Business Women Connect: Difference Between Motivation and Inspiration

At first glance, it may seem like a subtle distinction, but the worlds of motivation and inspiration are a million miles apart.

Many people use the words “motivated” and “inspired” interchangeably. But a closer look may change your perspective.

We seem to need motivation to get stuff done. Typically there’s a lot of “measuring” that happens in the realm of motivation. Check lists and goal posts. There is often a fear of loss involved. We are on duty. All perfectly natural.

But beyond finish lines and good jobs, is a different call. The word inspiration means to be in spirit. When you’re tuned into your spirit, it is magnetic and progressive. Its reasoning cannot always be reasoned -- I just gotta do it. You are launched into the unfenced field of freedom and possibilities.

So, motivation is about things that you think you should do or that you’re supposed to do. Inspiration is about being called to act because you’re in direct alignment with the magnetic, luminous potential that is you.

A look at the difference...


You run the 5k to lose weight, stay in shape, raise money for cancer. It’s on your bucket list. Achievement is thrilling.


The runner’s high. My body simply has to run. When I run, I feel closer to life.


You write the book, the blog, the brochure to raise your profile so you can sell more stuff, serve more people. You compose and package your thoughts. A 1000 words a day until you’ve crossed the finish line.


I have something to say that needs to be heard. When I write I feel bigger, freer, like God is using me well.

Continual inspiration is about continual realignment

You might be thinking… “How do I get inspired?” Well, you can’t. Inspiration isn’t something you get, it comes from within, it comes from your core.

So being inspired isn’t about doing something external to bring something in. That’s motivation, remember?
Being inspired is about a constant process of realignment. Whenever you’re feeling like you have to push, it’s time to realign. Whenever you’re feeling like you’re not enjoying life, it’s time to realign. Whenever you feel like you’re trying to fulfill a quota or expectation, it’s time to realign.

Realignment isn’t anything complicated. It’s very simple, actually. All it involves is drawing inward and exploring what you really want.

So, what do you really want? Not what should you want, not what you think might be a good idea for you to want. What lights you up? Once you’ve got a grasp on that, stay with it for a little while. Bathe in it, savor it. Taste it on your tongue. Feel it tingling down your spine.

It feels good, doesn’t it?

If it doesn’t feel good, you’re still not there. Keep going.

Once you’ve come to that state of anticipation, you’re inspired. You’re In Spirit. Now you are ready to fly...

Shelly Aristizabal is the new President of Business Women Connect. She is a seasoned business coach, advisor and speaker who helps entrepreneurs network to success. Learn more about Shelly and her recently published book This Is Your Year at, &