9 Qualities of a Self Driven Person 

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Learning Strategies

9 Qualities of a Self Driven Person 

Being self driven is the ability to motivate oneself to accomplish tasks and achieve goals without external stimuli or rewards. It is driven by intrinsic motivation, which comes from a sincere desire to succeed and its inherent rewards, and extrinsic motivation, which comes from wanting external rewards like money or recognition. Self-driven individuals tend to have a purpose, operate with urgency, constantly seek improvement, challenge themselves, and have mental toughness.

Becoming self-driven requires building healthy habits, setting SMART goals, maintaining a positive attitude, rewarding successes, and forgiving failures. It is about taking action, staying focused, and being disciplined enough to put in the effort every day, regardless of how you feel. Being self-driven is an essential skill in many areas of life, including work, relationships, and personal development. It is the key to becoming more resilient, eager to succeed, and better at managing time. It is a pathway to personal fulfilment and achieving long-term goals. In this article, we will explore the key qualities of a self-driven person and what makes people more driven than others.

Why Being Self-Driven Is Important

Self-motivation is crucial to personal growth, achievement, and overall quality of life. It allows individuals to persist despite setbacks, seize opportunities, and demonstrate commitment to their goals. Self-motivation can be influenced by internal or external factors such as desire, love, or financial needs.

However, intrinsic motivation is the primary driver, driven by a genuine desire to achieve and its inherent rewards. This type of motivation leads to more significant long-term outcomes, as it fulfils our psychological needs for autonomy and competence, creating positive states that reinforce the positive feedback loop and increase the likelihood of repetition.

Self-driven individuals have a higher threshold for what they think is possible, which fuels them to move and succeed. This is because they internalise significant control, allowing them to control their destiny rather than being driven by the world. Self-motivation is a key component of emotional intelligence, which measures one’s ability to recognise and manage their own emotions and those of others. It also enhances work performance, stress management, and overall happiness. Understanding and developing self-motivation can help individuals take control of various aspects of their lives, making it an essential personal skill.

The Qualities of a Self Driven Person

The qualities of a self-driven person are as follows:

  • Self-driven individuals know what they want in life. They are goal-oriented and driven by their purpose.
  • Self-driven people work extremely hard. They choose to work on their dreams and goals whenever possible.
  • They think independently, embracing creativity and innovation to stay ahead in a competitive world
  • They live purposefully, planning each day with intent and making choices that align with personal and professional goals.
  • Self-driven people have actionable plans to implement their mission. They hold themselves accountable and hold others responsible, too.
  • They often engage in self-reflection. Hence, this leads to self-awareness and knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Honesty is a crucial trait for self-driven people. They are honest with others as much as possible. 
  • They let go of distractions and negativity, focusing on what truly matters and not allowing obstacles to derail progress towards goals.
  • Self-driven individuals have a high attention span and the ability to focus their attention on a task. This is a key element in their ability to work towards their goals

Why are Some People Self-Driven?

Some people are self-driven due to a combination of innate traits, environmental influences, and the ability to harness their motivation. Here are the key reasons:

#1. Conscientiousness and Self-Control

High conscientiousness, a trait associated with self-control, focus, and goal-directedness, is a significant factor. Individuals with high conscientiousness are often organized, planful, and have strong self-discipline. They can delay gratification and work towards long-term goals, contributing to their self-driven nature. This trait is partly heritable but can also be shaped by non-heritable influences such as parenting, cultural norms, and life experiences.

#2. Nature and Nurture

Research shows that about half of the variance in personality traits, including conscientiousness, is due to genetic factors (nature), while the other half is influenced by non-genetic factors (nurture). While some people may have a natural predisposition towards being self-driven, environmental factors can also significantly shape this trait.

#3. Motivation and the Brain

The source of motivation is linked to the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain where neurotransmitters send chemical messages that keep us alert and focused. This area influences activities like completing projects or exercising, suggesting that the brain’s ability to motivate individuals can vary. Some people may naturally have a stronger ability to activate this part of the brain, leading to higher motivation levels.

#4. Flexibility and Adaptability

On the other end of the spectrum, individuals with lower conscientiousness may exhibit traits like flexibility, adaptability, and creativity. While these traits might not directly contribute to self-driven behaviour in the same way as high conscientiousness, they can offer unique advantages in certain situations. For example, a laid-back approach can lead to innovative problem-solving and a lower stress level, which can benefit certain contexts.

The Benefits of Being a Self-Driven Person

Being a self-driven person comes with numerous benefits. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Personal Growth: Self-driven individuals are committed to their personal and organisational goals and go the extra mile to achieve them. This commitment leads to personal growth and development over time.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Self-motivation is a critical component of emotional intelligence. It helps one understand oneself, relate to others, and reach goals.
  • Increased Resilience: Self-driven individuals become more resilient because achieving their goals takes time and effort. They can cope with setbacks and continue to pursue their goals despite obstacles.
  • Eagerness to Succeed: Self-driven individuals are eager to succeed because their passion drives them forward. This passion helps them take the initiative and manage their time better.
  • Reduced Dependency on External Factors: Self-driven individuals are less dependent on external factors to motivate them. They are driven by intrinsic motivation, from sincerely wanting to achieve something and desiring its inherent rewards.
  • Increased Autonomy: Self-driven individuals are empowered by intrinsically motivated goal pursuit. It satisfies our psychological needs for autonomy and competence and, in turn, creates more positive states, reinforcing the positive feedback loop and increasing the likelihood of repetition.
  • Accountability: Self-driven individuals are more accountable. They share their goals with others and hold themselves responsible for achieving them. This increased sense of responsibility can further motivate them.
  • Long-term Success: Successful people have yet to become successful by being indifferent to their goals. Thanks to their self-motivation, they reach their goals and continue to set new ones.

Becoming a Self-Driven Person

Becoming a self-driven person involves a series of steps, including developing self-belief, challenging yourself, continuous learning, meeting people, setting realistic goals, and taking responsibility for your actions. Here are the detailed steps to guide you:

#1. Believe in Yourself

Develop the habit of believing you can do anything you want. This only happens after some time and requires consistent effort. Embrace doubt, as it can fuel potential and unlock opportunities.

#2. Challenge Yourself

Challenge yourself to grow and develop. Embrace challenges and outperform yourself day by day. This could involve setting new goals, learning new skills, or taking on new responsibilities.

#3. Learn and Continue Learning

Continuously learn something new every day. This could apply to your personal, work, or spiritual life. Keep your mind stimulated and challenged to achieve continued growth.

#4. Meet People

Surround yourself with like-minded people who are goal-oriented and success-driven. Learn from them and develop habits with the people around you.

#5. Set Goals

Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. Make sure your goals are self-set, not imposed. This will make you more responsible for your actions and increase your drive.

#6. Take Responsibility

Be accountable for your actions. Share your goals with others, especially those you consider more successful than yourself. This will increase your drive. You can also enlist a coach to help you stay on track towards your goals.

#7. Imagine Your Desired Future Self

Put simply, your behaviour in the present is shaped mainly by your view of your future. Imagine your future self and decide to be that person. Start by asking yourself what one to three things you could do today to progress toward your future self.


Being self-driven is important for personal growth, emotional intelligence, resilience, and eagerness to succeed. It reduces dependency on external factors and increases autonomy, accountability, and long-term success. Becoming a self-driven person involves developing self-belief, challenging oneself, continuous learning, surrounding oneself with like-minded individuals, setting realistic goals, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. Understanding and becoming self-driven is an essential personal skill that can lead to a fulfilling and successful life.


What Does Self-Driven Mean in Person?

Self-driven individuals are highly motivated, ambitious, and committed to their goals without external rewards. They have a higher threshold for what is possible, take responsibility for their actions, and are not afraid to take risks. They have a growth mindset, believe they can improve their skills through hard work, and initiate action on opportunities. They are only sometimes optimistic about outcomes but remain focused on tasks and projects.

Why Are Some People Self-Driven?

Self-driven behaviour is influenced by various biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors. Also, personality traits like conscientiousness, self-control, focus, and discipline can influence self-driven behaviour.


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