Our Motivation is what drives us. The options are easily understood as pairs of opposites, and a big lesson of each is to learn how to do that Motivation in balance (rather than pendulum swinging in overdoing that Motivation to underdoing it). There are 7 Motivations and Fluid, and we each have only 1.
Masks can occur in Motivations as well. For example, someone having Growth might believe they need to be very Accepting of others. Also, someone with Relaxation might push themselves forward to look like they have Growth at work.
People in Growth are enthusiastic and expansive. They want more and more. They are eager to learn new lessons and regularly engage new things. They can go too fast and take on too much, causing them to get overwhelmed and pull back, a temporary switch to the next Motivation, Self-Preservation.
People in Self-Preservation often have a physical, emotional or intellectual challenge, a different ability, or extreme trauma. This Motivation is about focusing on only a few things and doing them well; sometimes they do those things at a genius level. When their focus has been too narrow, they temporarily switch to expansive Growth.
Those with Acceptance often begin by wanting acceptance for themselves. They will struggle to get it from others, and as soon as they discover how to give it to themselves, they are suddenly abundantly and generously able to give it to others. If they are accepting in a way that becomes too broad in a way that is harmful, they temporarily switch to selective Discernment.
Discernment is about being selective and refining. These people love to evaluate, critique, and discover what is good, which often occurs first by identifying what is bad. They are all about improving things. They don’t understand how others can’t see the obviously poor qualities that for them are very apparent and require action. When they overdo critiquing, they temporarily switch to Acceptance.
Dominance is about knowing one’s own purpose and only engaging and participating in interactions to fulfill that purpose. People with Dominance will only engage in a situation to get what they want; they can be very direct and forthright, although they may not lay things out on the table. Others find this domineering. If they overdo Dominance in a way that begins to keep them from achieving what they want, they can temporarily pull back and switch to Submission.
Submission is about supporting another purpose such as a worthy cause, mission or person. They look to accomplish the greatest good for the greatest number (e.g., people, animals). If they over-submit, or if their cause goes a different direction than they had anticipated, they temporarily switch to Dominance.
Relaxation has a stereotype: the hitchhiking beach bum. People with Relaxation engage what is in front of them, relaxing into their experiences. This is how things go well for them. People with Relaxation appear throughout society, not only at parties or on the beach. They typically don’t get as upset as others but instead get mellow. Sometimes they appear as if they are high when they are not – they are simply calm and easygoing. People who overdo Relaxation can switch to any other Motivation temporarily.
Fluid people are able to consciously and intuitively move between all the Motivations to whatever serves most in the moment. As people move from their Motivation to Fluid, they first balance their own Motivation and then gradually embrace greater capacity with each of the other options based on what is happening in their life. They no longer get attached to any one perspective.