motivation depends on the reward that lies in the immediate or distant future. Short-term rewards give us more motivation than long-term rewards.

For example, One year ago when I was a sales executive then I worked hard for commissions. Because I knew that I will get this money at the end of the month after completing my target. This was the short-term reward for me.

When I imagine myself going for dinner with my family and buying new clothes at the end of the month, it boosts my productivity and motivates me to work hard the whole month.

But positive motivation does not help us in the long run. So, if you want to use it effectively split your main goal into subgoals and give yourself some reward after completing every subgoal.

When to use negative motivation

Negative motivation depends on your capacity to bear the pain. If you are able to tolerate a lot of pain and your capacity to bear pain is high, then negative motivation does not help you.

On the other hand, if you are not able to tolerate a lot of pain and your capacity to bear pain is low, then negative motivation helps you a lot. But it can increase your stress and cause depression or anxiety which is not good for your health.

If you have a proper plan of escape from any critical situation only then do I recommend you to use negative motivation. Otherwise, it may harm your physical as well as mental health.

Which one is better for you?

Girls doing exercisee due to positive motivation

It depends on a person by person and from situation to situation. Positive motivation gives us rewards and pleasure while negative motivation gives us pain or stress.

If you have big aims in life then positive motivation will work best for you. Whenever you are demotivated think about why you started and also think about what will you get at the end of the journey. This will boost your motivation.

Or, if you are a lazy person who works well near deadlines then negative motivation is best for you. Whenever you have to complete any task give a deadline for that task. If it doesn’t work think about the consequences that can happen if you don’t complete that task.

Personally, I recommend positive motivation because it increases our confidence and also gives us pleasure. With positive motivation, you can achieve every goal.

But it does not happen with negative motivation. By negative motivation, you hardly achieve only those tasks that are given to you nothing else.

Summing It Up

In conclusion, motivation refers to the reasons or factors that drive a person to take action or pursue a goal. It can be either positive or negative, depending on the situation and the nature of a person.

There are pros and cons to both types of motivation. You should know which type of motivation works best for you.  After all, both positive motivation and negative motivation are important.

And if you are a businessman or a teacher then you should definitely know in which situations you have to use positive motivation and in what cases you have to use negative motivation.

I hope you will like this article. And tell us between positive motivation and negative motivation what types of motivation you like, in the comments. And if you want a free PDF of “How to win friends and influence people” book. Then check out my previous article by clicking on the green words.

Frequently Asked Questions

1: Is negative motivation good or bad?

Negative motivation can be both good and bad. Negative motivation is an effective way for an individual to avoid negative outcomes and meet their basic needs. On the other hand, negative motivation also has negative effects, such as causing stress, anxiety, or a lack of enjoyment in the activity being motivated for. So, I only recommend using it in critical situations.

2: Is positive motivation good or bad?

Positive motivation is generally considered to be good. Positive motivation helps us to set and work towards meaningful goals and can lead to increased satisfaction and enjoyment in the activity being motivated for. I personally use positive motivation in my daily life.

3:  Can I use positive and negative motivation together?

Yes, it is possible to use both positive and negative motivation together. For example, an individual might be motivated to achieve a positive outcome, such as earning a promotion at work, while also being motivated to avoid a negative consequence, such as getting fired. Using both positive and negative motivation can be effective in helping an individual to achieve their goals and to meet their responsibilities.