Be aware of how you speak to yourself in general, and what you say to yourself when you try to motivate yourself in particular. People who motivate themselves with heavy criticism likewise tend to do so with others also. Even if someone finds that this works better for himself than a softer approach, it is still not the pattern of choice when trying to motivate children and students. The harm to their self-image could be devastating.

Choose positive words of encouragement. Believe in the potential of children, students, and anyone else you want to motivate. And speak to them in a way that will motivate them to believe in their own potential.